There’s been no arrest in the shooting death of right-wing demonstrator Aaron “Jay” Danielson in Portland, but authorities reportedly do have a suspect. A man, who described himself online as anti-fascist (“100% ANTIFA“) and is a regular face at protests, is being looked into, according to the The Oregonian. The news organization cited “sources familiar with the case but not authorized to speak.”
The suspect was identified by The Oregonian as Michael Forest Reinoehl. Although he has not been charged in this matter, Law&Crime is naming him because he does have a relevant public record, and a relative reportedly identified him as being in certain screenshots of the shooting scene.
He was cited on July 5 at Portland demonstration for allegedly possessing a loaded gun, resisting arrest, and interfering with cops. That case was later dropped.
The suspect, a 48-year-old, was also charged in June after he and his 17-year-old son allegedly raced on Interstate 84 in Washington state. They were driving separate vehicles, according to officials. The man’s 11-year-old daughter was in his vehicle, troopers said. One of the charges was unlawful possession of a firearm.
His sister, who asked The Oregonian not to use her name, said she got a threatening phone call on Sunday morning: An individual said “our whole family was in danger unless we turned him [her brother] over.” She said that’s how she found out Reinoehl was involved. The woman reported the threat to cops in Sandy, Oregon, and then reached out to Portland police when she saw screenshots of her brother.
“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,” she said. “But he’s also been very impulsive and irrational.”
The woman described an estranged relationship: She claimed her brother has stolen their mother’s seizure medication, and use his family’s addresses in a bid to dodge his substantial debts.
Joey Gibson, founder of the controversial organization Patriot Prayer, said Danielson was a “supporter” of the group.
President Donald Trump called attention to the shooting on Sunday, tweeting, “Rest in peace, Jay!”
Rest In Peace Jay! https://t.co/j6FYxIygmh
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 30, 2020
The shooting happened amid tense protests this past week, in the wake of the shooting of Wisconsin man Jacob Blake by police. But Portland has long been a hot spot, with self-described “antifa” demonstrators and right-wing groups like Patriot Prayer clashing with one other. Saturday was no exception.
Clashes. Trump people unload paintballs and pepper spray. They shot me too. pic.twitter.com/PwU5pZMLnV
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) August 30, 2020
“I have friends, family and loved ones on both sides of the conflict,” Reinoehl’s sister said in the Oregonian report. “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.”
Police did not publicly identify Danielson as the victim in a press statement released Sunday. They ask the public for any information about the case:
If anyone was a witness or has first-hand video of the shooting or what led up to it, please notify an officer or contact homicide detective Rico Beniga, 503-823-0457 [email protected] or Sergeant Joe Santos 503-823-0406 [email protected] .
[Screengrab via KOIN]
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