Michael Forest Reinoehl, the man suspected of fatally shooting Aaron "Jay" Danielson at a pro-Trump rally in downtown Portland last Saturday, has reportedly been killed by law enforcement officers in Washington state.
The New York Times is reporting that Reinoehl, 48, was killed during an "encounter in Lacey, [Washington], southwest of Seattle, when a federal fugitive task force moved to apprehend him."
The Olympian reported Thursday that Reinoehl had been fatally shot by US Marshals in Tanglewilde, a town just northeast of Lacey, around 7 pm.
According to the Olympian, officers encountered Reinoehl as he was leaving an apartment complex. Officers began shooting when Reinoehl entered a parked car, and continued firing when Reinoehl allegedly ran from the car and pulled out a gun. Reinoehl was pronounced dead at the scene.
Thurston County Sheriff's Lt. Ray Brady told the Olympian that four officers fired their weapons. The officers were from the Department of Corrections, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office and Lakewood Police. Brady said the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department fugitive apprehension team was working as part of the US Marshals team at the time.
A witness told the Olympian he heard some "30 to 40" gunshots ring out when federal police approached Reinoehl on the residential street.
A Facebook video taken shortly after the encounter by another witness shows a man lying prostrate on the street.
The news comes hours after Vice News published a snippet of a filmed interview with Reinoehl, who told local independent journalist Donovan Farley that he was acting in self-defense when shooting Danielson.
“I had no choice," Reinoehl said in the interview. "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.”
Last Sunday, the Oregonian reported that the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) suspected Reinoehl, a self-described antifascist, of shooting Danielson. But he had not yet been charged with a crime related to Danielson's death.
Danielson was a member of Patriot Prayer, a far-right group based in Vancouver, Washington. He took part in a pro-Trump caravan that drove through downtown Portland on Saturday night. Some members of the caravan hit counter-demonstrators with their cars and fired paintballs at them. But most Trump supporters had left the area when Danielson was shot near Southwest 3rd and Alder, and died at the scene shortly after from a gunshot wound to the chest.
According to the Times, PPB had issued an arrest warrant for Reinoehl Thursday—the same day the Vice interview was published. Details of how and why federal officers killed Reinoehl are not yet available.
A final excerpt from the Vice interview:
"'I feel that they're trying to, you know, put other charges on me. They’ll find another way to keep me in,' Reinoehl said when asked why he didn’t tell his story to the police. 'Honestly, I hate to say it, but I see a civil war right around the corner,' he said. 'That that shot felt like the beginning of a war.'