Records sugggest Reinoehl targeted Danielson
The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office released newly unsealed court documents on Friday, including the second-degree murder warrant, in the investigation of a man accused of shooting and killing Aaron "Jay" Danielson in downtown Portland last weekend.
Danielson, a supporter of the right-wing Patriot Prayer group, was killed near a pro-Trump rally and counterprotest Aug. 29.
The documents, released the day after Michael Reinoehl was killed by federal agents as they tried to apprehend him in Lacey, Washington, suggest Reinoehl obtained the gun he used to kill Danielson from his son in exchange for a quarter-pound of cannabis and $100.
Danielson died at the scene. Investigators said they found a .38 caliber shell casing, a metal can of "Bear Attack Deterrent" that looked like it had been hit by a bullet and an expandable metal baton.
Danielson had a loaded "holstered firearm" on his waistband, a Glock Model 17 with 19 rounds in the magazine. Investigators don't believe this gun was fired during the encounter, since 19 was the maximum number of rounds for the gun.
Danielson also had three fully loaded 9mm magazines in the cargo pockets of his shorts.
A witness told a police detective Danielson released pepper spray before two gunshots rang out. Multiple witnesses said there was a verbal altercation with "Black males" before Danielson used the pepper spray.
A man named Chandler Pappas described himself as a friend of Danielson's and an eyewitness to the shooting. He said they were facing the "Black males" when he heard the shots. He described the shooter as a white man who was right-handed, but couldn't remember his exact clothing.
Witness Justin Dunlap was livestreaming the events in the area to his Facebook page. Investigators got access to the 21-minute video. Around 18 minutes into it, the video captures the verbal altercation and a person who turns to face Danielson in a "shooter's stance."
Shots ring out, the bear mace spews — investigators believe it was hit by a bullet — then two people are seen running north.
An autopsy determined Danielson was shot in the front of his body with the bullet traveling from right to left.
Investigators also included "open source" photos of Reinoehl from earlier that evening and from previous protests in Portland and Camas. The distinctive neck tattoo Reinoehl had was also used to identify him.
The other person who ran from the scene has not yet been identified.
Surveillance video provided a timeline that shows Reinoehl spots Danielson and Pappas, "turns into a garage entry," and "conceals himself, waits" as they pass by along Southwest third Avenue. Danielson seems to have a can in his right hand and a baton in his left.
Speculation circulated online about Reinoehl's possible involvement in the shooting in the days that followed, but law enforcement never publicly confirmed he was suspect.
Federal agents from the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service had located Reinoehl on Thursday after the Portland Police Bureau issued the warrant for his arrest earlier the same day. The PPB said its officers worked with other law enforcement partners throughout the investigation but weren't present as officials tried to arrest him in Washington.
During the encounter, Reinoehl was shot by a law enforcement officer who was working on the federal task force, a senior Justice Department official told the Associated Press.
According to a news release from the Thurston County Sheriff's Office, a team of officers from the U.S. Marshals Service, Pierce County Sheriff's Department, Lakewood Police Department, and the Washington Department of Corrections had been conducting surveillance outside an apartment in unincorporated Thurston County near Lacey, where they believed Reinoehl lived.
At one point, Reinoehl reportedly left the apartment and got into his car. When the task force went to apprehend him, shots were fired into the car at the suspect and he began fleeing on foot. More shots were fired — and Reinoehl was declared dead.
The senior Justice Department official, who could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity, said Reinoehl had pulled a gun during the encounter. In the news release from TCSO, authorities did confirm the suspect was armed with a handgun.
No authorities were hurt during the incident.
Reinoehl had described himself in a social media post as "100% ANTIFA," suggested the tactics of counterprotesters 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 antiracism demonstrations in Portland.
KOIN 6 News is a news partnber of the Portland Tribune. Their story can be found here.
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