Michael Reinoehl, the suspect in the deadly shooting of a counter-protester in Portland late last month, was fatally shot as police closed in on him to make an arrest, The Associated Press reported. He allegedly pointed a gun at an agent.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, on August 29, a violent incident unfolded in Portland, which had been the scene of almost nightly protests since the death of George Floyd on May 25. A hundreds-strong group of supporters of President Donald Trump — who had called the city “lawless” — came through town. Later that night, after most had left, shots rang out. When the dust had settled, Aaron Danielson, a supporter of the conservative group Patriot Prayer, was dead.
Video of the incident, which can be seen below, was caught by a bystander. Warning: the video below contains graphic content that could be disturbing to some viewers.
Police didn’t make any immediate arrests or issue any warrants. They eventually narrowed their focus to Reinhoel, who had a lengthy criminal record and who had purportedly said that he was “100 percent Antifa.” This alleged statement refers to a loose collection of left-wing demonstrators whose tactics can sometimes include violence, and whose scope and threat level in the U.S. are a matter of dispute.
In an interview with a freelance journalist shared via Vice, Reinhoel claimed that he acted in self-defense, alleging that the counter-protesters acted as if they were going to stab him and another protester.
“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.
Authorities eventually issued a warrant for his arrest, and on Thursday, agents from the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service closed in on his location. During the attempt to arrest him, according to a person familiar with the operation who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Reinhoel pulled a gun, and officers fired their weapons on him.
“Initial reports indicate the suspect produced a firearm, threatening the lives of law enforcement officers. Taskforce members responded to the threat and struck the suspect who was pronounced dead at the scene,” read a statement from the U.S. Marshals.
Thurston County Sheriff’s Lt. Ray Brady said four task force members, all of whom were local rather than federal, fired their weapons. They include two Pierce County Sheriff’s deputies, an officer from the Lakewood Police Department and an officer from the Washington State Department of Corrections.
Officials said that the location where officers attempted to apprehend Reinhoel was not his place of residence. It remains unclear why he was there.