Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48, was shot multiple times and killed by US Marshals outside an apartment block in Washington state last Thursday
The death of an Antifa gunman who was killed by a fugitive task force after allegedly ‘lying in wait’ and shooting dead a Trump supporter has been ruled a homicide as a witness claimed cops opened fire without warning while he was eating candy.
Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48, was shot multiple times and killed by US Marshals outside an apartment block in Washington state last Thursday.
The officers swooped in on the self-proclaimed anti-fascist to arrest him after he was charged with the murder of right-wing activist Aaron ‘Jay’ Danielson, 39, during a protest in downtown Portland on August 29.
The Thurston County Coroner’s Office ruled Reinoehl’s death a homicide Wednesday, confirming the Antifa supporter did not turn his own gun on himself in the police ambush.
An autopsy revealed he died from multiple shots to his head and torso.
Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock said it is still not clear how many times Reinoehl was shot by officers but all the bullets recovered from his body have been sent to a lab for analysis.
At least four officers, including two Pierce County Sheriff’s deputies, a Lakewood police officer and a state Department of Corrections officer, fired multiple rounds at the suspect during the incident.
The release of the official cause of death comes as a witness who lives in the apartment complex where the shooting took place cast doubts on claims made by the task force surrounding Reinoehl’s death.
Nate Dinguss, an eyewitness of the police shootout, told The Washington Post Wednesday Reinoehl did not pull a weapon and was eating candy when the officers opened fire without warning.
The crime scene where Reinoehl died. The officers swooped in on the self-proclaimed anti-fascist to arrest him after he was charged with the murder of right-wing activist Aaron ‘Jay’ Danielson, 39, during a protest in downtown Portland on August 29
The Antifa gunman was killed by a fugitive task force after allegedly ‘lying in wait’ and shooting dead a Trump supporter. His death was ruled a homicide Wednesday
A witness has cast doubts on the task force’s version of events, claiming cops opened fire without warning while Reinoehl was eating candy. A sheet covers his body
Dinguss, 39, said he saw Reinoehl holding a cellphone and eating a gummy worm while strolling to his car outside the Tanglewilde Terrace Townhomes apartment complex about 7 p.m. that evening.
The witness claimed the cops didn’t identify themselves or try to arrest Reinoehl before opening fire.
He said Reinoehl hid behind his car when the shooting started and did not try to get inside.
The car was blocked in by two unmarked police vehicles, Dinguss said.
The witness said the cops unleashed a hail of gunfire on Reinoehl before pausing when one shouted ‘stop’ then opening fire once again.
He also said he didn’t see Reinoehl armed with a gun.
Dinguss also said the task force waited ‘multiple minutes’ before giving Reinoehl emergency medical treatment.
Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock said it is still not clear how many times Reinoehl (letf) was shot by officers but all the bullets recovered from his body have been sent to a lab for analysis. Pictured right Aaron ‘Jay’ Danielson who Reinoehl allegedly murdered
Medics attend to Danielson after he was shot in downtown Portland last month
If the suspect did not pull a gun or reach for a weapon, the officers would have been required to warn him before shooting.
Dinguss’s statement casts doubt on the version of events given by federal authorities.
Authorities claimed Reinoehl pulled a gun as the task force moved to make the arrest.
They have not said whether or not Reinoehl opened fire at officers.
Other witnesses told the Olympian they saw a man open fire and heard 40 or 50 shots from what they believe was a semi-automatic rifle before officers returned fire and shot him dead.
Surveillance images show Reinoehl (front) walking in front of Aaron ‘Jay’ Danielson (behind him left in black shirt) moments before Danielson was shot dead in Portland on Saturday
After Danielson and Pappas (not pictured) pass, Reinoehl (right) reaches for his waistband and joins up with ‘Subject #2’ (center in black) to follow the two right-wing activists
The Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force, headed by the US Marshals Service, were carrying out an arrest warrant for Reinoehl after he allegedly shot dead Danielson during a protest days earlier.
Danielson, a member of the far-right Patriot Prayer group, was shot dead on the night of August 29 during a Portland protest.
Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt on Friday released the unsealed arrest warrant charging Reinoehl with Danielson’s murder.
The court documents say Reinoehl appeared to lie in wait for Danielson before the shooting.
Surveillance footage taken from a parking garage showed Reinoehl ducking into the garage in hiding from Danielson and his friend and fellow Patriot Prayer supporter Chandler Pappas, according to the warrant.
Reinoehl appeared to confess to Danielson’s death in a video interview with Vice News just hours before his own death
The suspect then watched the two men walk past and followed them before shooting Danielson dead, the affidavit states.
The warrant also states Reinoehl sent text messages to his own son offering to trade marijuana for a handgun weeks before the murder.
The victim himself was armed with a handgun, which was found in his waistband after he died, and did not appear to have been fired during the incident, the documents show.
Reinoehl appeared to confess to Danielson’s death in a video interview with Vice News just hours before his own death.
In the video, Reinoehl said he had acted in self-defense and said his actions were ‘totally justified’.
‘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,’ he said.
People hold candles during a vigil September 5 in Washington for Danielson