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Oregon Man Stabbed to Death for Defending LGBTQ+ Friend; Arrest Made

Oregon Man Stabbed to Death for Defending LGBTQ+ Friend; Arrest Made

Arrest Made in Stabbing Death of Man Who Defended LGBTQ+ Coworker

Colin M. Smith is remembered as “one of the good ones.”

An arrest has been made in the stabbing murder of an Oregon man who was killed when he defended a coworker from homophobic abuse.

U.S. Marshals arrested Rahnique U. Jackson, 24, on July 7, and charged him with the murder of Colin Michael Smith, 32, that took place in the Buckman neighborhood of Portland just before 2 a.m. on Sunday, July 2. Smith was enjoying drinks at The High Dive bar after work with friends when Jackson allegedly began hurling anti-LGBTQ+ slurs at a nonbinary friend who was also a coworker. When Jackson reportedly touched two members of the group inappropriately, Smith stepped in to de-escalate the situation. In response, Jackson reportedly stabbed Smith before fleeing the scene.

Friends and family said they have been left devastated by the loss but said Smith was a good friend who tried to defend others.

“Colin was one of the good ones,” Greg Denton, owner and chef of the Ox Restaurant where Smith worked, told local Fox affiliate KPTV, later observing “He was a caretaker. He was the life of the party, he was a funny guy, he was a protector. He should be here right now.”

“I think Colin, just in general, has always had really strong values around supporting the underdog, just looking out for people who maybe got overlooked,” friend and former girlfriend Paulina Solis told People.

“I lost my boy when he was defending a friend,” Julie Smith, Colin’s mother, wrote in a statement to People. “A quick action that was spontaneous and innate to his selfless character.”

Smith’s family shared a photo of Colin posing with Smokey, his pet cat who “meant the world to him.”

“The number one thing we just want to stress to people is not to promote the fear of not sticking up for people, but love thy neighbor and stick up for people,” Danielle Smith, Colin’s sister, told People.

Jackson was charged with murder and unlawful position of a weapon. No hate crime charges have been filed as of yet, although family and friends insist Smith’s murder should qualify for the added charge.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover expenses for Smith’s family.

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