One Man Killed in Portland Attack Was Army Veteran

A heart-shaped wreath covered with messages stands as a memorial for two men stabbed to death Friday; one of them, Rick Best, was an Army veteran. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)
A heart-shaped wreath covered with messages stands as a memorial for two men stabbed to death Friday; one of them, Rick Best, was an Army veteran. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)

PORTLAND, Oregon -- Helpful co-workers. Reliable friends. Well-liked by many who encountered them.

Those were the descriptions family, friends and colleagues gave of Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23, and Rick Best, 53, the two men who were stabbed to death Friday when they tried to intervene when a man yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim on a Portland light-rail train.

Best, one of two men killed in a brutal attack Friday aboard a MAX train, was a city of Portland employee, Army veteran and onetime candidate for Clackamas County commissioner.

Best, 53, worked as a technician for the city Bureau of Development Services, said David Austin, a spokesman for Portland Commissioner Chloe Eudaly.

Married with four children, Best was well-liked in his job as a technician for the city Bureau of Development Services, his colleagues said.

"He was always the first person you would go to for help," said Kareen Perkins, his supervisor. "I've talked to most of his coworkers today, and several of them said it's just like Rick to step in and help somebody out."

Best worked with about 30 co-workers and hundreds of customers seeking permits from the city.

The Army veteran had three teenage sons and a 12-year-old daughter, said David Austin, a spokesman for Portland Commissioner Chloe Eudaly.

Best, who grew up in Oregon, met his wife at Portland Community College, and then joined the Army. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan, Best said in a voter pamphlet when he unsuccessfully ran for the commissioner post in 2014.

Best retired from the Army in 2012 after 23 years of service.

He started working for the city as a technician in January 2015.

"He was just really good at his job, and just great to work with," Perkins said. 

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Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com

Copyright (2017) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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