The Antifa member under investigation for shooting dead a Trump supporter in Portland was abusive to his mother and stole from his family, his sister claimed to DailyMail.com.
April Reinoehl, 36, believes the man caught on camera in a shooting in the downtown area of the riot-torn Oregon city was her brother, Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48 – and even identified him to local police.
In an interview at her Oregon home, April told DailyMail.com her brother had been estranged from their family for three years after stealing medication from their mother who has dementia.
For years he would verbally abuse and bring their mother to tears, manipulating her into giving him what little spare money the single, retired teaching assistant had, April claimed.
April said the morning after Saturday’s shooting where Aaron ‘Jay’ Danielson, 39, was killed, she received death threats and more than 60 threatening phone calls and messages. Some were from members of Patriot Prayer, the right wing group Danielson had joined in a protest that weekend.
Michael Forest Reinoehl, the Antifa member under investigation for shooting dead a Trump supporter in Portland, was abusive to his mother and stole from his family, his sister claimed to DailyMail.com
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
His sister April Reinoehl, 36, believes the man caught on camera in a shooting in the downtown area of the riot-torn Oregon city was her brother – and even identified him to local police. This is one of the videos that was circulating on social media from Saturday’s shooting. It’s unclear if this is the image Reinoehl’s sister April had seen
In an interview at her Oregon home, April (pictured) told DailyMail.com her brother had been estranged from their family for three years after stealing medication from their mother who has dementia
She explained: ‘At 7.50am I got woken up by a phone call from somebody who thought I was my mom.
‘They named our address, and said “Your brother is a murderer and we know you’re hiding him. If you don’t turn him over to the police bad things will happen. Your whole family is in danger.”
‘My mom has dementia and stress-induced seizures. This could have literally killed her if they had found her.
‘When I tried to reason with them they kept shouting, screaming the same thing until I hung up on them.
‘Then Facebook got attacked. I got contacted in messenger and we started getting texts. My husband got targeted,’ April said. ‘One message said “Patriot Prayer says hello,” with a picture of me sent to my husband. It was very threatening.’
The distraught sister of Reinoehl said in the past few years her brother had been in a ‘downward spiral’, racking up debts after leeching off her family for decades when he stopped making money from his professional snowboarding career.
‘He’s a lot older than me,’ she said. ‘He was this nebulous figure who popped in and out of our lives, usually demanding money from our mom, and if she didn’t have it he’d guilt her until she did – not that she had money to give.
‘We were a poor family growing up. But she always gave to him.’
The younger sister said that aged 12 she made the mistake of lending Michael her grandmother’s inheritance, only to see the money vanish.
‘I would describe him as a jerk, verbally cruel sometimes when he’s not getting his way,’ she said.
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, a right-wing group whose members have frequently clashed with protesters in Portland in the past
Portland police hold back a man who was friends with Danielson, the victim of Saturday night’s fatal shooting, minutes after the incident
‘I eventually gave up trying because I saw this pattern that he only reaches out to us when he wants something from us – either “watch my kids for free”, “give me money”, or telling us he should inherit the family property.
‘He said “I’ll look after the property and take care of mom, you should leave.” This is the same guy who only ever talks to her when he wants something from her, makes her cry if she can’t give it to him by guilting her, shaming her. Every kind of bullying and abusive tactic he could think of, that’s what he would do with her.’
April told DailyMail.com that Michael still asked his mother for a slice of her modest pension even when he was enjoying a successful career as a professional snowboarder – and that he went into a downward spiral when that career ended.
‘For a while he succeeded, he was a pretty big name in the snowboarding world,’ she said. ‘I believe he became very depressed after that life went away.
‘And it didn’t matter how much money he was making, he always needed more from mom, who made almost nothing.
‘He got into huge debt. He used our address and phone number for the purposes of avoiding collectors. My husband had to explain to somebody on more than one occasion that he was not Michael and to not take his car.’
April said that soon after he went into debt, Michael’s marriage ended in a ‘gruesome’ divorce that upended his children’s lives.
‘His relationship with his wife took a swan dive. There was a massive, brutal custody battle between the two of them. Every kind of nastiness that could happen between both sides, did.’
The distraught sister of Reinoehl (left and right) said in the past few years her brother had been in a ‘downward spiral’, racking up debts after leeching off her family for decades when he stopped making money from his professional snowboarding career
Michael Reinoehl with son. Said his sister: ‘His relationship with his wife took a swan dive. There was a massive, brutal custody battle between the two of them. Every kind of nastiness that could happen between both sides, did’
A young Michael in 1980 salutes when he was a Boy Scout
Michael still shares custody of his children. In June he and his 17-year-old son were charged with DUIs after allegedly racing at 111mph on the highway.
April said she cut him out of her family’s life in 2017 when they found he had been stealing their mother’s medication.
‘The only reason I hadn’t written him off more than three years ago is because I knew it would break her heart to know her children were that estranged,’ she said.
‘His behavior became even more verbally violent when he found out he wasn’t getting any more from mom.’
April added she had never known her brother to be physically violent, and did not know if he owned a gun.
The younger sister said after she reported death threats to police, detectives called her and asked her if the man caught on camera was Michael. She told them that after seeing stills from the video, including pictures of a distinctive tattoo on his neck, she believed it was him.
‘It’s been confirmed that he did get that ridiculous tattoo. Does he have any brain cells at all? That’s such an easily identifiable thing. How are you going to say “It’s not me in those pictures.”’ she said.
April added she was worried her brother would ill-advisedly demand to represent himself in court if he was charged with murder, but said she hoped that for his own safety, police would get him into custody.
Breathing heavily and trying not to cry, April apologized to the victim’s family for her brother’s alleged actions. ‘To the family of Aaron Danielson, I am so, so sorry this happened to you. He didn’t deserve this, nobody does,’ she said
In this post, from June 16, he claims to be 100% ‘ANTIFA’ and says ‘We do not want violence but we will not run from it either’
Reinoehl has been sharing photos and videos from the riots since they began. Above, a post in July
‘He’s always tried to defend himself in court for anything that’s happened. I don’t know if he’ll accept a court-appointed lawyer or not,’ she said. ‘The internet has already judged him guilty.
‘With the amount of vigilante violence, if he is in custody, and I’m guessing he must be, he’s safer there.
‘If they had any way of finding and getting to him, they’re going to take justice into their own hands.
‘There’s a lot of people who want a war here right now.’
Breathing heavily and trying not to cry, April apologized to the victim’s family for her brother’s alleged actions.
‘To the family of Aaron Danielson, I am so, so sorry this happened to you. He didn’t deserve this, nobody does,’ she said.
Before the shooting, her brother had tweeted that he was a member of the left-wing anarchist group Antifa and said he was willing to engage in violence. But April appealed for dialogue rather than violence between Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter activists.
‘I don’t think the two sides are that different. They’re all angry, scared, disillusioned people looking for a way to fix the problem, and they’re letting their emotions dictate their actions,’ she said.
‘The enemy isn’t the left or the right, the enemy is violence itself. The only way to beat that is to stop yourself letting your emotions dictate how you act, choosing rationality, compassion and understanding.’