An antifa supporter wanted in connection with the murder of a Trump supporter in Portland, Oregon, was killed Thursday during a showdown with federal authorities in Washington state.
Officials said Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48, was shot by members of a federally led task force in Lacey.
Lt. Ray Brady of the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office said the shooting took place after Reinoehl — wanted in the killing of Patriot Prayer member Aaron Danielson on Saturday — left an apartment and got into a vehicle.
“As they attempted to apprehend him, there was gunfire,” he said, according to The New York Times. Brady said four officers fired their weapons.
Officers at the scene said Reinoehl was armed, Brady said.
“The suspect came out to the car. They attempted to put him into custody and shots were fired,” Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said, according to The Olympian.
A statement from the U.S. Marshals Service summed up the incident this way, according to NBC News: “The fugitive task force located Reinoehl in Olympia and attempted to peacefully arrest him. 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.”
Portland police had issued an arrest warrant on Thursday for Reinoehl in connection with Danielson’s killing, which took place as supporters of President Donald Trump and other opponents of the antifa-led protests that have ravaged Portland staged a rally in the city.
Chad Smith, 29, who witnessed Reinoehl’s shooting, said he estimated gunfire lasted for a minute and a half, The Times reported.
He said he a man walking backward holding what he believed to be a gun as police shot at him.
Jashon Spencer, who lives near the place where the gunfire took place, said he heard “a whole bunch of pops. I ducked. I thought they were shooting in my yard.”
By the time he arrived, police were attempting CPR on Reinoehl.
Reinoehl had never made a secret of his support for antifa.
“I am 100% ANTIFA all the way!” he posted on Instagram in June. “I am willing to fight for my brothers and sisters! Even if some of them are too ignorant to realize what antifa truly stands for. We do not want violence but we will not run from it either!”
Reinoehl admitted to killing Danielson in an interview this week with Vice.
“You know, lots of lawyers suggest that I shouldn’t even be saying anything, but I feel it’s important that the world at least gets a little bit of what’s really going on,” Reinoehl 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.”
“Honestly, I hate to say it, but I see a civil war right around the corner. That that shot felt like the beginning of a war.” https://t.co/TAnhyKYJIF
— VICE News (@VICENews) September 4, 2020
Reinoehl claimed he was threatened.
“Had I stepped forward, he would have maced or stabbed me,” he said.
After the shooting, Reinoehl said, “I was confident that I did not hit anyone innocent and I made my exit.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.