An Antifa protester suspected in the shooting death of a supporter of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer in Portland, Oregon has been killed by US Marshals after he ‘opened fire with an assault rifle’ as police tried to arrest him.
Michael Reinoehl, 48, was killed as a federal task force attempted to apprehend him in Lacey, Washington, a senior Justice Department official said. Reinoehl was the prime suspect in the killing of Aaron ‘Jay’ Danielson, 39, who was shot in the chest Saturday night, the official said.
Federal agents from the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service had located Reinoehl on Thursday after a warrant was issued for his arrest. During the encounter, Reinoehl was shot by at least one law enforcement officer who was working on the federal task force, the official said.
The official said Reinoehl had pulled a gun during the encounter and was shot by law enforcement. Authorities are yet to confirm whether he fired the weapon.
Witnesses who said they were just 150ft away from the gunman told the Olympian they heard 40 or 50 shots from what they believe was a semi-automatic before officers shot him dead.
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Michael Reinoehl, 48, (left) was killed by police on Thursday as a federal task force attempted to apprehend him on a warrant for the homicide of Aaron ‘Jay’ Danielson, 39 (right)
Officers are seen attempting in vain to render life-saving aid after the confrontation around 7pm on Thursday in Lacey, Washington that left Reinoehl dead
Officials work at a scene in Lacey, Washington late Thursday, where a man suspected of fatally shooting a supporter of a right-wing group in Portland was killed by police
A car with shattered windows and likely bullet holes stands in the area where Reinoehl died in the confrontation with police. Cops say he ran from an apartment armed with a gun
The U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task forces, comprised of deputy marshals, other federal agents and loca law enforcement officers from a variety of agencies, are responsible for apprehending violent felons and other wanted suspects.
Local officials confirmed that Reinoehl was killed at around 7pm on Thursday in the 7600 block of 3rd Way Southeast in Tanglewilde, a small community outside of Lacey about 55 miles southwest of Seattle.
A fugitive apprehension team was in the area looking for a wanted homicide suspect when they saw the suspect, who appeared to be armed, coming out of an apartment, Thurston County Sheriff’s Lt. Ray Brady told The Olympian.
The suspect made it inside a vehicle at the apartment complex when shots were fired, Brady said. Witnesses reported hearing 40 to 50 shots.
Witnesses say that Reinoehl exited an SUV after he was blocked from fleeing, and opened fire on police with a semi-automatic rifle.
Police would not immediately confirm whether Reinoehl had fired his weapon, but said that no officers were injured in the confrontation.
Police walk past evidence markers at the scene where Michael Reinoehl was killed
Michael Reinoehl, 48, was killed as a federal task force attempted to apprehend him in Lacey, a senior Justice Department official said. Reinoehl was the prime suspect in the killing of 39-year-old Aaron ‘Jay’ Danielson, who was shot in the chest Saturday night
What appears to be a body is seen as officers work the scene of the fatal confrontation
Brady confirmed that four officers fired their weapons. He said the officers were from the Department of Corrections, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office and Lakewood Police.
Reinoehl’s death came on same day that he appeared to confess to shooting Danielson in an video interview, claiming that he acted in self-defense.
‘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,’ Michael Reinoehl, 48, said in a clip of a video interview published by Vice News on Thursday.
Reinoehl did not say outright that he shot Danielson in the fragment of video shown by Vice News before the full interview is aired on Thursday night, but did say his actions that night were in self-defense.
On the same day a warrant was issued for his arrest, Vice News published this interview with Reinoehl, in which he admitted his role in the shooting death of Danielson
The victim of Saturday night’s shooting in Portland was Aaron ‘Jay’ Danielson. He was a member of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer and also used the last name Bishop
Police arrived on the scene ‘within a minute’ of when gunshots rang out. The victim, later identified as Danielson, is seen wearing a hat with the insignia of Patriot Prayer
Vice News reported that Reinoehl said he feared he and his friend would be stabbed, but he did not elaborate on this claim.
However, Chandler Pappas, a friend of Danielson who was standing next to him when he was killed, has blasted Reinoehl’s statements, saying that there was no confrontation or provocation prior to the shooting.
‘I know they will not produce anything to corroborate that story whatsoever,’ Pappas said of Reinoehl’s claims.
‘They came up behind us, they shot my friend and killed him,’ Pappas said in an interview with Fox News on Thursday.
‘When they started yelling at us, we turned around. I didn’t even have time to register that someone was pointing a gun at us before those shots went off,’ Pappas said.
Pappas identified the shooter as ‘a white guy’ and noted: ‘He was the only person downtown that night, other than myself, who was wearing a white shirt.’
Danielson’s friend Chandler Pappas (right) said in a separate interview that the shooting occurred from behind and without provocation
Danielson is treated by medics after being shot Saturday in Portland, Oregon. Fights broke out in downtown Portland as a large caravan of supporters of Trump drove through the city
Police are seen holding back Chandler Pappas as medics attempt to revive his friend
Pappas said that he was not armed during the incident. He said that a cloud of smoke seen in bystander video of the shooting is from a can of bear mace that Danielson was carrying, which he says was punctured by one of the bullets.
The bystander video of the shooting appears to show Danielson and Pappas crossing the street toward a parking garage, before someone shouts ‘We got another here!’
Another person is heard asking ‘Here?’ immediately before two shots ring out.
Pappas said that no words were exchanged before the shots were fired. He said all he heard before the shots were words to the effect of ‘we got a couple right here’ and someone shouting ‘pull it out.’
The shooting occurred after a day of tense clashes between Trump supporters and far-left groups in Portland, with activists seen trying to block a vehicles of the Trump supporters and throwing objects at them, and Trump supporters spraying mace and firing a paintball gun from vehicles.
Pappas and Danielson had participated in the pro-Trump rally, and Pappas said they were returning home when Danielson was killed.
Reinoehl emerged as a suspect in the case after The Oregonian newspaper reported he was under investigation in the killing.
Reinoehl, who declared himself ‘100% Antifa’, was active in Black Lives Matter demonstrations against racism and police brutality in Portland that have gone on for nearly 100 days, according to messages and videos on his Instagram feed.
Antifa is a far-left movement that is anti-capitalist, and which seeks to confront those it views as racist or authoritarian.
Reinoehl said in posts on Facebook and Instagram he was a professional snowboarder and a U.S. Army veteran and was prepared to fight ‘to change the course of humanity.’
However, a US Army spokesperson told DailyMail.com they searched their service records for a 48-year-old Michael Forest Reinoehl and were ‘unable to locate this individual in our database.’
The Stolen Valor Act of 2013 states it is a federal crime to fraudulently claim military service in order to get money or any other kind of benefit.
In the Vice interview, Reinoehl said that he is a ‘former military contractor’ who provided ‘security’ for Black Lives Matter protests.
‘I am 100% ANTIFA,’ Reinoehl said in a June 16 post, using the term for the anti-fascist movement.
‘We truly have an opportunity right now to fix everything. But it will be a fight like no other! It will be a war and like all wars there will be casualties.’
His Facebook page says he is from Gresham, Oregon, a community around 15 miles east of Portland.
Michael Reinoehl (above) was the prime suspect in the killing of Aaron ‘Jay’ Danielson, a member of Patriot Prayer who was shot to death at a protest
Reinoehl is seen left displaying a bruise from a rubber bullet and right snowboarding
In this post, from June 16, he claimed to have served in the army and ‘hated it’. He also wrote he was 100% ‘ANTIFA’ and says ‘We do not want violence but we will not run from it either’
Reinoehl had been previously accused of taking a loaded gun to an earlier Portland protest and social media posts show him attending Black Lives Matter protests.
And the 48-year-old former professional snowboarder has had several previous run-ins with the police.
In June, he was charged for allegedly racing with his 17-year-old son at speeds of up to 111mph on Interstate 84 with his 11-year-old daughter in the passenger seat.
Police said they found ‘usable amounts of marijuana and unidentified prescription pills’ in Reinoehl’s 2005 Cadillac STS and a loaded, concealed Glock pistol.
The father of two was charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Reinoehl also was wanted on a bench warrant out of Baker County in Eastern Oregon in connection with that case, after court records showed he skipped a hearing.
The full video of Reinoehl’s interview with Vice News was published less than an hour after his death.
‘I hate to say it, but I see a civil war right around the corner,’ he said in the interview. ‘That shot felt like the beginning of a war.’