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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Lawmakers Hail Portland Stabbing Victims As Heroes

Courtesy of Areana Best
Rick Best was fatally stabbed on a MAX train Friday after standing up against a man spewing hate speech at a Muslim teen and her friend.

Several Oregon lawmakers hailed the victims of Friday's stabbing on a Portland light rail train as "heroes."

Two people died and a third was seriously injured when they intervened to protect two teenage girls from a man making threatening, racist comments.

Democratic Sen. Lew Frederick called the stabbing suspect, Jeremy Christian, a "terrorist."

"There are attempts to whitewash this incident as an anomaly, to depoliticize the situation, saying that the alt-right, the Klan, whoever, those supporting the alt-right and those the alt-right so vigorously supports should not be blamed for the actions of a mentally ill man. Nonsense. Utter nonsense,” Frederick said.

Two lawmakers said the attack hit close to home, as their children routinely use the Northeast Portland Tri-Met line where the attack took place.

Another lawmaker, Rep. Mark Meek of Clackamas County, said he knew one of the men killed in the attack. Meek said he attended church alongside Ricky Best and his family.