PORTLAND—Law enforcement agents shot and killed Michael Forest Reinoehl while arresting him on Thursday, September 3 at 7 p.m. in the 7600 block of 3rd Way Southeast in Tanglewilde.
Reinoehl, 48, was suspected of shooting a right-wing activist Aaron J. Danielson, a participant in a pro-Trump caravan in Portland on August 29. The victim died on the scene. An arrest warrant for murder had been obtained by the Portland police the morning before his death.
Reinoehl, a supporter of Antifa and an attendee of BLM Portland protests, spoke on the shooting in an interview with VICE the day he died. He referred to Danielson as a man with a knife, “Had I stepped forward, he would have maced or stabbed me,” Reinoehl told VICE. “I was confident that I did not hit anyone innocent and I made my exit.” He stated that the shooting was out of self-defense, adding, “I could have sat there and watched them kill a friend of mine of color, but I wasn’t going to do that.” “I had no choice,” he said. Reinoehl also communicated that he feared being killed in custody.
According to the U.S. Marshall’s service, Reinoehl was killed in the Tanglewilde neighborhood near Lacey, Washington by officers from The Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force, Washington: members of the U.S. Marshals Service, the Lakewood Police Department, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and the Washington State Department of Corrections. F.B.I. agents waited outside an apartment Reinoehl was seen entering earlier, sending U.S. Marshals and local law enforcement agents to make the arrest after he left the building and entered a vehicle. Reinoehl reportedly drew a handgun, causing four pursuing officers to fire.
Police officials have not stated if Reinoehl fired any rounds. They are not aware of any body camera recordings of the incident.
Reinoehl described himself on social media as “100% ANTIFA”. Reinoehl had been estranged from both his brother and sister for three years; His brother, asked to identify Reinoehl in a photograph, did not recognize the BLM symbol tattoo on his neck. His sister, 36, told The Oregonian “That shocked me that it was the police, at first … but then I thought about it. There was no way that the Michael I knew would have gone quietly, although that would have been the right thing to do.”
Reinoehl’s Instagram account was deleted several hours after news emerged of his death.