U.S. Marshals Shoot Michael Forest Reinoehl Dead As Trump Blasts Portland Police for No Arrest

President Donald Trump has criticized Portland police for not arresting a man under investigation for the fatal shooting of a right-wing activist during last week's unrest in the city, in a tweet apparently sent after the suspect had already been shot dead by U.S. marshals.

Law enforcement officers were trying to apprehend Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48, after a warrant had been issued for his arrest on Thursday.

He was under investigation for the killing of Aaron Danielson from the Patriot Prayer group, who had been shot in the chest during clashes between Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter protesters last Saturday.

Reinoehl claimed he had acted in self-defense and that Danielson was going to stab him and a friend, telling Vice News: "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."

Why aren’t the Portland Police ARRESTING the cold blooded killer of Aaron “Jay” Danielson. Do your job, and do it fast. Everybody knows who this thug is. No wonder Portland is going to hell! @TheJusticeDept @FBI

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2020

Lt. Ray Brady from Thurston County Sheriff's Office said that at around 7 p.m. on Thursday, law enforcement officers were looking for a homicide suspect in Lacey, Washington, southwest of Seattle. He had left an apartment and entered a vehicle, and appeared to be armed.

Brady said that as officers "attempted to apprehend him, there was gunfire." Those living in the residential neighborhood where Reinoehl was shot told the New York Times they had heard several gunshots and there were as many as four police officers in the road.

Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer confirmed Reinoehl had been killed. "The suspect came out to the car. They attempted to put him into custody and shots were fired," he said. Four officers acting in their U.S. Marshal capacity had fired their weapons and Reinoehl was pronounced dead at the scene.

Later on Thursday night, Trump tweeted: "Why aren't the Portland Police ARRESTING the cold blooded killer of Aaron "Jay" Danielson. Do your job, and do it fast. Everybody knows who this thug is. No wonder Portland is going to hell!"

The timing of his tweet sparked a thread, in which Eugene Gu asked: "Why is Trump tweeting this AFTER Michael Forest Reinoehl was killed by the police as they attempted to arrest him?"

Newsweek has contacted the Thurston County Sheriff's Office and the White House for comment.

Tensions were high in Portland last week after a convoy of hundreds of vehicles flying flags and carrying an estimated 1,000 Trump backers came through the center of the city and clashed with BLM supporters. Oregon's biggest city has been the flashpoint for growing conflicts involving guns over the last month.

Police cordon
A police cordon in Portland on August 26, 2020 is shown in this illustrative image. A suspect in the shooting of a Trump supporter in unrest in the city has reportedly been shot dead in Washington state.