Possible Portland Shooting Suspect, an Antifa Member, Identified by Sister

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
August 31, 2020 Updated: September 3, 2020

The man who allegedly fatally shot a President Donald Trump supporter in Portland on Aug. 29 was identified by his sister as Michael Reinoehl.

“We reached out to police and confirmed that we recognized Michael in the screenshots” taken from video from the shooting scene, the sister told The Oregonian.

Reinoehl’s sibling said the 48-year-old has been estranged from the rest of the family for three years.

“On the one hand, this whole thing surprises the daylights out of us, because we always thought he is a lot of bark, not a lot of bite,” she said. “But he’s also been very impulsive and irrational.”

Sgt. Kevin Allen, a Portland police spokesman, told The Epoch Times via email that there’s an active homicide investigation into the shooting, preventing the release of any further information. “Any reports you’ve seen beyond what has been released via press release is unconfirmed and unverified,” he said.

Reinoehl, on social media profiles reviewed by The Epoch Times, said that he is a member of Antifa, a far-left, anarcho-communist group that has committed brutal violence at demonstrations in the past.

Epoch Times Photo
(Screenshot/Michael Reineohl/Instagram)

“Every Revolution needs people that are willing and ready to fight. 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 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,” he wrote on Instagram in June. “I am 100% ANTIFA all the way!”

Reinoehl wrote that Antifa members “do not want violence but we will not run from it either!”

“It will be a war and like all war there will be casualties,” he wrote.

Reinoehl was present during riots and protests in Portland on a number of nights, posting photographs and videos while in attendance. He says he is also a Black Lives Matter activist who supports cutting funding to the police. He used the phrase “Hands up don’t shoot!” referring to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Activists falsely stated that Brown had his hands up when he was shot.

Reinoehl, who didn’t respond to a request for comment, describes himself as a professional snowboarder.

In an interview with Bloomberg in July, Reinoehl claimed to have intervened in a fight between a man and “multiple young people of color, minors.”

portland shooting
A man shot in Portland, Ore., is treated on Aug. 29, 2020. The man later died. (Paula Bronstein/AP Photo)

“I’m not sure what started it, but I would imagine that he probably said something that wasn’t appropriate, and they went to put him in place, and he got aggressive with them, and they started getting aggressive with him,” he said.

As soon as adults intervened, the man pulled out a gun, Reinoehl said. He then jumped in and grabbed the gun, but was struck by a bullet in an arm.

Reinoehl said that he had been providing security and that he had military experience.

He was cited on July 5 during rioting in downtown Portland for three misdemeanors: possessing a loaded gun in a public place, resisting arrest, and interfering with police, according to online court records.

An arraignment scheduled for July 30 was marked “no complaint” and the case appeared to be marked closed, according to the records.

But a spokesman for the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office said in an email that the majority of cases received as a citation in lieu of bookings, including this case, remain pending review. Arraignments for misdemeanors were and still aren’t occurring because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have neither rejected nor declined prosecution on this case,” he told The Epoch Times. The incident “remains an ongoing investigation.”

In an earlier message, the spokesman said prosecutors didn’t have all the available police reports when the court date arrived.

Reinoehl is wanted for failing to appear in court in a case brought after he and his son, 17, allegedly raced cars up after midnight in Baker County, Oregon, in June.

According to a summary of the police report obtained by The Epoch Times, a state trooper saw two vehicles racing by at 111 miles per hour.

Reinoehl showed signs of impairment and was arrested for driving under the influence. He had a loaded, concealed Glock pistol but didn’t have a concealed handgun license.

His 11-year-old daughter was in the vehicle.

The shooting came after a rally by pro-Trump demonstrators, including some with Patriot Prayer, a conservative group. Shots were fired around 8:45 p.m. in the area of Southwest 3rd Avenue and Southwest Alder Street, according to the Portland Police Bureau.

Epoch Times Photo
Supporters of President Donald Trump attend a rally and car parade in Clackamas, Ore., on the way to Portland, Aug. 29, 2020. (Paula Bronstein/AP Photo)

Detectives are aware of videos circulating on social media that show the shooting, the bureau said. Witnesses who saw what happened or those with video were asked to contact detectives.

“It is still early in this investigation, and I ask everyone to give the detectives time to do their important work before drawing conclusions about what took place,” Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said in a statement. “If anyone can provide information about this case, I ask them to please reach out to our detectives. This violence is completely unacceptable and we are working diligently to find and apprehend the individual or individuals responsible.”

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, a Democrat who also serves as police commissioner, told reporters on Aug. 30: “I’ve said, my greatest fear is somebody will die. And now somebody has.”

The victim was identified as Aaron Danielson, also known as Jay by Patriot Prayer.

“We love Jay and he had such a huge heart. God bless him and the life he lived,” Joey Gibson, the founder of the group, wrote on Facebook.

In a post on Instagram on July 3, Reinoehl shared a text message exchange. Someone messaged him saying Patriot Prayer was planning events in various cities on July 4 and warned Reinoehl to watch his and his friends back.

“Thank you my friend we are ready,” Reinoehl responded.

Correction: A previous version of this article misidentified the shooting victim. It also incorrectly described the timing of the shooting. The Epoch Times regrets the errors.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.