(Headline USA) An Antifa member suspected of fatally shooting a supporter of a conservative group in Portland, Oregon, last week after a caravan of Donald Trump backers rode through downtown was killed Thursday as investigators moved in to arrest him, the U.S. Marshals Service said Friday.
The man, Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48, was killed as a federal task force attempted to apprehend him in Lacey, Washington, about 120 miles north of Portland. Reinoehl was the prime suspect in the killing of 39-year-old Aaron “Jay” Danielson, who was shot in the chest Saturday night, a senior Justice Department official told The Associated Press.
Federal agents from the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service had located Reinoehl on Thursday after a warrant was issued for his arrest. During the encounter, Reinoehl was shot by a law enforcement officer who was working on the federal task force, the official said. The official could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
The official said Reinoehl had pulled a gun during the encounter. The U.S. Marshals Service said initial reports indicate the suspect produced a firearm.
The U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task forces, comprised of deputy marshals, other federal agents and local law enforcement officers from a variety of agencies, are responsible for apprehending violent felons and other wanted suspects.
Thurston County Sheriff’s Lt. Ray Brady said four members of the fugitive task force fired their weapons, including two Pierce County Sheriff’s deputies, an officer from the Lakewood Police Department and an officer from the Washington State Department of Corrections.
Brady said investigators haven’t yet determined how many rounds were fired.
The suspect was alone at the time of the shooting, Brady said, with no children or other people present.
Brady said he doesn’t think the suspect lived at the address where he was shot, and it’s not clear what brought him to Lacey.
“We don’t know that specifically yet,” Brady said. “I do not believe that was his residence.”
Reinoehl had described himself in a social media post as “100% ANTIFA,” suggested the tactics of counter-protesters amounted to “warfare,” and had been shot at one protest and cited for having a gun at another.
He had been been a regular presence at anti-racism riots in Portland.
Police on July 5 cited Reinoehl on allegations of possessing a loaded gun in a public place, resisting arrest and interfering with police.
On July 26, Reinoehl was shot near his elbow after he got involved in a scuffle between an armed white man and a group of young people of color. The man who was carrying the gun, Aaron Scott Collins, told The Oregonian that he and a friend had just left a bar when they saw the group harassing an older black man. His friend began filming them with a phone, and the group confronted them, calling them Nazis, he said.
Reinoehl later that day spoke to an AP videographer. His arm was wrapped in a bloody bandage; he said he was on his way to meet protest medics so they could change it.
Reinoehl also was wanted on a warrant out of Baker County in Eastern Oregon, where court records show he skipped a hearing related to a June case in which he has been charged with driving under the influence of controlled substances, reckless driving, reckless endangerment and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Police said he drove on an interstate at up to 111 mph, with his daughter in the car, while racing his 17-year-old son, who was in a different vehicle.
Riots have erupted daily in the Pacific Northwest city since the killing of George Floyd.
With unruly demonstrations in Portland nearing the 100-day mark, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and other Democratic leaders on Thursday called for an end to violence even as federal agents were continuing to arrest protesters who allegedly assaulted law enforcement officers.
“The violence must stop,” Brown wrote, without calling out the riotous Antifa that caused all the damage. “There is no place for white supremacy or vigilantism in Oregon. All who perpetrate violent crimes must be held equally accountable.”
As of a week ago, 74 people were facing federal charges for crimes allegedly committed during demonstrations in Portland since at least May 29, U.S. Attorney Billy Williams said.
Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.