Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48, a self-described Antifa member who said he acted in self-defense the night a Trump supporter was shot and killed in Portland, Ore. on Saturday, was killed after he pulled a gun on federal law enforcement officers attempting to arrest him Thursday night in Lacey, Wash.
Reinoehl was a suspect in the shooting of 39-year-old Trump supporter Aaron “Jay” Danielson, who was killed after a pro-Trump event in Portland on Saturday night. The Associated Press reported FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service had tracked down Reinoehl’s location to Lacey, about 120 miles north of Portland. The federal officers were attempting to serve a warrant on Reinoehl but fired on Reinoehl after he pulled a gun, and killed him.
In a statement provided to the AP, a U.S. Marshals said, “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 Wall Street Journal reported Reinoehl described himself in June on social media as “100% ANTIFA all the way!” and said, “I am willing to fight for my brothers and sisters!”
Following the Saturday shooting, Reinoehl was reportedly considered a suspect and was under investigation, but not arrested earlier by authorities. On Thursday, Vice published an interview with Reinoehl in which he described the shooting incident in Portland in what he claims was an effort to defend a friend he believes was about to be attacked.
“I was confident that I did not hit anyone innocent and I made my exit,” Reinoehl told Vice.
Reinoehl said he was advised by lawyers not to talk about the incident but said a lawyer told him he had a “viable case for self defense” and said, “I had no choice. I mean, I, 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.”
Video of the shooting incident appears to show Reinoehl, dressed in white, walking across a street where a pair of Trump supporters are walking.
From the audio, it sounds as though someone says “we’ve got a couple right here” moments before the man in white turns and fires two shots, striking Danielson in the chest. After firing the shots, the man in white turns and runs away.
Reinoehl also told Vice “Honestly, I hate to say it, but I see a civil war right around the corner,” and said the shots he fired “felt like the beginning of a war.”
Reinoehl was reportedly cited during past protest incidents. On July 5, he was cited for possessing a loaded gun in a public place, resisting arrest and interfering with police. He was given a July 30 court date, but the charges were dropped with the court orders declaring “no complaint.” Court documents, reported by the Oregonian, did not say why the charges were dropped.
In another incident on July 26, Reinoehl was reportedly shot by a man named Aaron Scott Collins after a scuffle in Portland. Collins said he and a friend were just leaving a bar when they saw a group harassing an older Black man. When they attempted to intervene, the group turned its attention towards Collins and his friend, calling them Nazis, and as the situation turned violent Collins reportedly pulled a gun a fired a shot that grazed Reinoehl on the elbow.