LACEY, Wash. (NewsNation Now) — A man suspected of fatally shooting a protester in Portland, Oregon last week was killed Thursday as investigators moved in to arrest him near Olympia, Washington, NewsNation has confirmed.
Michael Reinoehl, 48, was killed as a federal task force attempted to take him into custody on a charge of murder, the U.S. Marshals Service said in a statement. The agency said he had a gun and threatened the lives of the officers.
Earlier in the week, police said a suspect shot 39-year-old Aaron “Jay” Danielson in the chest Saturday. That person is now identified as Reinoehl, who was wanted by Multnomah County Circuit Court in Oregon on a charge of murder, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.
Danielson was a member of the Patriot Prayer Group, which describes its mission as “fighting corruption, big government and tyranny.” The conservative group of Trump supporters had been in Portland over the weekend for a counter-protest.
Federal agents from the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service had located Reinoehl Thursday evening in Lacey, Washington, an hour southwest of Seattle, NewsNation affiliate KOIN-TV reported. During the encounter, Reinoehl was shot by a law enforcement officer who was working on the federal task force, a U.S. Marshals Service spokesperson confirmed to NewsNation.
“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,” the federal agency said in a statement.
The U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task forces, comprised of deputy marshals, other federal agents and local law enforcement officers from a variety of agencies, are responsible for apprehending violent felons and other wanted suspects. Three members of the task force were involved in the shooting. Their names were not released.
The agency said the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office in Washington will lead the shooting investigation.
Reinoehl had described himself in a social media post as “100% ANTIFA,” suggested the tactics of counter-protesters amounted to “warfare,” and had been shot at one protest and cited for having a gun at another, The Associated Press reported. He had been a regular presence at demonstrations in Portland.
Antifa is shorthand for anti-fascists, which is considered an umbrella description for the far-left militant groups that resist neo-Nazis and white supremacists at demonstrations and other events, according to The Associated Press.
Police on July 5 cited Reinoehl on allegations of possessing a loaded gun in a public place, resisting arrest and interfering with police.
On July 26, Reinoehl was shot near his elbow after he got involved in a scuffle between an armed white man and a group of young people of color.
Reinoehl later that day spoke to an AP videographer. His arm was wrapped in a bloody bandage; he said he was on his way to meet protest medics so they could change it.
He said he didn’t know what had started the altercation, but that several people had decided to intervene when they saw a fight with minors.
“As soon as the adults jumped in, he pulled out a gun,” Reinoehl said. “I jumped in there and pulled the gun away from people’s heads, avoided being shot in the stomach and I got shot in the arm.”
Reinoehl also was wanted on a warrant out of Baker County in Eastern Oregon, where court records show he skipped a hearing related to a June case in which he has been charged with driving under the influence of controlled substances, reckless driving, reckless endangerment and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Police said he drove on an interstate at up to 111 mph, with his daughter in the car, while racing his 17-year-old son, who was in a different vehicle.
On Tuesday, Danielson’s business partner spoke to reporters.
“He was a proud American and a proud Portlander, who absolutely loved this community and the people in it,” Luke Carillo said. “We, his friends and his family, have seen multiple false reports calling Jay everything from a radical to a racist and a fascist. Aaron Jay Danielson was not a radical, he was not a racist and he was not a fascist. He was not an inciter or an instigator. He was a freedom-loving American who died expressing his beliefs, a right which is guaranteed to all of us through the constitution.”
Protests have been taking place daily in the Pacific Northwest city since the killing of George Floyd.
With demonstrations and riots in Portland nearing the 100-day mark, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and other Democratic leaders on Thursday called for an end to violence even as federal agents were continuing to arrest protesters who allegedly assaulted law enforcement officers.
“The violence must stop,” Brown wrote. “There is no place for white supremacy or vigilantism in Oregon. All who perpetrate violent crimes must be held equally accountable.”
The statement does not single out any group, but Brown’s spokesman, Charles Boyle, said it “is a collective call to action for an end to violence in Portland and affirms that those who commit violent acts must be held accountable.”
Brown’s condemnation of violence was also signed by almost two-dozen state and local politicians, a host of organizations including the local NAACP chapter, and the city’s professional sports teams: the Trailblazers NBA team, the Timbers soccer team and the Thorns women’s soccer squad.
Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell has denounced protesters who broke windows and set a fire this week to a business in the upscale apartment building where Mayor Ted Wheeler lives. Protesters are angry that Wheeler has not stopped officers from using batons and tear gas against Black Lives Matter protesters. Wheeler now reportedly plans to move out of the building.
As of a week ago, 74 people were facing federal charges for crimes allegedly committed during demonstrations in Portland since at least May 29, U.S. Attorney Billy Williams said.
As NewsNation reported, a presidential memo sent on Wednesday said the White House will review options for cutting federal funding to cities President Donald Trump calls “anarchist.”
The memo cites protests and violence in Portland, and other cities. It said:
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler called the President’s memo a threat to critical safety net resources. “They’re food resources, housing resources, education resources,” said Wheeler. He said he views the memo as a personal political attack.
“To even threaten to withdraw those resources because the president of the united states doesn’t like the mayors of those particular cities is both unconscionable and political,” Wheeler said.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in the next 14 days, Attorney General William Barr will make a list of what the White House calls “anarchist jurisdictions and lawlessness zones.” She said the White House budget director will offer options on how to withhold funds from those places within the next 30 days.
“If the states will not act in their police power to secure their streets, the President will use every lawful mechanism available to him to supplement their failures,” McEnany said.
In a statement Friday morning, Barr commented on “the tracking down of Reinoehl.”
“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.”
Full statement from United States Marshals Service
At approximately 7:30 p.m. PST on September 3, members of the U.S. Marshals Service Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force were involved in a line-of-duty shooting in Olympia, Washington. The task force was attempting to arrest Michael Forest Reinoehl, wanted by Multnomah County Circuit Court (Oregon) on a charge of murder. Reinoehl was allegedly involved in an August 29 shooting incident in Portland, Oregon, that resulted in a death. The Portland Police Bureau had issued a warrant for his arrest earlier in the day and asked the US Marshals to locate and apprehend the suspect.
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.
No law enforcement officers were injured during the incident. The Thurston County (Washington) Sheriff’s Office will lead the shooting investigation. As a matter of policy, the U.S. Marshals Service will not release the names of deputy marshals involved in shooting incidents, until the conclusion of all investigations surrounding the incident.U.S. Marshals Service Spokesperson
Full statement from Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and other Democratic leaders
As elected officials and community leaders, we are coming together to condemn the acts of violence in Portland that have occurred as thousands of Oregonians have been peacefully protesting for racial justice and police accountability.
The violence must stop.
There is no place for white supremacy or vigilantism in Oregon.
All who perpetrate violent crimes must be held equally accountable.
Together, we are committing ourselves to do the hard work that will bring meaningful change for racial justice and police reform.Gov. Kate Brown (D-oregon) and other elected officials, community leaders
This is a developing story.
Associated Press reporters Michael Balsamo and Ted Warren, writers Gene Johnson in Seattle, Gillian Flaccus in Portland, Oregon, and Andrew Selsky in Salem, Oregon, contributed to this report. NewsNation reporter Jennifer Dowling also contributed to this report.