Destinee Mangum, one of the targets of hate speech on a MAX train, thanks strangers for saving her life. pic.twitter.com/sefmOAyIVt— FOX 12 Oregon KPTV (@fox12oregon) May 28, 2017
One of the teenagers who was targeted by a man who went on to kill two people in Portland, Oregon, has thanked the deceased men for stepping in to defend her.
Sixteen-year-old Destinee Mangum was with her friend on the MAX train on May 26 when they were racially abused by white supremacist Jeremy Christian. When Ricky Best and Taliesin Namkai-Meche intervened Christian stabbed them both, causing both fatal injuries.
Speaking to Fox 12 Oregon on Saturday, May 27, Mangum explained that she was with traveling with her friend when Christian approached them shouting anti-Muslim abuse. He followed them as they moved away from him, before Best and Namkai-Meche got involved.
"They lost their lives because of me and my friend, and the way we looked," Mangum said in the clip you can see above. "I just want to say thank you to them and their family, and that I appreciate them. Without them, we probably would be dead right now. I just want to say thank you to the people who put their life on the line for me because they didn't even know me."
Mangum's mother also told The Oregonian that her daughter's friend is Muslim, and was wearing a hijab, but Mangum is not.
A third man, 21-year-old Micah David-Cole Fletcher was also injured in the incident. Christian was arrested after fleeing the scene and has subsequently been charged with aggravated murder.