Reinoehl, 48, admitted in the interview in Vice that he had fired the shots that killed Aaron Danielson, 39, Saturday in Portland. But he insisted that he had done so in self-defense. “I had no choice,” he said. “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, who on social media described himself as “100% antifa,” told the interviewer that he was coming to the defense of a friend of his who was surrounded by heavily armed men in trucks coming out of a parking garage when he found himself confronted by two men—Danielson and his companion, Chandler Pappas. He claimed one of them had a knife and they were using mace. “Had I stepped forward, he would have maced or stabbed me,” Reinoehl said.
Video from the shooting tends to support his claim. It shows that, seconds before two shots from a handgun rang out, one of the two men from the group of Trump supporters unleashed a spray of mace in the direction of the shooter.
Reinoehl apparently took refuge in the semi-rural village of Tanglewilde, an unincorporated area near Lacey, which is itself a suburb of Olympia. Portland police issued an arrest warrant on Thursday—possibly as a result of the Vice interview, which was published at about 11 AM PT—and Reinoehl was found by officers emerging from an apartment in Tanglewilde at about 7 PM.
“The suspect came out to the car,” a Pierce County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said. “They attempted to put him into custody and shots were fired.”
One witness told the Seattle Times that he saw Reinoehl firing a weapon at the police: “And we seen the suspect got out of a silver car, got out, pulled out his gun and was shooting toward the cops,” said the witness, Chad Smith, who said he’s lived in the neighborhood for two years. “At that point the suspect was shooting and walking backwards.”
The man said that police then returned fire: “There was a bunch of shots, probably a good minute, minute-and-a-half of just solid shooting.”