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Indybay Feature
Michael Reinhold was executed
by MR
Friday Oct 23rd, 2020 8:28 AM
Michael Reinoehl likely shot Aaron 'Jay' Danielson, and police shot Reinoehl - but the men at the heart of the bloody conflict were more alike than different.
The two men involved in the highly publicized, politically charged Aug. 29 fatal shooting in downtown Portland had everything and nothing in common.

Police believe Michael Reinoehl, 48, shot Aaron "Jay" Danielson, 39, in the chest at point blank range. Six days later, Reinhold was killed by law enforcement officials trying to arrest him. The two deaths made national news because Reinoehl was a supporter of the anti-racist Black Lives Matter movement and the loose-knit, far-left antifa collective. Danielson was a supporter of Patriot Prayer, a right-wing organization based in Vancouver, Washington.

The shooting happened after clashes between Trump supporters and counter-protesters in downtown Portland. Court records reveal Reinoehl laid in wait for Danielson, who was wearing a Patriot Prayer cap, before shooting him. Everyone from Mayor Ted Wheeler to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden have weighed in on the violence, with each side blaming the other for it.

But, despite their final confrontation, interviews and news reports reveal Reinoehl and Danielson had a lot in common. Both had aligned themselves with movements and organizations considered extreme by many. Each was obsessively drawn to the near-nightly protests in downtown Portland, documenting their experiences on social media. Both risked their lives by providing security for their sides. Reinoehl was shot and wounded breaking up a fight during a protest on July 26. Danielson told friends that counter-protesters armed with makeshift weapons repeatedly pepper sprayed and threw objects at him.

Both men also foreshadowed their own deaths.

"We truly have an opportunity right now to fix everything. But it will be a fight like no other! It will be a war and like all wars there will be casualties," Reinoehl posted on Instagram in June.

Danielson was convinced that the government or some entity was monitoring his phone, and that someone eventually would take him out, said Jordan Reilich, a longtime friend of his who is not politically active.

"I'm sure it's just a coincidence some antifa crazy stalked and killed him," Reilich said.

And each now is a martyr to their causes. Patriot Prayer held a memorial for Danielson in Vancouver that attracted hundreds of people on Sept. 5. And Portland protesters are accusing law enforcement officers of murdering Reinoehl instead of trying to arrest him. Trump intensified the situation Saturday by calling Reinoehl's death "retribution" during a FOX News interview.
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