Suspect in fatal shooting of Trump supporter in Portland reportedly killed during arrest

Michael Reinoehl, a self-proclaimed member of Antifa, died Thursday night when authorities in Washington moved to arrest him for the fatal shooting of Aaron "Jay" Danielson last week.

Updated: September 4, 2020 - 11:24am

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Michael Reinoehl, the suspect in the shooting death of a pro-Trump activist in Portland, Ore., was reportedly killed Thursday night in a struggle as federal officers tried to arrest him in Lacey, Wash. 

Since Saturday, the Portland police have been investigating the death of Aaron "Jay" Danielson, a supporter of President Trump and member of the "Patriot Prayer" group, who was killed in Portland during a clash with demonstrators.

In an interview with Vice published last week, Reinoehl, 48, a self-described Antifa supporter, appeared to admit to the shooting. "I had no choice," he said. "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." 

In early July, Reinoehl, a father of two, was charged for possession of a loaded firearm and resisting arrest. The case was later dropped. 

Reinoehl's presence had become a staple of the demonstrations in Portland that have been continued for three months. He described himself as providing "security" at recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations. Fellow protestors described him as being good at de-escalation tactics. 

In recent days, his social media pages have conveyed messages about the escalating tension, warning, "there will be casualties."

In June, he wrote, "I am 100% ANTIFA all the way! I am willing to fight for my brothers and sisters! Even if some of them are too ignorant to realize what antifa truly stands for. We do not want violence but we will not run from it either!"

Antifa activists have been known to mobilize into powerful mob presences around the country to fight against groups they view as fascist — notably they mobilized during the Charlottesville "Unite the Right" rally in August of 2017. Until this summer, they had largely remained dormant, though their largest regular presence is in Portland. 

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