Man chases after stabbing suspect: 'If I didn't follow this guy it was going to haunt me'

Chase Robinson speaks to KATU News Friday night about what he saw and his efforts to go after the suspect, who police said stabbed three people on a MAX train, two fatally. (KATU Photo)

An eyewitness to Friday's deadly triple stabbing that left two dead and one injured on a MAX train Friday chased after that suspect, helping police move in for an arrest.

"I knew in that moment that if I didn't follow this guy it was going to haunt me my entire life if he got away," said 25-year-old Chase Robinson, who was on his way home from work. He said he tried to break up what he thought was a fistfight on the train.

"I go to reach out to start pulling apart, and then I see that there's just blood everywhere," Robinson said.

When the train came to a stop, Robinson says the suspect got off waving a knife. Passengers scrambled to attend to the victims.

"So many people ran, but so many people didn't run, and (they) were there for these people. And one of them had taken their shirt off and had pressed against his neck. But there was like, there was so much blood," Robinson said.

Robinson said he and a few other riders followed the suspect and found him a few blocks away casually fleeing the scene.

"I see this guy, shirtless, with a long ponytail, and he's just walking down the street, just totally calm. Just walking down the street. I was like, is that him? That's got to be him," Robinson said.

When police approached the suspect, Robinson pulled out his phone and recorded the confrontation as the suspect screamed obscenities at the police telling them repeatedly, "Shoot me!"

Now that the suspect is in custody, Robinson is thinking about the people on the train who tried to stop the suspect and those who lost their lives trying to protect others.

"Everybody, like, stood up for what they believed in and what they believed in was a decent thing, it was a good thing, and I think that means a lot," he said.

The stabbing was reported around 4:30 p.m. as the train pulled into the Hollywood Transit Center station in Northeast Portland.

Multiple witnesses told KATU the suspect was hurling racial insults at two women, at least one of whom was wearing a hijab. Police wouldn't confirm their ages, but referred to them as "girls" and "young women."

Sgt. Pete Simpson with Portland Police added the suspect appeared to be acting erratically, and wasn't necessarily focused on anti-Muslim insults during the attack.

The two men who came to the women's defense had their throats slashed by the suspect, Sgt. Simpson said.

The suspect was taken into custody, and Saturday morning police identified him as 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian of North Portland.

Christian was seen at a march in Portland several weeks ago, where he was spotted giving what looked like the Nazi salute while hurling various insults at protesters.

He's being charged with two counts of aggravated murder, attempted murder, two counts of intimidation and felon in possession of a restricted weapon.

The victims killed have been identified as 53-year-old Ricky John Best of Happy Valley and 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche of Southeast Portland. The third surviving victim is 21-year-old Micah David-Cole Fletcher of Southeast Portland.

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