One was a recent college graduate and the other a retired, 23-year Army veteran. On Friday evening, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23, Ricky Best, 53, and a third man, Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21, tried to stop a raging white supremacist from harassing two teenage Muslim women on a Portland train.
Namkai Meche and Best died from the ensuing encounter, and Fletcher ended up in the hospital after all of them were wounded in a vicious knife attack.
Suspect Jeremy Joseph Christian, a 35-year-old white supremacist, is in custody and charged with two counts of aggravated murder, two counts of second-degree intimidation, and being a felon in possession of a restricted weapon, BuzzFeed reported.
Namkai Meche’s mother, Asha Deliverance, announced her son’s death on Facebook on Saturday, writing, “My dear baby boy passed on yesterday while protecting two young Muslim girls from a racist man on the train in Portland. He was a hero and will remain a hero on the other side of the veil. Shining bright star I love you forever.”
According to BuzzFeed, Namkai Meche graduated in 2016 from Reed College and was working at a consultancy company.
Best was an employee of the City of Portland. According to The Oregonian, he was headed home to his three teenage sons and 12-year-old daughter when Christian began verbally attacking the young women. As the three victims tried to stop him, Christian brandished a knife, stabbing and killing Namkai Meche and Best, and seriously injuring Fletcher.
Best retired from the Army in 2012 after 23 years of service and unsuccessfully campaigned for the county board two years later. “He was always the first person you would go to for help,” his supervisor told the newspaper.
On Twitter, Hillary Clinton called the killings “heartbreaking.”
As of this writing, President Donald Trump hasn’t said a word.