Two men were stabbed to death on a train in Portland, Ore., Friday afternoon when they tried to protect two Muslim females from a man's rants, say police. A third man also was stabbed, but he is expected to survive, reports the Oregonian. Police say the events unfolded when a man began shouting all kinds of slurs, not only about Muslims. But they say he eventually directed his wrath at two young Muslim women, one of whom was wearing a hijab, reports CNN. "In the midst of his ranting and raving, some people approached him and appeared to try to intervene with his behavior and some of the people that he was yelling at," says a police spokesman. "They were attacked viciously."
After the train came to a stop, the assailant fled from the scene. Police soon arrested Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, who is being held on suspicion of aggravated murder and attempted murder. Police say they're investigating whether he has mental health issues or was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, "or all of the above." It's possible he could face hate-crime charges as well. The victims have not been identified, and police are still trying to track down the two Muslim women. Friday marked the start of the month-long observation of Ramadan for the world's Muslims. (Read more Portland, Oregon stories.)