Suspect In Portland Shooting Killed By Police During Arrest In Washington
Police shot and killed an antifascist activist in Washington state on Thursday night as they moved in to arrest him on suspicion that he fatally shot a rightwing counterprotester last weekend in Portland, Oregon, officials said.
- Last Updated: September 4, 2020, 3:00 PM IST
- FOLLOW US ON:
PORTLAND, Ore.: Police shot and killed an anti-fascist activist in Washington state on Thursday night as they moved in to arrest him on suspicion that he fatally shot a right-wing counterprotester last weekend in Portland, Oregon, officials said.
Michael Reinoehl, 48, was wanted on a charge of murder and was armed with a handgun when members of a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force shot him dead in Olympia, Washington, after he left an apartment building and got in a car around 7:30 p.m., according to the Marshals Service and the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.
“We can confirm at this time that the suspect was armed with a handgun,” the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, which is responsible for investigating the incident, said in a statement on Friday.
“During the attempt to apprehend him, shots were fired at the suspect in the vehicle and he fled from the vehicle on foot. Additional shots were fired at the suspect and he was later pronounced deceased at the location,” the sheriff’s office statement said.
Earlier on Friday, the Marshals Service said Reinoehl had produced a firearm and threatened officers’ lives.
Portland police on Thursday had issued a warrant for Reinoehl’s arrest and asked U.S. marshals to locate him.
“It sounded like fireworks, it was that many shots,” bystander Jashon Spencer said in an online video.
Reinoehl, who had provided security for Black Lives Matter protests in Portland, was allegedly involved in the shooting of Aaron Danielson on Saturday night, the Marshal’s Service said.
Danielson, 39, was among a caravan of supporters of Republican President Donald Trump who rode in pickup trucks into downtown Portland and clashed with protesters demonstrating against racial injustice and police brutality.
Portland has seen escalating clashes between right- and left-wing groups in recent weeks following nearly 100 days of protests since George Floyd, a Black man, died in Minneapolis on May 25 after a white police officer knelt on his neck.
Several people involved in overnight protests in Portland were arrested after they threw projectiles at officials, the police said in a statement on Friday.
Police said they did not use any crowd-control munitions or tear gas against the demonstrators.
Reinoehl was killed only hours after Vice News broadcast a video in which he appeared to admit he had shot Danielson and said he had acted in self-defense.
“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,” he said in the video, adding he feared he would be stabbed.
Reinoehl was previously cited for carrying a loaded gun at a July 5 Portland protest, resisting arrest and interfering with police, according to The Oregonian newspaper. The charges were subsequently dropped, the newspaper reported.
In social media posts Reinoehl described himself as a professional snowboarder, an Army veteran and “100% ANTIFA.”
Antifa is a largely unstructured, far-left movement whose followers broadly aim to confront those they view as authoritarian or racist.
Reinoehl said he was prepared to fight to change the “course of humanity.”
“It will be a war and like all wars there will be casualties,” he said in a June 16 Instagram post.
In July, the Trump administration deployed federal officers to Portland to crack down on the protests.
Trump, who is running for re-election on Nov. 3, signed a memo on Wednesday that threatened to cut federal funding to “lawless” cities, including Portland.
On Thursday he had demanded that police arrest Reinoehl.
“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!,” he tweeted.
Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor