A self-identified Antifa supporter linked to the fatal shooting of a pro-Trump activist in Portland over the weekend broke his silence in a new interview, appearing to suggest the Trump supporter was killed in self-defense.
“I had no choice. I mean…I had a choice. I could have sat there and watched them kill a friend of mine of color. But I wasn’t going to do that,” Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48, told VICE in an interview set to air Thursday night.
Reinoehl is seemingly admitting to playing a role in the fatal shooting Aaron Danielson, a supporter of the Patriot Prayer movement who died Saturday night after sustaining a gunshot wound to the chest. Patriot Prayer members took part in a pro-Trump caravan that ventured through Portland, where Black Lives Matter protesters had gathered.
There have been no reports that Danielson, who went by the name Jay Bishop, was armed or was threatening anyone when he was shot.
Video footage of the incident has been released but it does not clearly show what happened leading up to the shooting.
“You know, lots of lawyers suggest that I shouldn’t even be saying anything, but I feel it’s important that the world at least gets a little bit of what’s really going on,” Reinoehl told VICE. (RELATED: Antifa Supporter Is Person Of Interest In Portland Shooting)
Reinoehl has not been arrested or charged in the case.
Reinoehl has expressed support for Antifa on his Instagram page.
He also compared the protests to war, and said that “like all wars there will be casualties.”
Reinoehl has accumulated two illegal gun possession charges since June.
He was cited on June 8 after he was pulled over speeding at 111-mph on an Oregon interstate, according to Oregon court records, which show that he was charged with illegal gun possession, reckless endangerment and driving under the influence. According to a local press report, Reinoehl’s 11-year-old daughter was in the vehicle with him while he was driving.
Reinoehl was issued a citation on July 5 for resisting arrest, interfering with police and illegal gun possession, records show. The Portland police bureau posted a photo of officers handcuffing Reinoehl with a gun splayed out on the ground.
Officers arrested a male at SW Broadway and Main St. who had a loaded firearm on his person. He fought with offices during the arrest. pic.twitter.com/RXgYHnB5ue
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) July 5, 2020
A spokesman for the Portland police bureau told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Reinoehl was issued a notice to appear in court later that evening but did not show up.
The police department rejected a DCNF public records request for the police report from that incident, saying that the records could not be disclosed because of an ongoing investigation.
The Multnomah district attorney’s office told the DCNF this week that the Portland gun case against Reinoehl remains open.
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