The suspect under investigation following the fatal shooting of a Patriot Prayer supporter has been named as a dad-of-two who describes himself as ‘100% ANTIFA’.
Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48, was named by The Oregonian Sunday evening as someone police are investigating. He had already been accused of taking a loaded gun to an earlier Portland protest and social media posts show him attending Black Lives Matter protests.
Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson identified the victim of Saturday night’s shooting as Aaron ‘Jay’ Danielson. Danielson apparently also went by the name Jay Bishop, according to Patriot Prayer’s Facebook page. Donald Trump retweeted the victim’s name and wrote, ‘Rest in peace Jay!’
The Oergonian reports how professional snowboarder Reinoehl is under investigation after footage showed him leaving the scene. He is said to be estranged from his most of his family, with his sister telling the paper: ‘We reached out to police and confirmed that we recognized Michael in the screenshots [from the incident].
‘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.’
Allegations surrounding his earlier arrest for carrying a loaded gun were dropped July 30; it is not known why. He was also arrested in July, accused of racing his 17-year-old son at speeds of up to 11mph.
Reinoehl is reported to have written on Facebook earlier this year: ‘I am 100 % ANTIFA all the way! I am willing to fight for my brothers and sisters!’ He has also shared videos of people burning Trump 2020 flags.
Police have released little information and Chief Chuck Lovell said Sunday that investigators are still gathering evidence, including surveillance video from area businesses. Earlier Sunday, the agency released a plea for any information related to the killing, including videos, photos or eyewitness accounts.
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES, STRONG LANGUAGE
Joey Gibson, founder and leader of Patriot Prayer, paid tribute to Bishop, pictured, writing: ‘We love Jay and he had such a huge heart. God bless him and the life he lived’
Disturbing video shows the moment a man wearing a Patriot Prayer baseball cap (center in a black shirt and light shorts) was shot and killed in Portland on Saturday night
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.
Saturday marked the 95th night of unrest in Portland since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
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.
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.
Street medics and protesters rushed over to help the man after he was shot in the chest by an unidentified suspect
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
“I am not sad that a f—ing fascist died tonight,” says a woman at the antifa gathering in downtown Portland. The crowd laughs and cheers. The ID of the deceased is not confirmed but he is believed to be a Trump & blue lives supporter. #PortlandRiots pic.twitter.com/XV6471FSuF
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 30, 2020
Trump tweeted: ‘Rest In Peace Jay!’ after retweeting Women for Trump co-founder Amy Kremer
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.’
Medics and police officers stand over the man who was shot dead in the street in Portland on Saturday night
Medics tried unsuccessfully to save the man, who was shot on the corner of Southwest 3rd Avenue and Alder Street
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.
Portland police arrest a protester following a crowd dispersal
Riot police were out in force in downtown Portland on Saturday night as the expected clashes materialized
A BLM activist with an orange neck scarf is attacked by a Trump supporter, wearing a black t-shirt and grey shorts
The BLM protester is left lying on the ground following his altercation with the Trump supporters, enraged by his filming them
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.
As night fell the caravan was cruising around town, with what organizers hoped was a show of strength to rival the Left-wing activists who have largely dominated the previous 94 nights of protest.
Saturday’s pro-Trump demonstration was organized on Facebook, and 2,500 people said they intended to attend.
A New York Times reporter on the scene estimated that around 1,000 people showed up at Clackamas Town Center at 4pm.
‘We would like to get some fellow American patriots together for a Trump 2020 Cruise rally to support our great president,’ wrote Alex Kyzik, one of the organizers.
Trump supporters were seen driving around and spraying the crowd with what some claimed were ball bearings
Supporters of Donald Trump met in Clackamas town center on Saturday at 4pm, to drive around Portland
The convoy numbered around 600 vehicles, with Trump supporters flying flags as they cruised through Portland
Most were in trucks and cars, but some motorcyclists also came along for the ride – one with his bike decorated with Trump
The Portland, Oregon, caravan was organized on Facebook, with 2,500 people intending to attend. Around 1,000 showed up
Saturday’s rally was intended to follow a route circling around Portland and avoiding the downtown area, but cars diverted
Attendees were encouraged to bring their guns, and conceal-carry them, in a video Kyzik posted previewing the event.
Some of those at the start, however, were openly flaunting their assault rifles.
‘I know for the most part, everyone here is gonna be pretty civilized. We’re all gonna support the president in safe way,’ said Brandon Beck, who was attending his first Trump rally.
He told Oregon Public Broadcasting: ‘Obviously we’re all gonna be in cars, none of us are gonna be burning, looting, or anything. We’re just trying to have fun and stay safe today.’
Joe Reminar told the site that he was a veteran of Trump rallies, and Saturday’s was the fifth or sixth he had attended.
‘Today is about freedom and showing that Antifa doesn’t have the full chokehold on Portland and that we’re taxpaying citizens and we don’t want s**t tore up,’ he said.
‘We’re gonna be a major parade and showing strength for our president. Which we appreciate all that he’s done, keeping the economy going, fighting China on this virus, keeping us free and saving our Second Amendment.’
A crowd of Black Lives Matter activists turned up to meet them, waving their placards and engaging in tense confrontations.
One Trump supporter ripped off his jacket, squaring up for a fight, before he was escorted away by other Trump supporters.
A Black Lives Matter activist was pepper sprayed in another melee.
Alex Kyzik, one of the organizers of the Portland rally, said people should not show their guns, but conceal carry was fine
Counter-protesters and Black Lives Matter supporters confronted the Trump supporters in downtown Portland
Black Lives Matter activists showed their displeasure as the convoy wove its way towards downtown Portland
Black Lives Matter activists confronted the pro-Trump demonstrators in Clackamas on Saturday
Fans of the president in their red MAGA hat held up a sign reading: ‘All Lives Matter’, taunting the BLM crowd
The convoy set off, with Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office vehicles blocking intersections around the Town Center mall to allow the parade of vehicles to pass through.
A heavy presence of Oregon state troopers was seen along Highway 224, the pro-Trump caravan’s primary route to Portland.
The caravan was intended to avoid downtown, but as night fell many of the cars strayed from the intended route and headed into the city center. The caravan was due to disperse at 9pm.
Seventy-four people are now facing federal charges related to protests that have rocked the Portland for three months since Floyd was killed, the local U.S. attorney announced Thursday.
The misdemeanor and felony charges include assaults on federal officers, arson and damaging federal property.