Portland shooting suspect killed by police had gun in his pocket, authorities say

Michael Reinoehl at a protest in front of Portland, Ore., Mayor Ted Wheeler's residence in August
Michael Reinoehl is seen at a protest in front of Mayor Ted Wheeler’s residence Aug. 28 in Portland, Ore.
(Beth Nakamura / The Oregonian)
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Four officers fired more than 30 rounds at fugitive Michael Reinoehl — suspected of killing a right-wing protester in Portland, Ore. — after they cornered him in his car outside an apartment complex in Washington state where he had been hiding out, a sheriff’s official said Tuesday.

In an update on the investigation into the shooting of Reinoehl, Thurston County Sheriff’s Lt. Ray Brady said police found him Sept. 3 with a loaded .380-caliber handgun in his front pocket and his hand on or near the gun after he was fatally shot by officers in Lacey, Wash., the Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

Reinoehl was the suspect in the fatal shooting of Aaron “Jay” Danielson after a pro-Trump car rally in Portland on Aug. 29. Investigators are awaiting lab results to determine whether the gun found on Reinoehl, a self-described anti-fascist activist, was the same one used in the Portland shooting.


There were rounds in Reinoehl’s gun after it was recovered, Brady said, but he declined to say how many.

Questions have swirled around Reinoehl’s death after witnesses gave differing accounts of what they saw. All described a chaotic scene with bullets flying while children were outside.

A team led by the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office hasn’t finished its investigation yet, Brady said, but he has given weekly updates with new details.

Authorities say the suspect in last weekend’s slaying of a right-wing protester in Portland, Ore., and the victim both had handguns.

Sept. 4, 2020

Brady said four officers from a multi-agency federal task force pulled up in two unmarked SUVs in front of Reinoehl’s Volkswagen. The officers who fired told investigators they gave Reinoehl “commands to stop and show his hands” before they shot him, Brady said. One officer told investigators he saw Reinoehl raise a gun toward him, and another officer said he saw Reinoehl trying to retrieve a gun from his pocket, Brady said.

An autopsy found that Reinoehl died from gunshot wounds to the head and upper torso.

Earlier on the day he was shot, Portland police had obtained a warrant to arrest Reinoehl on suspicion of second-degree murder and unlawful use of a firearm in connection with Danielson’s death.

Reinoehl, who said he provided security for Black Lives Matter protests, was wanted in the death of Danielson, a supporter of the right-wing conservative group Patriot Prayer based in Vancouver, Wash.