Best family faces challenges after tragedy

Best was stabbed to death in the MAX attack

Ricky Best and his family in a photo from a fundraising flier.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — When Ricky Best died last week while standing up against a hateful tirade targeting a young Muslim woman, his family lost its primary breadwinner.

The 53-year-old Army veteran was a father of four, including 19-year-old Erik Best, a student at Clackamas Community College. Family friends say Best wanted all his kids to go to college.

Erik Best said his father, Ricky, was a hero long before he sacrificed his life to protect 2 women on a MAX train, May 29, 2017. (CBS News)

“There are more kids that need to go to college,” Trish Hall said. “They are smart kids, they are really sharp, that’s what the dad’s desire was, for his children to be able to make it through college.”

While more than $1 million has been raised through various online fundraisers like the “TriMet Heroes” GoFundMe page, and the Best family is grateful to all those who have donated but they aren’t sure when they will see that money.

To help during this difficult time, Erik’s lab partner Ryan Lankford created fliers advertising a separate fundraiser.

“He’s in my anatomy class. He’s one of the nicest kids I’ve ever met,” Lankford said. “I wouldn’t have been able to get through that class without him.”

Erik has hopes of becoming a doctor, but right now he’s worried about his family’s future.

“To hear a 19-year old worried about property taxes is a little hard to witness as a mom,” Hall said. “Nobody at 19 should have to worry about this.”

You can donate at any Well Fargo Bank with a deposit into the Ricky J. Best account.

Complete coverage of the MAX attack