A man suspected of fatally shooting a Patriot Prayer supporter in Portland said the incident was ‘totally justified’ before he was killed by authorities

  • Michael Reinoehl, who is suspected of fatally shooting a member of the right-wing Patriot Prayer group in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday, spoke to a freelance journalist before he was killed by law enforcement officers. 
  • In video later shared with VIce News, Reinoehl told the journalist that the shooting death of Aaron Danielson, who was taking part in a caravan supporting President Donald Trump, put on by Patriot Prayer, was "totally justified."
  • "Had I not acted, I am confident that my friend, and I'm sure I, would have been killed. I wasn't going to stand there and let something happen," he said.
  • Reinoehl was later killed by federal agents as they tried to arrest him.
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A man suspected of fatally shooting a member of the right-wing Patriot Prayer group in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday defended his actions, calling the incident "totally justified" in an interview that took place before he was killed by authorities on Thursday night.

Michael Reinoehl, suspected of shooting Aaron Danielson, who was taking part in a caravan supporting President Donald Trump, put on by Patriot Prayer, spoke to a freelance journalist in a video later shared by Vice News. 

Before his death on Thursday, Reinoehl, a 48-year-old Army veteran and father of two, told freelance journalist Donovan Farley that he had been providing "security" for Black Lives Matter protesters the night Danielson was fatally shot.

He said he was acting in self-defense when he shot Danielson, and thought he and his friend might be stabbed or maced.

"[It was] totally justified," Reinoehl told Farley. "Had I not acted, I am confident that my friend, and I'm sure I, would have been killed. I wasn't going to stand there and let something happen."

Bystander footage from the incident shows a man appearing to be Reinoehl shooting Danielson and walking away from the scene.

Reinoehl did not turn himself in to police, and was later killed in an encounter with a federal fugitive task force, according to The New York Times.

"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 Farley before his death. "I had no choice. 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 described himself as "100% Antifa" on his Instagram, and had previously been involved with protest conflicts. On July 5, he was cited for allegedly having a loaded gun in public. And on July 26, Reinoehl was shot in the elbow during a confrontation between himself and a gun-carrying man named Aaron Scott Collins.

Protests have been ongoing in Portland since the May 25 death of George Floyd, who was killed by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, when an officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

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