The Antifa activist suspected in the shooting death of a Trump supporter in Portland last weekend was killed by law enforcement Thursday night.
The New York Times first reported Thursday evening, citing “three law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation” that Michael Forest Reinoehl was killed in Lacey, Washington, during an attempt to arrest him by a federal fugitive task force.
The Associated Press reported early Friday, citing “a senior Justice Department official,” that Mr. Reinoehl was shot by law enforcement when he pulled a gun during the arrest attempt by the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service.
Mr. Reinoehl had admitted earlier Thursday to having killed Aaron Danielson, saying he “had no choice” and was defending a friend “of color.”
Mr. Danielson was a member of the Patriot Prayer outfit that conducted a car caravan through Portland on Saturday in support of President Trump.
Mr. Reinoehl, who has called himself “100% antifa,” has frequented Portland demonstrations and riots for weeks and suggested on social media that this was a war where “there will be casualties.”
In the interview he gave Vice News, which he said was to get his story out, Mr. Reinoehl said he shot Mr. Danielson because he and a friend were about to be stabbed.
“I could have sat there and watched them kill a friend of mine of color, but I wasn’t going to do that,” he said.
Andy Ngo, a conservative journalist who has been covering the Portland riots for months and antifa for years, said that the shadowy radical group was already blaming law enforcement.
“Antifa accounts in their secret group chatrooms are calling the killing of antifa shooter Michael Reinoehl a police ‘execution,’” he wrote.
The death of Mr. Reinoehl was reported just minutes after President Trump took to Twitter to demand that he be arrested.
“Why aren’t the Portland Police ARRESTING the cold blooded killer of Aaron “Jay” Danielson. Do your job, and do it fast. Everybody knows who this thug is. No wonder Portland is going to hell!” he wrote, also tagging the Justice Department and FBI’s Twitter accounts.
• Victor Morton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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