The man being investigated by police in the fatal shooting of a Trump supporter in Portland identifies as Antifa and is an ardent Black Lives Matter supporter. Michael Forest Reinoehl was previously arrested at an Antifa riot in July and charged with illegally possessing a loaded firearm and other crimes. He was let go and the charges were never pursued. He allegedly went on to kill Aaron "Jay" Danielson on Saturday night in downtown Portland.
The Oregonian was first to report that Reinoehl, 48, is being investigated by Portland police for the homicide. He has not been formally named or charged.
In the early hours of July 5 during the start of violent Antifa and Black Lives Matter riots outside the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse, Reinoehl was cited for possessing a loaded gun in a public place, resisting arrest, and interfering with police. He was photographed at the time fighting cops while on the ground. A gun laid on the ground next to him. He was cited, released and spent no time in the county jail. Like for the majority of those arrested at riots, local prosecutors did not pursue the charges.
Danielson, the homicide victim, was shot in the chest in downtown Portland just before 9 p.m. by a man believed to be Reinoehl, who fled the scene on foot. Video recorded of the shooting shows Danielson lying motionless on the ground immediately after two shots are fired. He wore a blue pro-police patch on his shorts at the time of his death. He was a participant in the “Trump 2020” car caravan that drove in and around Portland and was an associate of Portland-area conservative group, Patriot Prayer.
When part of the caravan arrived in downtown earlier in the evening, Antifa rioters confronted the drivers by throwing rocks, eggs and other projectiles. In response, pro-Trump drivers and passengers were seen shooting them with paintballs and spraying them with pepper spray. Some rioters tried to physically block cars from driving in the road using their bodies or other barriers.
Katie Daviscourt, a Seattle conservative activist, knew Danielson. "He wasn’t a violent type. [He] just loved this country and our president," she tells The Post Millennial.
Reinoehl has an extensive social media history that shows he identifies as Antifa and has been at many of the riots in Portland. He posted frequently about Black Lives Matter and even has a tattoo of the "black power" fist on his neck.
On Instagram, Reinoehl posted in June: "Every revolution needs people that are willing and ready to fight. There are many of us protesters that are just protesting without a clue of where that will lead. That's just the beginning that's where the fight starts. If that's as far and you can take it thank you for your participation but please stand aside and support the ones that are willing to fight. 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."
He continued: "We are currently living through a crucial point in Humanities evolution. We truly have an opportunity right now to fix everything. But it will be a fight like no other! It will be a war and like all wars there will be casualties."
Reinoehl also touted his military experience and desire for armed conflict: "I was in the army and hated it. I did not feel like fighting for them would ever be a good cause. Today's protesters and antifa are my brothers in arms. This is a Cause to fight for This truly is fighting for my country!"
Portland has been the focus of nearly 100 days of continuous violence organized by Antifa and far-left activists. Multiple public buildings have been smashed, broken into and set on fire since late May.
Livestream video recorded soon after the shooting on Saturday shows Antifa black bloc militants outside the Justice Center celebrating Danielson’s death by dancing and cheering. Some Antifa accounts on Twitter had earlier wrongly claimed that a "fascist" killed one of their black comrades.
“He was a f*cking Nazi! Our community held its own, and took out the trash,” shouted a woman on a bullhorn. The crowd cheered in response.
Reinoehl is believed to still be at-large. He currently has a warrant for his arrest for an unrelated June 8 incident in eastern Oregon where he is charged with driving under the influence, recklessly endangering another, driving while suspended and uninsured and unlawful possession of a gun. Police in Baker County allegedly found him driving while in possession of drugs and an illegal handgun. His 11-year-old daughter was the passenger at the time.
Ari Hoffman contributed to this report.