US & Canada

Portland 'hero' had wedding ring stolen during train stabbing

Composite image showing a blurred, low-resolution close up and full body shot of a man in black t-shirt and cap, carrying two backpacks off the train where the attack took place Image copyright Portland Police
Image caption Police have released CCTV footage of the suspect

Police are searching for a man they suspect of stealing a bag and wedding ring from one the victims in the Portland train stabbing.

Army veteran Ricky Best, 53, was killed when he intervened to protect two young women from anti-Muslim abuse last week.

Portland Police have released an image of a man they say carried Mr Best's backpack from the scene.

Mr Best and fellow victim Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche have been widely hailed as "heroes" for their actions.

Officers said the backpack contained "personal items important to the Best family".

The department's official spokesman, Sgt Pete Simpson, tweeted: "Find this man Portland. This family has already suffered too much pain."

Sgt Simpson told Portland's KOIN-6 television: "We really kind of want to lean on the humanity if there is any there."

"Turn yourself in, bring the property back so this family can have it," he said in an appeal to the thief.

The attack happened on 28 May on Portland's Max train, when a man began shouting "hate speech" at two young women on the train, one of whom was wearing a hijab.

When passengers attempted to intervene to protect the pair, the man produced a knife and stabbed three people, killing two.

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Media captionPortland victim: 'Without them we would be dead'

One of the two women, 16-year-old Destinee Mangum, said: "Without them, we probably would be dead right now."

Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, has been charged with murder, attempted murder, possession of a weapon and intimidation.

During a brief court appearance on Tuesday, he made no plea, but instead shouted slogans such as: "You call it terrorism. I call it patriotism" and "death to the enemies of America".

He is due to appear in court again on 7 June.

The Victims

Image copyright Vajra Alaya-Maitreya
Image caption Ricky Best (L) and Taliesin Namkai-Meche
  • Ricky John Best, 53, was a veteran of the US Army and had four children. His eldest son, Eric Best, told CBS News that he was not surprised to hear of his father's actions
  • Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, had recently graduated with an economics degree and was on an internship with a consultancy firm. He also studied an introduction to Islam course, and his professor said he wanted to understand how others saw the world
  • Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21, won a poetry slam in 2013 with a piece about the prejudices faced by minorities, including Muslim Americans. "I mean, after all, where does prevention stop and where does protection begin?" he said in the performance, which can be seen on YouTube. He survived an injury to his neck

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