Michael Forest Reinoehl, the suspect in the murder of Trump supporter Aaron “Jay” Danielson in Portland, was killed in a shootout with US Marshals on Thursday evening following an interview with VICE Magazine.
An arrest warrant was issued for the 48-year-old Portland militant, who wrote on social media that he was “100% ANTIFA” and attended multiple violent riots in the city of Portland alongside other anarchists and proponents of the Black Lives Matter movement who have been protesting in the city and its surrounding suburbs for almost a hundred days. Reinoehl had a Black Lives Matter fist tattooed prominently on his neck, which his sister said was new.
In his interview with VICE, Reinoehl admitted that he shot and killed Danielson in self-defense, claiming that the Trump supporter and his friend, who survived the shooting, were intending to murder black people.
“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,” he said. There is no evidence that Danielson, who was unarmed, intended to commit violence when a convoy of Trump supporters drove through the city.
In a viral video, an individual who was later identified to be Reinoehl can be seen confronting Danielson and his friend before shooting the victim. One person can be heard shouting “We’ve got a couple right here” an instant before two shots are fired, one of which struck and killed Danielson.
He expressed no regrets for killing Danielson, stating his belief that he was preventing others from being killed. “If the life of anybody I care about is in danger, and there's something I can do to prevent it … I think that any good human being would do the same thing,” he said.
Reinoehl behaved erratically throughout the interview, expressing his unfounded belief that he was being “hunted” by right-wingers.
“They're out hunting me,” he said. “There's nightly posts of the hunt and where they're going to be hunting. They made a post saying the deer are going to feel lucky this year because it's open season on Michael right now.”
Reinoehl refused to turn himself in, expressing a belief that right-wing protesters were collaborating with the police.
Speaking to OPB, Reinoehl’s sister said that she identified her brother to Portland police after they asked for her help in locating him. She told them that he was estranged from her family. She described him as erratic and self-destructive.
"I do know he has a temper, and I do know he acts very badly to being provoked," Reinoehl's sister said.
After a warrant was put out for his arrest on Thursday, police officers located his whereabouts and were trying to apprehend Reinoehl, who was reportedly armed with a handgun. He is believed to have fired his weapon at an unmarked police vehicle before officers returned fire, killing him.
"The suspect came out to the car. They attempted to put him into custody and shots were fired," said Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer. Four officers who were acting in the capacity of US Marshals fired upon Reinoehl, who was later pronounced dead at the scene. Per law enforcement sources who spoke to OANN, the former fugitive was being harbored by Antifa allies in Antifa near Lacey, WA.