Michael Forest Reinoehl, Suspect in Death of Far-Right Portland Protester, Killed by Law Enforcement
The suspect, identified as Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48, was located in Washington State by a federal fugitive task force.
An “anti-fascist” protester was shot and killed after police tried to arrest him in connection with the fatal shooting of a right-wing activist who was part of a group of pro-Trump protesters over the weekend in Portland, authorities said. The suspect, identified as Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48, was located in Washington State by a federal fugitive task force, and allegedly “produced a firearm, threatening the lives of law enforcement," according to the U.S. Marshals Service.
Reinoehl was then shot and killed by law enforcement on the scene.
On Thursday, a murder arrest warrant had been issued for Reinoehl by the Portland police through the Circuit Court in Multnomah County. As police looked for Reinoehl, he gave an interview to Vice News.
In the interview, Reinoehl seemed to take responsibility for the killing of Aaron "Jay" Danielson at the Portland protest on Aug. 29, but claimed he acted in self-defense because he and his friends were allegedly going to be stabbed, he said.
"You know, lots of lawyers suggest that I shouldn't even be saying anything, but I feel it's important that the world at least gets a little bit of what's really going on," Reinoehl said. "I had no choice. I mean, I had a choice. I could have sat there and watched them kill a friend of mine of color. But I wasn't going to do that.”
Reinoehl also said in the interview that he went to downtown Portland to provide “security” when he saw hundreds of Trump supporters driving together throughout the city. By the end of the night, Danielson was shot in the chest and died. In the Vice News interview, Reinoehl added that he “was confident that [he] didn’t hit anyone innocent.”
Officers reportedly attempted to apprehend Reinoehl on a residential street in Lacey, Washington. Bystanders told The New York times they saw the shooting unfold on Thursday.
Chad Smith, 29, who lives next door to the apartment where Reinoehl was killed, told the paper that he “was standing outside at about 6:45 p.m. when he saw two SUVs race toward the complex.” Then he heard gunshots and saw a man walking backward near a white pickup truck, holding a weapon, and police then fired at him.
Before Reinoehl was found, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to criticize law enforcement’s handling of the situation.
“Why aren’t the Portland Police ARRESTING the cold blooded killer of Aaron ‘Jay’ Danielson,” Trump wrote.
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