PORTLAND: Police shot and killed an anti-fascist activist in Washington state on Thursday night as they moved in to arrest him on suspicion that he fatally shot a right-wing counter-protester last weekend in Portland, Oregon, officials said.
Michael Reinoehl, 48, was wanted on a charge of murder and was armed with a handgun when members of a US Marshals Service fugitive task force shot him dead in Olympia, Washington, after he left an apartment building and got in a car around 7:30pm, according to the Marshals Service and the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.
“We can confirm at this time that the suspect was armed with a handgun,” the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, which is responsible for investigating the incident, said in a statement on Friday.
“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 sheriff office’s statement said.
Earlier on Friday, the Marshals Service said Reinoehl had produced a firearm and threatened officers’ lives.
Portland police on Thursday had issued a warrant for Reinoehl’s arrest and asked US marshals to locate him.
“It sounded like fireworks, it was that many shots,” bystander Jashon Spencer said in an online video.
Reinoehl, who had provided security for Black Lives Matter protests in Portland, was allegedly involved in the shooting of Aaron Danielson on Saturday night, the Marshal’s Service said.
Danielson, 39, was among a caravan of supporters of Republican President Donald Trump who rode in pickup trucks into downtown Portland and clashed with protesters demonstrating against racial injustice and police brutality.
Portland has seen escalating clashes between right- and left-wing groups in recent weeks following nearly 100 days of protests since George Floyd, a Black man, died in Minneapolis on May 25 after a white police officer knelt on his neck.
Several people involved in overnight protests in Portland were arrested after they threw projectiles at officials, the police said in a statement on Friday.
Police said they did not use any crowd-control munitions or tear gas against the demonstrators.
Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2020