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New images show Antifa activist lying in wait before fatal shooting of pro-Trump demonstrator

Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48, was wanted for murder before he died in a shootout with police on Thursday

Prosecutors have released new surveillance images from the murder of a far-right activist in Portland, after the prime suspect, a far-left Antifa supporter, was killed in a shootout with U.S. Marshals. 

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt on Friday released the unsealed arrest warrant for Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48, who was killed by a fugitive task force in Washington state on Thursday night.

The warrant charges Reinoehl with murder in the death of Aaron ‘Jay’ Danielson, 39, who was gunned down in the streets of downtown Portland on Saturday.

The court documents reveal startling new information in the case, including that Reinoehl appeared to lie in wait for Danielson before the shooting, and sent text messages to his own son offering to trade marijuana for a handgun weeks before the murder.

The warrant also indicates that the victim himself was armed with a handgun, which was found in his waistband after he died, and did not appear to have been fired during the incident.

In the warrant affidavit, Portland Police Detective Rico Beniga describes the events leading up to the shooting, based on witness statements, previously released bystander video, and surveillance video from a nearby parking garage, images of which are being released for the first time publicly. 

At first, Reinoehl was walking with a white female southbound on SW 3rd Avenue, and both could be seen staring eastbound down perpendicular Adler Street as they crossed the intersection.

New surveillance images show Reinoehl (front) walking in front of Aaron 'Jay' Danielson (behind him left in black shirt) moments before Danielson was shot dead in Portland on Saturday

New surveillance images show Reinoehl (front) walking in front of Aaron ‘Jay’ Danielson (behind him left in black shirt) moments before Danielson was shot dead in Portland on Saturday

Reinoehl (right) ducks into a parking garage and waits for Danielson (far left) and his friend Chandler Pappas (next to him in white shirt) to walk past on the sidewalk

Reinoehl (right) ducks into a parking garage and waits for Danielson (far left) and his friend Chandler Pappas (next to him in white shirt) to walk past on the sidewalk

After Reinoehl and the woman cross the intersection,  the white female pauses and stands against a building as Reinoehl continues walking.

Then, Danielson and Danielson’s friend Chandler Pappas are seen turning a corner behind them from Adler Street. Reinoehl is seen glancing behind him and reaching for his waistband.

Reinoehl then ducks into the entrance of a parking garage ‘and reaches toward his left front waist area,’ the affidavit states.

‘Reinoehl conceals himself, waits, and watches as Danielson and Pappas continue walking by. Danielson and Pappas do not appear to interact or communicate with anyone and continue southbound on SW 3rd Avenue,’ it continues.

Beniga notes that Danielson appears to be carrying a can of bear mace in one hand, and a telescoping baton in the other.

After the two men, who are wearing hats of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer, walk past, Reinoehl emerges from the parking garage and appears to be reaching for his waistband.

Danielson and Pappas turn right to cross SW 3rd Avenue, and Reinoehl and another unidentified man, described as Subject #2 in the affidavit, together follow them, walking out of the security camera’s field of view.

After Danielson and Pappas (not pictured) pass, Reinoehl (right) reaches for his waistband and joins up with 'Subject #2' (center in black) to follow the two right-wing activists

After Danielson and Pappas (not pictured) pass, Reinoehl (right) reaches for his waistband and joins up with ‘Subject #2’ (center in black) to follow the two right-wing activists

Reinoehl is seen with his right arm extended as a cloud of bear mace erupts by Danielson and Pappas. Police say Danielson's can of bear mace was punctured by a bullet

Reinoehl is seen with his right arm extended as a cloud of bear mace erupts by Danielson and Pappas. Police say Danielson’s can of bear mace was punctured by a bullet

Immediately after the shooting, Reinoehl (in white) and Subject #2 (in black) run away from the scene

Immediately after the shooting, Reinoehl (in white) and Subject #2 (in black) run away from the scene








What happened next was captured in the bystander video and described by Pappas in police and media interviews.

Pappas told Fox News that two men approached him and Danielson from behind, saying words to the effect of ‘we got a couple right here’ and someone shouting ‘pull it out,’ apparently in reference to a gun.

He said that he and Danielson turned around, and that two shots were fired almost immediately.

Witnesses told police that Danielson began to spray the bear mace at the shooter immediately before he was shot.

Beniga wrote that an autopsy found that Danielson had been shot in the chest from the front. The bear mace can that he was carrying had damage consisted with a bullet impact, the detective said.

Police responded to the scene less than a minute after the shooting, bystander video shows. The affidatvit states that police found a 9mm Glock Model 17 on Danielson’s body, holstered in the waist area.  

The gun’s 19-round magazine was full, and there was a bullet in the chamber. Detectives concluded that it could not have been fired during the encounter. 

Medics attend to Danielson after he was shot on Saturday in downtown Portland. Danielson did not survive

Medics attend to Danielson after he was shot on Saturday in downtown Portland. Danielson did not survive

Reinoehl

Aaron 'Jay' Danielson

Reinoehl (left) was charged with murder in the death of Aaron ‘Jay’ Danielson, 39, (right) who was gunned down in the streets of downtown Portland on Saturday

Reinoehl was identified as the prime suspect by matching the distinctive clothing of the shooter to other social media taken on the same day, and by his distinctive neck tattoo of a fist, Detective Beniga wrote.

During the investigation, a Clackamas County sheriff’s deputy contacted Beniga and notified him that she had recently conducted a criminal investigation of Reinoehl’s son Devin.

The deputy said that during a consent search, she had discovered a text message that Devin received on August 7 from a contact labeled ‘Dad.’ 

‘Sell me the gun for a quarter pound of weed and $100 i’m getting tired of this s**t I need a piece now,’ the text message states. 

About a month prior to that text message, police had seized a loaded Walther 9mm semi-auto handgun from the elder Reinoehl when he was arrested at a protest and charged with possessing a loaded firearm in public, resisting arrest and interfering with a public safety officer, the affidavit states.

In a clip of a video interview with Vice News published just hours before his death, Reinoehl stated that he had acted in self-defense in the shooting.

‘I had no choice. 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,’ said Reinoehl.

Reinoehl was identified as the prime suspect by matching the distinctive clothing of the shooter to other social media taken on the same day, and by his distinctive neck tattoo of a fist, Detective Beniga wrote

An image included in the warrant affidavit shows the distinctive fist tattoo on Reinoehl's neck

Reinoehl was identified as the prime suspect by matching the distinctive clothing of the shooter to other social media taken on the same day, and by his distinctive neck tattoo of a fist, Detective Beniga wrote

The shooting occurred after a day of tense clashes between Trump supporters and far-left groups in Portland, with activists seen trying to block a vehicles of the Trump supporters and throwing objects at them, and Trump supporters spraying mace and firing a paintball gun from vehicles.

Pappas and Danielson had participated in the pro-Trump rally, and Pappas said they were returning home when Danielson was killed. 

Reinoehl, who declared himself ‘100% Antifa’, was active in Black Lives Matter demonstrations against racism and police brutality in Portland that have gone on for nearly 100 days, according to messages and videos on his Instagram feed.

Antifa is a far-left movement that is anti-capitalist, and which seeks to confront those it views as racist or authoritarian. 

On Thursday night, Reinoehl was shot dead by members of a federal task force in Washington, after they attempted to apprehend him on murder charge.

Schmidt, Portland’s district attorney, called Reinoehl’s death ‘tragic’ in a statement on Friday.

The body of Antifa gunman Michael Reinoehl at the scene in Lacey, Washington where he was shot dead by federal officers in a shootout. Witnesses say he opened fire with a semi automatic rifle

The body of Antifa gunman Michael Reinoehl at the scene in Lacey, Washington where he was shot dead by federal officers in a shootout. Witnesses say he opened fire with a semi automatic rifle

A car with shattered windows and likely bullet holes stands in the area where Reinoehl died in the confrontation with police. Cops say he ran from an apartment armed with a gun

A car with shattered windows and likely bullet holes stands in the area where Reinoehl died in the confrontation with police. Cops say he ran from an apartment armed with a gun

Reinoehl was killed at around 7pm on Thursday in the 7600 block of 3rd Way Southeast in Tanglewilde, a small community outside of Lacey about 55 miles southwest of Seattle. Authorities said they do not believe he lived at the address where he was shot

Reinoehl was killed at around 7pm on Thursday in the 7600 block of 3rd Way Southeast in Tanglewilde, a small community outside of Lacey about 55 miles southwest of Seattle. Authorities said they do not believe he lived at the address where he was shot

‘The events of Thursday night are still being investigated by multiple law enforcement agencies,’ Schmidt said. ‘We still do not have a full understanding of what led to the death of Michael Forest Reinoehl.’

Officials said that Reinoehl, who was armed with a handgun, ran from an apartment in Lacey, Washington as officers closed in. 

‘During the attempt to apprehend him, shots were fired at the suspect in the vehicle and he fled from the vehicle on foot. Additional shots were fired at the suspect and he was later pronounced deceased at the location,’ the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.  

Earlier, the Marshals Service said federal agents had opened fire after Reinoehl produced a firearm and threatened officers’ lives.  

Witnesses told the Olympian they saw a man open fire and heard 40 or 50 shots from what they believe was a semi-automatic rifle before officers returned fire and shot him dead. 

But authorities are yet to confirm whether Reinoehl fired the weapon. 

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