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Michael Reinoehl tells Vice News he shot Aaron 'Jay' Danielson in self-defense

Michael Reinoehl says in a Vice News interview that he was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed Patriot Prayer supporter Aaron "Jay" Danielson.
Credit: The Oregonian
Michael Reinoehl appears at a protest outside Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler's residence.

PORTLAND, Ore. — UPDATE: Michael Reinoehl was killed when a federal fugitive task force moved in to arrest him in Lacey, Washington, near the state capitol of Olympia, according to the New York Times. That story will be updated here

Original story below:

Police have not arrested anyone yet in the shooting death of a man during dueling protests in downtown Portland last Saturday, but a man linked to the shooting is telling his side of the story.

The Oregonian has identified the shooter as Michael Reinoehl. On Thursday, Vice News announced that in an interview with Reinoehl, he claimed the shooting was in self-defense. 

Reinoehl calls himself an anti-fascist and said he has been at several of the recent protests in Portland. He said the victim, Aaron "Jay" Danielson, was trying to kill a friend of his.

“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 News. “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.”

Watch: Vice News interview with Michael Reinoehl

Danielson was a member of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer and had been part of a pro-Trump caravan and rally that night.

Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson confirmed Danielson "was a good friend and supporter of Patriot Prayer," a right-wing group based in Vancouver, Washington. Many of its members, including Gibson, frequent Portland for political rallies and protests.

According to Vice News, Reinoehl is an Army veteran and father of two who has been "providing security" at Portland Black Lives Matter protests.

Police said no arrests have been made in the shooting. They have not publicly released a suspect name and they don't know whether the incident was politically motivated. 

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Detective Rico Beniga at 503-823-0457 or Sgt. Joe Santos at 503-823-0406.   

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