A supporter of the Antifa organization was killed on Thursday night during a federal fugitive task force operation to arrest him, the New York Times reports.
Michael Forest Reinoehl, aged 48 with two children, reportedly drew a gun on officers who came to arrest him with a murder warrant in hand from police in Portland, Oregon. Reinhoehl was killed near Seattle in Washington state.
The U.S. Marshals Service issued a statement on Friday morning describing the events: “Initial reports indicate the suspect produced a firearm, threatening the lives of law enforcement officers. Task force members responded to the threat and struck the suspect who was pronounced dead at the scene.”
Reinoehl had been a regular presence at the protests in Portland that have been a nightly occurrence since George Floyd died in police custody on May 25. He was cited in at least one case for carrying a loaded weapon to a protest and was involved in gun fights and brawls.
On August 29, a protest held by a Patriot Prayer group in Portland turned violent when counterprotesters from Black Lives Matter arrived on the scene and the two groups clashed. Footage shot by bystanders appears to show a man resembling Reinoehl firing two shots at a protester, later identified as Aaron “Jay” Danielson, and then walking away. Danielson’s friend Chandler Pappas told The Common Sense Conservative that he has no doubt that Danielson was targeted because he was wearing a Patriot Prayer cap.
“It takes a second for you to process everything that happened. ‘Did he just shoot at me?’” Pappas said while standing in front of a Blue Lives Matter flag. “I’m OK. I turn over and Jay’s dead because he believed something different. Jay’s not a racist, a xenophobe or whatever.”
Reinoehl was later interviewed by journalist Donovan Farley, and told him that he had no regrets about firing his weapon.
“I was confident that I did not hit anyone innocent and I made my exit,” he said, as quoted by Vice magazine. He later admitted that the police were “out hunting me.”
Reinoehl was consistently unapologetic regarding his political views. In an online post recently, he wrote: “Every Revolution needs people that are willing and ready to fight … I am 100 % ANTIFA all the way! I am willing to fight for my brothers and sisters! ... We do not want violence but we will not run from it either!”
Before the news broke of Reinoehl’s death, U.S. President Trump wrote on Twitter of his frustration that the killer had not been brought to justice.
“Why aren't the Portland Police ARRESTING the cold blooded killer of Aaron “Jay” Danielson,” he wrote. “Do your job, and do it fast. Everybody knows who this thug is. No wonder Portland is going to hell!”