U.S. Marshals said a task force was trying to arrest Michael Forest Reinoehl in Washington state. He was wanted by the Multnomah County Circuit Court for murder.
“Reinoehl was allegedly involved in an Aug. 29 shooting in Portland, Oregon, which resulted in death,” US Marshals said.
The task force located him in Olympia and tried to arrest him peacefully.
“Initial reports indicate that the suspect produced a firearm, threatening the life of law enforcement. Members of the task force responded to the threat and beat the suspect who was pronounced dead at the scene, ”the statement read.
“You know a lot of lawyers suggest that I shouldn’t even say anything, but I think it’s important that the world at least understand a little bit of what’s really going on,” Reinoehl said. “I had no choice. I mean, I had a choice. I could have sat there and watched them kill one of my colored friends. But I wasn’t going to do that.
In the interview, conducted with freelance journalist Donovan Farley, Reinoehl said he drove to downtown on Saturday night to provide “security” after seeing a trailer of hundreds of Trump supporters parading in vehicles. through the city. He describes himself as “100% anti-fascist”, but is not part of any Antifa group.
Danielson, who was a supporter of the far-right group Patriot Prayer, was shot in the chest during the confrontation and died.
After the shooting, Reinoehl said he realized what had happened and “was convinced that I hadn’t hit anyone innocent.” He then left the stage feeling “totally justified [that] if I had not acted, I am convinced that my friend, and I am sure of it, would have been killed. ”
Reinoehl said he decided to speak out because “there had been a lot of propaganda going out there”.
“What they did was they tried to make it look like we are all terrorists. And they’re trying to make me look like a murderer, ”he said.
The interview was broadcast as officers moved to apprehend him in Lacey, Wash., According to a federal law enforcement source familiar with the incident.
President Trump tweets about a suspect
President Trump, apparently reacting to the interview, tweeted moments after the show, “Why are the Portland Police ARRESTING Aaron’s cold-blooded killer” Jay “Danielson. Do your job and do it fast. Everyone knows who this thug is. No wonder Portland is going to hell! @TheJusticeDept @FBI »
Reinoehl regularly posted photos and videos of protests on social media in June and early July, including one of the people chanting “F ** k Trump” as someone burned a Trump 2020 flag.
And in the months leading up to Saturday’s fatal shooting of Danielson, 39, Reinoehl had at least two run-ins with the law.
During a July 5 demonstration, Reinoehl was cited for possession of a loaded handgun in a public place, interference with police and resisting arrest. Police say they seized a Walther PPQ semi-automatic pistol as evidence. In a statement, the Multnomah District Attorney’s Office said the incident was still under investigation and that “we have neither dismissed nor denied prosecution in this case.”
A month earlier, Reinoehl and her son, 17, were arrested in Baker County, Oregon just before 1 a.m., according to Oregon State Police records. The two were arrested by an Oregon State Soldier and a County Sheriff’s Deputy on June 8 for driving more than 100 miles an hour in separate cars on Interstate 84, which passes through east of Portland, state archives.
Reinoehl has been charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance, illegal possession of a firearm (a loaded Glock pistol), suspended driving, reckless endangerment of another person (his daughter , who was a passenger in his car) and reckless driving. Reinoehl’s son was arrested on DUI and a gun charge.
The cases remain active, state police said. Baker County Circuit Court officials said Reinoehl was wanted for non-appearance on the charges. Neither Reinoehl, nor his son, nor any legal representative, could be contacted to comment on the charges.
Suspect blamed violence on people opposed to protests
On social media, Reinoehl posted comments that hovered between rejection of violence and the use of force. He called the months of protests against police violence in Portland a fight for his country and said, “The time has come to change the course of humanity.”
Reinoehl described being involved in an earlier clash with counter-protesters in a video interview with Bloomberg Quick Take News published on July 27, although the incident has not been verified by CNN.
In that video, he blamed the violence on people opposed to the protests, saying, “It escalates to a point where, you know, they’re trying to disrupt us in any way, it’s illegal. They shoot us. They send people who start fighting… it’s war, it’s what they’ve been doing abroad for years and years and years and years; but now they are doing it to us. ”
Reinoehl described himself as having experience in the military – although the US military said it could not find documents about his service – and said he worked as a professional snowboarder and contractor. He said in the video that he was ensuring the safety of the Black Lives Matter protesters.
In a photo in one of his own posts, Reinoehl pulled up his shirt to show what he called, “Tonight’s fight scar thanks to a dirty beanbag shot at me six yards (sic).” When someone cautioned in a text message about a supposedly armed “Patriot” group that was supposed to counter-protest on July 4th, Reinoehl replied, “Thank you my friend, we are ready. ”
“Every revolution needs people who are willing and ready to fight,” he said in an Instagram post on June 16, adding, “I am 100% ANTIFA! I am ready to fight for my brothers and sisters. Even if some of them are too ignorant to realize what the antifa really represents. We don’t want violence, but we won’t run away from it either! ”
He also referred to the clashes with the police, saying, “If the police continue to prey on innocent citizens who peacefully express their objections and beat them, they must be fought with the same force!” He said that “we really have an opportunity right now to fix everything… it will be a fight like no other! It will be a war and like all wars there will be losses ”.
Reinoehl had been separated from his family, according to a family member, who said Reinoehl had a “stick to man” mentality. Family members learned of the August 29 shooting after receiving a threatening text on Sunday, the parent said.
“We woke up to death threats, that’s how we found out. We received messages all day yesterday. Some said “blood for blood”, another said that our whole family was in danger and that “someone must die”. one to the family member’s spouse with “a photo of me and the text,” Patriot Prayer says hello, “” the family member said.
When they called the police to report the threats, they were asked to identify photos of Reinoehl, the family member added.
CNN’s Josh Campbell and Joe Sutton contributed to this report.