Suspected Portland shooter's death reportedly ruled a homicide

Michael Forest Reinoehl was shot in head, torso, coroner says

The Portland murder suspect who was fatally wounded during a confrontation with law enforcement earlier this month was struck several times in his upper body and head, with the medical examiner's office deeming the manner of death a homicide, Fox News has confirmed.

The Thurston County Coroner’s Office conducted an autopsy on Sept. 9 and determined that 48-year-old Michael Forest Reinoehl was shot numerous times in his torso and head, Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock told Fox News in an email. The office identified Reinoehl's manner of death as being homicide, as opposed to another manner of death, such as natural causes, an accident, or a suicide.

The Seattle Times was first to report the news regarding Reinoehl's autopsy results.

Reinoehl was killed on Sept. 3 outside an apartment complex in Lacey, Wash., roughly 120 miles north, where officers from a federal task force led by the FBI and U.S Marshal Service were conducting surveillance after a warrant had been issued for Reinoehl’s arrest.

Sources told Fox News at the time that four members had learned that Reinoehl was inside an apartment located within the complex and were waiting for a SWAT team to arrive to arrest Reinoehl when he came out of the house and got into a car. The officers decided to immediately make a traffic stop, the sources said.

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As they did so, Reinoehl moved a short distance before stopping and exiting his vehicle, according to the sources.

Thurston County Sheriff’s Lt. Ray Brady said at the time that officers initially shot at Reinoehl’s vehicle in an attempt to stop him. Federal agents had “attempted to peacefully arrest him," different sources told Fox News.

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As Reinoehl fled on foot, he allegedly pulled out a gun, Brady said in a press release. Officers then shot at and struck Reinoehl, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Reinoehl was the prime suspect in the Aug. 29 death of Aaron “Jay” Danielson, a 39-year-old supporter of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer, whom he allegedly shot in the chest.

Aaron "Jay" Danielson, 39, was fatally shot in Portland over the weekend amid clashes between supporters of President Trump and counter-protesters. (Police Police Bureau)

Aaron "Jay" Danielson, 39, was fatally shot in Portland over the weekend amid clashes between supporters of President Trump and counter-protesters. (Police Police Bureau)

Demonstrations in Portland started in late May after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis while in police custody and have continued for more than 100 days.

The same day Reinoehl was killed, Vice, a news website, published an interview with Reinoehl in which he told the outlet he was defending himself and a friend when he shot and killed Danielson.

“I had no choice,” Reinoehl told Vice. “I mean, I, 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.”

Reinoehl told Vice News he was an anti-fascist but was not a member of Antifa.

But the Oregonian reported last month that Reinoehl had identified himself in one social media post, from June 16, as "100 % ANTIFA all the way!”

“Every Revolution needs people that are willing and ready to fight,” he allegedly wrote, according to the report. “There are so many of us protesters that are just protesting without a clue of where that will lead. That’s just the beginning that’s that where the fight starts. If that’s as far as you can take it thank you for your participation but please stand aside and support the ones that are willing to fight. I am 100 % ANTIFA all the way! I am willing to fight for my brothers and sisters! ... We do not want violence but we will not run from it either! ... Today’s protesters and antifa are my brothers in arms.”

Reinoehl’s sister, who requested her name not be used because of the threats she and her family have been receiving, told The Associated Press she had had not been in touch with him for three years.

She said her brother's son and daughter “need to be allowed to grieve what happened.”

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“My heart breaks for those kids but hopefully they can put their lives back together and sort through this and process the trauma that no one that young should ever have to deal with,” the sister said.

Fox News' Bill Mears and David Spunt contributed to this report, as well as The Associated Press.