Attorney General William Barr commended federal agents on Friday for tracking down Michael Reinoehl, the antifa member wanted for allegedly murdering a Trump supporter at a protest in Portland last weekend.
A member of a federal fugitive task force fatally shot Reinoehl while attempting to detain him in Lacey, Washington, on Thursday.
“The streets of our cities are safer with this violent agitator removed, and the actions that led to his location are an unmistakable demonstration that the United States will be governed by law, not violent mobs,” Barr said.
Reinoehl was wanted in connection with the fatal shooting last Saturday of Aaron “Jay” Danielson, a member of the conservative group Patriot Prayer. Video footage of the incident showed that a gunman fired two shots at Danielson, 39.
Reinoehl was identified as the possible gunman on Sunday, but the Multnomah District Attorney’s office did not issue a warrant for his arrest until Thursday.
VICE News conducted an interview with Reinoehl that aired moments before The New York Times reported that he had been killed.
Reinoehl did not directly admit in the interview to shooting Danielson, but he said, “I was confident that I didn’t hit anyone innocent.”
Reinoehl suggested that he opened fire on Danielson to defend one of his friends, saying, “I could have sat there and watched them kill a friend of mine of color. But I wasn’t going to do that.”
Reinoehl said that the shooting may be the beginning of a civil war.
Portland police have not released any evidence suggesting that Danielson threatened Reinoehl or any other antifa protesters.
Barr said that Reinoehl pulled a firearm on Thursday as members of a federal task force attempted to arrest him.
“The tracking down of Reinoehl — a dangerous fugitive, admitted antifa member, and suspected murderer — is a significant accomplishment in the ongoing effort to restore law and order to Portland and other cities,” Barr said.
Reinoehl had a lengthy criminal history and had described himself as a supporter of antifa, a loosely organized and often violent left-wing group.
Reinoehl wrote in an Instagram post on June 16 that he was “100% ANTIFA.” He also wrote on the social media site that he expected casualties at protests.
Reinoehl had two separate illegal gun possession charges pending against him at the time of his death.
Police found him with a loaded handgun on June 8 after he was pulled over driving 111 mph. Portland police issued him a citation on July 5 after he was found with a loaded gun at a protest in the city.
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