Suspect in Trump Supporter Execution Had Been Arrested for Allegedly Taking a Gun to Earlier Riot


The slaying of a man linked to a pro-Trump rally Saturday in Portland, Oregon, might have been prevented had the city’s leaders chosen to prosecute rioters and followed their own gun laws, according to reports.

After more than 90 consecutive nights of protesting and rioting, Portland has become a haven for leftist activists to hash out their grievances in the streets of the city.

Since May 25, the day George Floyd died, mobs of leftist agitators half a country away from Minneapolis have set fires, attacked local and federal officers and defaced public property in Oregon’s largest city.

On Saturday, a group of supporters of President Donald Trump decided to make their presence known in the city.

One of them, a man identified by the group Patriot Prayer as Aaron “Jay” Danielson, was shot and killed on a street in downtown Portland, KATU-TV reported.

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The group identified Danielson as the victim on Sunday and tweeted a GoFundMe page to help Danielson’s family. As of Monday, it has over $30,000 of its $25,000 goal.

A man named Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48, is a suspect in the killing of Danielson, The Oregonian reported.

But Reinoehl had an earlier run-in with Portland police that was highly publicized, according to a report from Andy Ngo writing in The Post Millennial.

Reinoehl was arrested in July for bringing a loaded gun and a knife to a riot on the night of July 4, Ngo reported.

In a July 5 news release, the Portland Police Bureau reported a man was arrested during the dispersal of the riot.

“During the dispersal, numerous business windows were shattered by members of the crowd. Officers made several arrests, including one at Southwest Main Street and Broadway where a male fought with officers. Officers were able to get him in custody and recovered an illegally possessed loaded firearm and a knife,” police said at the time.

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Police shared a photo of the arrest on Twitter:

“Officers arrested a male at SW Broadway and Main St. who had a loaded firearm on his person. He fought with [officers] during the arrest,” the police Twitter account reported.

According to Ngo, the man in the photo is Reinoehl, who wasn’t charged as part of the city’s blanket decision to not prosecute rioters.

“The man being investigated by police in the fatal shooting of a Trump supporter in Portland identifies as Antifa and is an ardent Black Lives Matter supporter,” Ngo wrote.

“Michael Forest Reinoehl was previously arrested at an Antifa riot in July and charged with illegally possessing a loaded firearm and other crimes. He was let go and the charges were never pursued.”

Indeed, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced just three weeks ago, on Aug. 11, that protesters who had recently been arrested in the city would not be prosecuted.

“As prosecutors, we acknowledge the depth of emotion that motivates these demonstrations and support those who are civically engaged through peaceful protesting,” Schmidt said of the decision, The Oregonian reported.

“We will undermine public safety, not promote it, if we do not take action to bring about immediate change,” the DA added.

Less than three weeks after reportedly being cleared for allegedly bringing a loaded gun and a knife to a violent riot, Reinoehl has become a suspect in the investigation of Danielson’s shooting death.

It’s a tragic outcome and one that, if reports are true, could have been avoided.

Portland’s leaders might be among the worst in the country; that much is established.

But the decision by the city’s very liberal leadership to selectively enforce their own gun control ordinances for people suspected of partaking in violent behavior is yet another stain on Portland’s terrible record regarding protecting its citizens from mayhem.

In Portland, it is illegal to possess a loaded firearm without a permit.

Police, in their news briefing, said the firearm was illegal.

Rather than being jailed or otherwise facing consequences for being arrested in possession of a firearm while allegedly rioting, Reinoehl was back on the street with no charges when Danielson was shot and killed.

There is a strong argument to be made that city officials are culpable in such a death, as — if reports are accurate — they essentially placed a criminal in a consequence-free environment in which he could again break the city’s liberal gun control laws during another riot.

While Oregon is an open-carry state, Portland does not allow the possession of any loaded firearm within city limits outside of the home unless the carrier holds a permit.

The Oregonian reported in 2019 that violations of Portland’s gun ordinances can carry a $500 fine and up to six months in jail — meaning if city leaders had chosen to prosecute rioters, the man now linked to Danielson’s shooting death may have been locked up at the time of the shooting.

But Reinoehl, according to the newspaper, was already wanted on another warrant for an earlier incident in June in which he allegedly was caught driving with a minor going 111 mph with a firearm and drugs in his possession.

The man, who identifies as a member of the leftist collective antifa and the group Black Lives Matter, was under the influence in that arrest, per the report.

Reinoehl had been arrested twice within 30 days on firearms charges, and yet he was out on the street when he was suspected of being involved in the apparent execution of a Trump supporter.

Do you think Portland's leaders are culpable in the reported execution of a Trump supporter?

While the investigation into the killing is ongoing and Reinoehl has only been identified as a suspect, the tragic saga is another reminder of how ineffectual the leadership in Rip City has become.

Portland’s leadership has failed citizens every night since May.

Saturday, it appears they failed not only Danielson but also every other person in the city by unleashing a reported repeat gun offender onto citizens.

Whether you agree or disagree with gun control laws, the city enacted them and did not enforce them for the suspect in Danielson’s slaying — meaning Portland left everyone in the city defenseless, with the exception of those who chose to ignore the gun control ordinance.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.