Utah man stabbed to death in Oregon defending friend against LGBTQ harassment

Jul 12, 2023, 9:41 AM | Updated: 9:42 am

PORTLAND, Ore.The family of a Utah man, living in Oregon, said he was tragically murdered protecting a friend.

Skyline High School graduate Colin Smith, 32, moved to Portland six years ago.

On Sunday, July 2, Smith left work to hang out with friends at a bar — one of them was a member of the LGBTQ community, friend Paulina Solis said. Solis told KGW8 that a man walked up to the group, making homophobic remarks, which is when Smith stepped in and stood up to him.

“I knew he was probably trying to just de-escalate and get this person to move on, and that’s when he was killed,” Solis said.

Portland police said Smith was stabbed and died from his injuries on scene. Last week, his suspected killer — Rahnique U. Jackson, of Portland — was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon.

“I just really want to stress, this was a hate crime! Nothing more, nothing less,” Smith’s sister, Dani Smith Holden, told KGW8.

Instead of focusing on his tragic death, friends and family want Smith to be remembered as the remarkable man he was.

“He was a protector, which is, you know, how he went, protecting those he cared about,” Solis said. “He always had everyone’s back.”

Friends and family held a memorial for Smith in Portland on Tuesday, July 11. They plan to hold funeral services for him in Salt Lake City on Sunday, July 16.

If you would like to help the family with the unexpected funeral costs, a GoFundMe* campaign has been set up by friends.

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Utah man stabbed to death in Oregon defending friend against LGBTQ harassment