(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- A young woman who was targeted with suspected hate speech in Oregon Friday before her attacker allegedly went on a deadly stabbing rampage asked for privacy and time to heal from the traumatic event.
Destinee Mangum, 16, and a 17-year-old friend who was wearing a hijab, were riding a light-rail train in Portland, Oregon, Friday evening when Joseph Christian, 35, allegedly began to yell racial slurs at them.
Christian allegedly killed two people and seriously injured another when they tried to intervene.
“The best thing that you guys can help out with it [to] just give me and my family time to process everything,” Mangum said in a video posted on her mother’s Facebook page. “I would appreciate it if you guys just give us our privacy and time to heal and [to] be together.”
Authorities said three men -- Rick John Best, 53, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, and Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21 -- tried to defend Mangum and her friend before the incident turned fatal when Christian allegedly attacked the men with a knife.
Best and Namkai-Meche were killed in the attack, which occurred on the first day of Ramadan -- the holiest time of the year for Muslims. Fletcher is currently at a local hospital where he is being treated for serious injuries, according to authorities.
Christian was arrested in connection with the stabbings and police said a preliminary investigation indicated that he had yelled “various remarks that would best be characterized as hate speech toward a variety of ethnicity and religions."
He was booked Saturday on charges of aggravated murder, attempted murder in the second degree and felon in possession of a restricted weapon.
In the video posted on Sunday, Mangum and her mother, Dyjuana Hudson, thanked the public for their support.
"We're just here to say thank you," Hudson said. "We really appreciate what's being done for us and for the victims."
Hudson also shared a link to a crowdfunding campaign to raise money that will go towards mental health services for the two teens, who are, according to the fundraiser’s page, “suffering immense trauma in the aftermath” of the tragedy.
"Although they survived, their lives will never be the same as they were being the targets of hate,” the campaign’s creators said. “In order to help them heal from this traumatic event we are raising funds to help girls to move on and feel safe in the future.”
The campaign had raised more than $14,500 as of early Monday morning. The fundraiser has a goal of $50,000.
Christian is currently being held without bail and is set to appear in court later on Monday. He was apprehended shortly after the attack when he was confronted by other men.
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