UPDATE May 27, 1:56 p.m. EST:
The 35-year-old man identified by authorities in the fatal stabbing of two people on a Portland light-rail train has a criminal record, according to the Associated Press. Court records revealed that Jeremy Joseph Christian was convicted of robbery, kidnapping and a weapons charge in 2002.
He is being held in the Multnomah County jail on suspicion of aggravated murder and attempted murder.
ORIGINAL STORY: Two people died Friday and another was hurt in a stabbing on a Portland light-rail train after a man yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim, one of whom was wearing a hijab, police said.
Officers arrested the man Friday afternoon who ran from the train, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. Police were still working Friday night to identify the man and the people who were attacked.
Before the stabbing the assailant on the train was ranting on many topics, using "hate speech or biased language," and then turned his focus on the women, police Sgt. Pete Simpson said.
"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," Simpson told The Oregonian.
"They were attacked viciously."
One person was dead at the scene and another died at a hospital, Simpson said. The third person was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
It wasn’t clear why the man was yelling, Simpson said.
"He was talking about a lot of different things, not just specifically anti-Muslim," Simpson said.
Police don’t know if the man has mental health issues or if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time.
One witness said a group of men tried to quiet him and he stabbed them, she said.
Simpson said the women understandably left the scene before police were able to talk with them but that they would like to hear from them to help fill in what happened.
Millions of Muslims marked the start of Ramadan Friday, a time of intense prayer, dawn-to-dusk fasting and nightly feasts.
--The Associated Press contributed to this report.