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Portland man 'under investigation' for shooting Trump supporter

Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48, was identified by anonymous police sources cited by The Oregonian. His estranged sister also reported him to the police after recognizing him in videos from Saturday night's shooting

Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48, was identified by anonymous police sources cited by The Oregonian. His estranged sister also reported him to the police after recognizing him in videos from Saturday night’s shooting 

The man under investigation for shooting dead a Trump supporter and right-wing activist in Portland on Saturday night is a 48-year-old father-of-two whose own family turned him in to police after spotting him in videos from the night of violence. 

Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48, was identified by anonymous police sources cited by The Oregonian. His estranged sister said she received a phone call threatening that their family would be in danger unless they turned him in to police. She then looked online and saw photographs of her brother circulating.

‘We reached out to police and confirmed that we recognized Michael in the screenshots. On the one hand, this whole thing surprises the daylights out of us, because we always thought he is a lot of bark, not a lot of bite. But he’s also been very impulsive and irrational,’ she said. 

‘Violence begets violence and hatred begets hatred. This is not the solution. My heart goes out to the victim. It always has, before I even knew my brother was involved.’ 

She claimed her brother is troubled and that they have not been in touch for three years. In the past, she said he’d stolen their mother’s seizure medication and is in debt. He has a son and daughter from a previous relationship but is no longer involved with the mother. 

Reinoehl, according to his social media pages, has been attending the riots in Portland since the end of May.

The 48-year-old has a long arrest record. He has been attending protests in Portland since May and sharing photos and videos from them including this one (left). He describes himself online as '100% ANTIFA'. He has not been arrested or charged

The 48-year-old has a long arrest record. He has been attending protests in Portland since May and sharing photos and videos from them including this one (left). He describes himself online as '100% ANTIFA'. He has not been arrested or charged

The 48-year-old has a long arrest record. He has been attending protests in Portland since May and sharing photos and videos from them including this one (left). He describes himself online as ‘100% ANTIFA’. He has not been arrested or charged

This is one of the videos that was circulating on social media from Saturday's shooting. It's unclear if this is the image Reinoehl's sister had seen

This is one of the videos that was circulating on social media from Saturday's shooting. It's unclear if this is the image Reinoehl's sister had seen

 This is one of the videos that was circulating on social media from Saturday’s shooting. It’s unclear if this is the image Reinoehl’s sister had seen

The victim was Aaron Jay Bishop. He was a member of the right-wing group Patriot Praye

The victim was Aaron Jay Bishop. He was a member of the right-wing group Patriot Praye 

Police arrived on the scene ‘within a minute’ of when gunshots rang out. The victim is seen wearing a hat with the insignia of Patriot Prayer, a right-wing group whose members have frequently clashed with protesters in Portland in the past

Portland police hold back a man who was with the victim of Saturday night's fatal shooting minutes after the incident

Portland police hold back a man who was with the victim of Saturday night’s fatal shooting minutes after the incident

In a June 16 post, he ranted: ‘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.

In this post, from June 16, he claims to be 100% 'ANTIFA' and says 'We do not want violence but we will not run from it either'

In this post, from June 16, he claims to be 100% ‘ANTIFA’ and says ‘We do not want violence but we will not run from it either’ 

‘We do not want violence but we will not run from it either! If the police continue to pick on and beat up innocent citizens that are peacefully voicing their objections, it must be met with equal force!’ 

He claimed on social media to have been in the army and ‘hated it’. Details of any military record are unknown. 

He has a lengthy arrest record which includes violations for driving while intoxicated and unlawful possession of a firearm. 

In July, he was arrested for bringing a loaded gun to a protest but the charges against him were dropped. It is unclear why. 

Neither prosecutors nor police in Portland would confirm his identity on Monday morning. 

He was named as President Trump weighed in on the situation, threatening to send the National Guard. 

 ‘Rest in peace Jay!’, he said, after learning of Danielson’s death. 

He then tweeted: ‘Portland is a mess, and it has been for many years. If this joke of a mayor doesn’t clean it up, we will go in and do it for them!’ he wrote.  

‘The Radical Left Mayors & Governors of Cities where this crazy violence is taking place have lost control of their “movement”. 

‘It wasn’t supposed to be like this, but the Anarchists & Agitators got carried away and don’t listen anymore – even force Slow Joe out of basement!’ 

Reinoehl has been sharing photos and videos from the riots since they began. Above, a post in July

Reinoehl has been sharing photos and videos from the riots since they began. Above, a post in July 

Trump tweeted: 'Rest In Peace Jay!' after retweeting Women for Trump co-founder Amy Kremer

Trump tweeted: ‘Rest In Peace Jay!’ after retweeting Women for Trump co-founder Amy Kremer

In disturbing footage, recorded by videographer Justin Dunlap, the victim, later identified as Danielson, appears to be following two other people down a street before two gunshots ring out and a cloud of smoke erupts at the source.  

It remains unclear if the shooting at was linked to fights that broke out as a caravan of about 600 vehicles was confronted by counter-demonstrators in the city’s downtown area. 

Police said the caravan had left the area around 8.30pm, and officers heard gunshots around 15 minutes later and arrived at the shooting scene ‘within a minute’. 

A GoFundMe set to help Bishop’s family reads: ‘Aaron ‘Jay’ Danielson was a Portland citizen who went downtown to express his opinions during the unrest and was shot and killed on the evening of Saturday August 29th.’ 

In footage taken later in the night one woman can be heard telling a cheering crowd: ‘I am not sad that a f***ing fascist died tonight.’ 

The person who appeared to fire the shots and a handful of other people nearby then flee out of view as the victim staggers for a few feet and collapses on the ground. 

Several people are seen rushing over when a car turns a corner and skids to a stop in front of the victim.   

WHO ARE PATRIOT PRAYER?

Patriot Prayer is based in Washington state and was founded in 2016. 

Since early 2017, its supporters have been periodically coming to Portland to hold rallies for Trump, ratcheting up tensions in the liberal city long before the national outrage over Floyd’s death sparked more than three months of protests here.

Portland has seen nearly 100 consecutive nights of Black Lives Matter protests and many have ended with vandalism to federal and city property, including police precincts, a county jail, the federal courthouse and City Hall. 

Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson

Patriot Prayer founder Joey

Its founder, Joey Gibson, a one-time Senate candidate, has said he and his group are not a hate group and simply want to exercise their freedom of speech without interference from left-wing groups or protesters. 

The group became a prominent presence in Portland in the summer of 2017, when Gibson organized a large rally in the city less than a week after a white supremacist fatally stabbed two men who had come to the defense of two Black teenagers – including one wearing a Muslim head-covering – on a light-rail train.

The defendant Jeremy Christian, who was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences earlier this year, had attended a Patriot Prayer rally several months before, but was kicked out by organizers for flashing Nazi hand signs.

Patriot Prayer held several other marches and rallies in Portland in 2017 and 2018 and Gibson was arrested for felony rioting last summer on a charge related to a brawl that broke out between the group’s supporters and left-wing activists at a pub after a May Day march in the city.

Portland knifeman Jeremy Christian attended a Patriot Prayer rally

Portland knifeman Jeremy Christian attended a Patriot Prayer rally 

He has pleaded not guilty; a judge this week denied his motion for a change of venue at trial, according to court records.

In a video that was live-streamed on Facebook last summer after he was released on bail, Gibson urged his supporters to “show up one hundred-fold” at a rally scheduled for the following day in Portland that was organized by the Proud Boys – a group that’s been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center – and other right-wing groups such as the Three Percenters and the American Guard.

Gibson told the AP he was again present late Saturday in Portland when a caravan of about 600 Trump supporters drove through the city, sparking clashes in the streets with Black Lives Matter demonstrators.

Gibson did not appear to have a part in organizing the caravan, however. In a video on Twitter, organizer Alex Kyzik said before the rally that those who attended should not openly carry their weapons.

The same person organized a similar rally in Boise on Aug. 22. There were no public records available for a man named Alex Kyzik in Boise, Idaho, and it was unclear if that was his real name.

Videos taken before the shooting show people squaring off for fist fights and Trump supporters firing bear spray and paintballs at counterprotesters, who in return throw objects at the trucks and attempt to block their progress by standing in intersections.

Mayor Ted Wheeler said when Trump supporters want to come to Portland to rally, there is nothing the city can do to prevent them.

“It´s no secret to anybody that I personally am not a Trump supporter, but I will defend to the death the right of a Trump supporter to stand outside my apartment and non-violently demonstrate in support of their candidate. That´s core to American democracy,” Wheeler said.

‘So when people say they want to come into the city in a caravan supporting their presidential candidate, we cannot tell them no. They have constitutional rights to be here – rights, which I embrace and support. The violence, however, is the problem.’

 

Bishop was shot in the chest and died at the scene.  Gibson said he was also in Portland on Saturday night when the shooting took place, and that he rushed to the scene immediately after.  

‘I can’t say much right now. All I can do is verify that he was a good friend and a supporter of Patriot Prayer,’ he earlier told the Associated Press.

Addressing his Facebook friends Gibson later added: ‘If you planned on going to the boat cruise, please go! I know that Jay would love to look down from heaven and see tons of American flags on the Columbia river today. I will not be attending but I hope all of you enjoy yourselves out there. Fly them high for Jay. God Bless all of you.’  

An Associated Press freelance photographer who heard three gunshots and then observed police medics attending to the victim said it was a white man wearing a hat with the insignia of Patriot Prayer, a right-wing group whose members have frequently clashed with protesters in Portland in the past. 

Dunlap, the videographer, claimed that the victim had been macing people prior to the shooting. 

In his video someone could be heard shouting that the man was a ‘motherf**ker who has been pushing people and jumping people the entire time’.

‘That guy has been f**king with people the entire time,’ the witness shouted. 

The shooting took place on Southwest 3rd Avenue and Alder Street – along the main thoroughfare which runs through the heart of Portland, past Portland State University.

Police cautioned the public against drawing conclusions about what sparked the violence.  

‘It is important for detectives get a full and accurate picture of what happened before, during, and after the shooting,’ a police statement said. 

‘If anyone was a witness, has video, or has information about the homicide, they’re asked to contact the primary detectives.’

Police Chief Chuck Lovell added: ‘I ask everyone to give the detectives time to do their important work before drawing conclusions about what took place.

‘This violence is completely unacceptable and we are working diligently to find and apprehend the individual or individuals responsible.’ 

Mayor Ted Wheeler said in a text message to Oregon Public Broadcasting that he was ‘aware of the situation.’

‘Gathering information now,’ he continued. ‘Will be transparent with public.

‘Asking for people to remain calm and not add to this tragedy.’

More than 600 cars flying Trump flags and banners set off in a convoy around and through the city Saturday as the sun began to set, after tense scenes at their meeting point and clashes with counter-protesters.

It came as Trump supporters staged similar gatherings around the country, with hundreds of people congregating in Los Angeles, Georgia and elsewhere to celebrate their president and rally for his re-election.

In Washington DC, Black Lives Matter protesters were tear gassed to push them away from the White House, while in Kenosha, Wisconsin – where Jacob Blake was shot on August 23 – protests continued, but were largely peaceful.

The White House announced that Trump is scheduled to visit Kenosha on Tuesday – which many fear could exacerbate tensions in the city.

As the convoy of Trump vehicles entered Portland’s city center, supporters sitting in the back of pick ups used pepper spray on counter-protesters. 

Eggs were thrown at their trucks and cars, and the Trump supporters retaliated by turning paintball guns on the crowd, allegedly firing ball bearings.

A reporter was among those shot by the paintball guns. 

Two bare-chested men were filmed punching each other as the violence spread. 

Riot police swarmed into the center and began making arrests. 

A block away from the scene of the shooting, a black man in a face mask was pictured in an animated discussion with right-wing political activist and founder of Patriot Prayer Gibson. 

Meanwhile, the driver of a dark-colored sedan revved his engine and then sped towards the crowd of BLM protesters before driving off, miraculously managing to not hit anyone. 

One BLM supporter was attacked as he filmed the license plates of MAGA cars.

An angry group of Trump supporters got out of a car and confronted the activist, who was knocked to the ground.

The Trump supporters then turned and walked away. 

The Morrison Bridge was the scene of an ugly conflict as the caravan pulled into the city, and one Trump supporter drove his truck towards protesters on an off ramp. 

Two people brawled on the bridge, sparking a rapid response from Portland police who arrested the pair.

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