The Antifa security guard accused of killing a far-right demonstrator in Portland pointed a pistol at officers when he was fatally shot by members of a federal task force who sought to arrest him on a murder warrant, according to a report.
Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48, was walking to his car outside an apartment complex in Lacey, Washington, where he was hiding out when the law enforcement officers pulled up and opened fire on Sept. 3, a witness has said.
He was found to be armed with a .380-caliber handgun, which officers at the scene told investigators he point at them, according to Thurston County Lt. Ray Brady, The Oregonian reported.
A spent .380-caliber shell casing was found in Reinoehl’s vehicle and an AR-15-style .22-caliber rifle with the serial number removed was located in the front seat, according to the Sheriff’s Office, the news outlet reported.
Police declined to say where they recovered the handgun, which is undergoing ballistics tests to determine if it is the same weapon used in the Aug. 29 fatal shooting of Aaron “Jay” Danielson, 39, in downtown Portland.
“Officers shot multiple rapid-fire rounds at Reinoehl before issuing a brief ‘stop’ command, quickly followed by more rapid-fire shooting by additional officers,” witness Nathaniel Dingess, 39, has said in a statement.
Reinoehl was holding a cellphone as he walked to his car, but Dingess has said he did not see him holding a gun. Police later said that a handgun was found on Reinoehl, but did not specify if he pointed it at the cops.
Danielson was part of a group of President Trump supporters holding a demonstration in Portland to counter Black Lives Matter protesters.
In an interview on Vice News aired the night he was killed, Reinoehl told the outlet “I had no choice” but to shoot Danielson.
“I mean, I, I had a choice,” he said. “I could have sat there and watched them kill a friend of mine of color. I wasn’t going to do that.”