NYT Reporting Portland Shooter Michael Reinoehl killed in Lacy, Washington, when federal fugitive task force moved in to arrest him.
Portland District Attorney’s office had issued an arrest warrant earlier Thursday, apparently after Vice News had teased an interview set for later Thursday night in which Reinoehl admitted that he was the person who shot and killed Aaron Danielson in Portland on Saturday night.
Danielson was a member of a right-wing groups known as “Patriot Prayer”, and was in Portland as part of a Pro-Trump car rally which had gone through downtown Portland earlier in the evening.
Details remain limited. I’ll update this story through the night. Below is the story I was writing with regard to the interview that was to be broadcast.
The day after the shooting Reinoehl was identified by his sister as the shooter from video she saw on the internet. I reported on his identification here.
Just a few hours ago my RedState colleague Nick Arama gave more detailed information on Reinoehl and his previous contacts with Portland Police, as well as his well-documented activities connected to the Portland Riots.
The Oregonian has some additional details about Saturday night’s shooting, as well as some witness comments about what happened in the moments leading up to Reinoehl killing Danielson. The witness identified in the story, Nate Millsap, has a camera rolling but was not focused on the shooting. His camera did capture audio, and the audio does not support the brief comments made by Reinoehl in the excerpt from the interview that Vice had played as a “teaser” for the full interview to be broadcast later in the evening.
“Then all of a sudden, I heard a voice yell out, ‘Hey we got two right here. Pull it..’ And then, two shots,” Millsap recalled.
He ducked for cover in a nearby alcove of a business, but immediately pulled his camera up to film, capturing Chandler Pappas turning over his friend, Danielson, and asking, “Jay, Jay, are you OK?”
In the interview excerpt. Reinoehl had claimed that he believed he and a friend he was with were about to be attacked by someone wielding a knife, and that is why he fired.
Given that the warrant was issued sometime on Thursday, and that a federal fugitive task force — likely based out of the US Marshal’s Office in Seattle — already had solid information on where he was strongly suggests that Reinoehl had been under surveillance in anticipation that a warrant would be forthcoming.
It is unknown exactly what time the warrant was issued, but it does not seem coincidental that it was issued in the same general time frame as the publication of the teaser for the Vice interview. It is likely that Reinoehl’s admissions in the interview resolved one key issue still facing the prosecutor — a positive identification that Reinoehl was, in fact, the person who fired the fatal shot.
Oregon Public Broadcasting is now confirming that an Oregon Judge signed an arrest warrant for Reinoehl on Thursday, and that it was a US Marshal’s Federal Fugitive Task Force in Seattle that killed Reinoehl while attempting to arrest him.
The AP is now reporting that the task force included both US Marshals and FBI Agents. Justice Department officials told the AP that Reinoehl was killed when he pulled a gun on the agents when they attempted to arrest him.
The Olympian news outlet in Olympia, Washington, is now reporting some information from witnesses in the area where Reinoehl was killed by federal officers. Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer confirmed that Michael Forest Reinoehl is the dead man.
New information is that it was four officers of the Pierce County Apprehension team, a US Marshal Fugitive Task force, who fired the fatal shots. Officers had observed him exit an apartment and head towards the vehicle, and could see that he was armed. After initially entering the vehicle, Reinoehl exited the vehicle and fled on foot.
Witnesses in the area said an unmarked SUV had been parked in the neighborhood for quite a while on Thursday, and that SUV and another vehicle converged on the vehicle that Reinoehl had entered and attempted to drive away.
Reinoehl then exited the vehicle with an assault rifle which he use to fire at the officers, who then returned fire killing him. The witnesses estimated as many as 30 or 40 shots were fired.
Michael Reinoehl was interviewed by Portland area “Independent” journalist Donovan Farley, and parts of that interview was broadcast on Thursday night on Vice TV.
In the interview Reinoehl confessed to shooting and killing Aaron Danielson in downtown Portland on Saturday night.
Reinoehl had been identified by his sister from video taken during various events leading up to the shooting, and in this videos in which he was identified he was wearing a relatively unique vest with tactical webbing, which appears to be the same garb being worn by the shooter in the video of Danielson’s murder.
The only purpose of the interview seems to be to either begin a “PR” campaign with his supporters/defenders to convince the Multnomaugh County District Attorney Michael Schmidt to credit his claim of “self-defense” and not charge him, or to attempt to influence the jury pool by getting information out into the community that might never make its way into an actual trial should one ever take place. To make a “self-defense” claim to a murder charge, Reinoehl would need to establish in the evidence of the case that he feared for his life or the life of someone else, and that was his motivation for shooting Danielson.
But what he has really done is a gamble with his trial. Even if the current DA for some ridiculous reason were to credit his claim of self-defense — and nothing on the video supports it — that only lasts as long as Schmidt is the elected DA. Like most states, there is no statute of limitations on a murder charge. Reinoehl will have that charge following him around for the rest of his life.
Oregon does have a shield law that would seem to prohibit law enforcement from compelling production of any unaired portions of the interview. But that law would not protect Farley from a federal grand jury subpoena.
The interview accomplishes eliminates one crucial hurdle for any prosecution of Reinoehl — positively identifying him as the shooter. The best video of the shooting is taken from behind, and Reinoehl’s face is never seen. The clothing is substantially similar, but that would be unlikely to substitute for a positive identification. There is reportedly one witness to the shooting who was friendly with the victim, but no information has surfaced yet concerning whether that witness could identify Reinoehl. I suspect he cannot, and that’s why five days after the shooting, and four days after Reinoehl’s sister identified him to Portland Police he still has not been arrested.
But that problem no longer exists, as this video would be admissible in trial and played for the jury.
Under the Rules of Evidence, only the portions selected by the prosecution could be played for the jury. The defendant would not be allowed to play any of it himself without giving up his right to remain silent, and he would then be subject to being called as a witness and cross-examined by the prosecution.