Michael Forest Reinoehl, the Portland protester under investigation in the fatal shooting of Aaron Danielson last weekend, was shot and killed by federal law enforcement in Lacey, Washington late Thursday evening, hours after an exclusive interview with the suspect aired on Vice News in which he claimed that he acted in self-defense.
According to press accounts, a warrant for Reinoehl’s arrested was issued Thursday, but when a task force comprised of FBI agents and U.S. Marshals along with the Lakewood Police Department, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and the Washington State Department of Corrections.closed in on the suspect, Reinoehl allegedly pulled a gun.
Minutes after the Times report about Reinoehl’s death was first published, President Donald Trump tweeted at the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation, calling for a quick arrest of the man who killed Danielson.
“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!” Trump tweeted.
The New York Times spoke to witnesses to the attempted arrest, with at least one witnessing Reinoehl carrying what looked like a firearm.
Chad Smith, 29, who lives next door to the apartment where the shooting occurred, said he was standing outside at about 6:45 p.m. when he saw two S.U.V.s race toward the complex. He heard about a minute and a half of gunshots, he said, then saw a man walking backward next to a white pickup truck, holding what appeared to be a gun, and officers firing in his direction.
Trevor Brown, 24, who lives in a townhouse nearby, said he heard several shots fired and saw as many as four police officers in the road, who fired three or four times. He said he then saw Mr. Reinoehl lying on the ground.
Just a few hours before authorities closed in on Reinoehl, Vice aired an interview with the 48-year old Antifa supporter, where he told a freelance journalist that he believed he and a friend were about to be stabbed, which is why he pulled his gun and fired. That doesn’t jibe with the video evidence of Danielson’s death, which the New York Times laid out just a couple of days ago. Here’s how they describe the moments leading up to the shooting.
The man in white and another man dressed in black can be seen crossing the street, apparently to confront Mr. Danielson and Mr. Pappas.
There is shouting that is hard to hear on Mr. Dunlap’s livestream, but in a second video filmed by Nathan Millsap, a Portland videographer, the audio is clearer.
A man, who Mr. Pappas later contends is the gunman, shouts: “Hey, we got some right here. We got a couple right here.”
Another man says, “He’s macing you, he’s pulling it out.”
The sound of spraying is audible, followed immediately by two gunshots.
Mr. Dunlap captures the shooting on his livestream. Mr. Danielson can be seen raising his arm and beginning to spray a pepper spray-like substance, followed almost immediately by the gunshots. The man in white backs away with his arm raised and then runs, along with the man dressed in black.
No mention of any knife, and both videos show that the shots were fired after Danielson used what appears to be pepper spray or mace on the two men who’d approached him.
Reinoehl, was previously arrested on charges of possessing a loaded gun in a public place, resisting arrest and interfering with police back on July 5th, but the charges were later dropped days before Multnomah County D.A. Mike Schmidt, who’s said his office won’t prosecute most people arrested during the ongoing protests, took office. The previous month, Reinoehl was arrested on several charges after racing his 17-year old son down an interstate in rural Oregon.
Reinoehl is also wanted on a failure to appear warrant in a June 8 speed racing case in Baker County in eastern Oregon. He and his 17-year-old son were racing in two different cars at speeds of up to 111 mph heading east on Interstate 84 after midnight near North Powder, according to state police.
Michael Reinoehl faces allegations including driving under the influence of a controlled substance, recklessly endangering another, unlawful possession of a gun and driving while suspended and uninsured.
He was stopped driving a 2005 Cadillac STS with his 11-year-old daughter as a passenger, police said. Inside the car, police said they found marijuana, “unidentified prescription pills” and a loaded Glock pistol for which Reinoehl didn’t have a concealed handgun license.
I have a feeling that Antifa is going to try to turn Reinoehl into a martyr for the cause. As word of his death spread among the activists and agitators in Portland Thursday evening, several hundred crowded in front of a police station “chanting racial justice slogans,” according to the Times. As the news sinks in, I suspect that some on the Left are going to want to do more than chant. If I were Oregon Governor Kate Brown, I’d be calling out the National Guard now to get ahead of what could be a very violent Friday night in Portland.