The US Marshals said a task force was attempting to arrest Michael Forest Reinoehl in Washington state. He was wanted by the Multnomah County Circuit Court on a charge of murder.
“Reinoehl was allegedly involved in an August 29 shooting incident in Portland, Oregon, that resulted in a death,” US Marshals said.
The task force located him in Olympia and attempted to arrest him peacefully.
“Initial reports indicate the suspect produced a firearm, threatening the lives of law enforcement officers. Task force members responded to the threat and struck the suspect who was pronounced dead at the scene,” the statement said.
None of the task force members were injured.
“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.”
In the interview, conducted with freelance journalist Donovan Farley, Reinoehl said he went downtown Saturday night to provide “security” after seeing a caravan of hundreds of Trump supporters parading in vehicles through the city. He described himself as “100 percent anti-fascist,” though not a member of any Antifa group.
Danielson, who was a supporter of the far-right group Patriot Prayer, was shot in the chest during the confrontation and died.
After the shooting, Reinoehl said he realized what had happened and “was confident that I did not hit anyone innocent.” He then left the scene feeling “totally justified [that] had I not acted I am confident that my friend, and I’m sure I, would have been killed.”
Reinoehl said he had decided to speak out because “there’s been a lot of propaganda put out there.”
“What they’ve done is they’ve tried to make it look like we’re all terrorists. And they’re trying to make me look like a murderer,” he said.
The interview was broadcast as officers moved to apprehend him in Lacey, Washington, according to a federal law enforcement source familiar with the incident.
President Trump tweets about suspect
President Trump, apparently reacting to the interview, tweeted moments after the broadcast: “Why aren’t the Portland Police ARRESTING the cold blooded killer of Aaron “Jay” Danielson. Do your job, and do it fast. Everybody knows who this thug is. No wonder Portland is going to hell! @TheJusticeDept @FBI”
Reinoehl regularly posted photos and videos of protests on social media in June and early July, including one of people chanting “F**k Trump” as someone burned a Trump 2020 flag.
And in the months leading up to Saturday’s fatal shooting of 39-year-old Danielson, Reinoehl had at least two run-ins with the law.
At a July 5 protest, Reinoehl was cited for possessing a loaded handgun in a public place, interfering with police, and resisting arrest. Police said they seized a Walther PPQ semi-automatic pistol as evidence. In a statement, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office said the incident remains under investigation and that “we have neither rejected nor declined prosecution on this case.”
A month earlier, Reinoehl and his son, 17, were arrested in Baker County, Oregon, just before 1 a.m., according to Oregon State Police records. The two were stopped by an Oregon state trooper and a county sheriff’s deputy on June 8 for driving over 100 miles an hour in separate cars in Interstate 84, which runs east from Portland, the records state.
Reinoehl was charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a firearm (a loaded Glock pistol), driving while suspended, recklessly endangering another person (his daughter, who was a passenger in his car), and reckless driving. Reinoehl’s son was arrested on DUI and a gun charge.
The cases remain active, state police said. Baker County Circuit Court officials said that Reinoehl is wanted for failure to appear for arraignment on those charges. Neither Reinoehl nor his son, nor any legal representative, could be reached for comment on the charges.
Suspect blamed the violence on people opposed to protests
On social media, meanwhile, Reinoehl posted comments that vacillated between rejecting violence and embracing the use of force. He called the months of protests against police violence in Portland a fight for his country and said, “now is the time to change the course of humanity.”
Reinoehl described being involved in a prior clash with counter-protesters in a video interview with Bloomberg Quick Take News posted July 27, though the incident hasn’t been verified by CNN.
In that video, he blamed the violence on people opposed to the protests,…