Investigators have revealed that Michael Reinoehl, a 48-year-old professional snowboarder who was a suspect in the shooting of Aaron Danielson was shot 37 times by law enforcement agents who wanted to arrest him on September 3. Reinoehl was shot in front of a block of apartments near Lacey, Washington.
The Thurston County Sheriff released more details of the shooting on Wednesday. At the time of the arrest, Reinoehl had a handgun that had prompted four officers to unleash 37 rounds of gunfire on him.
On August 29, in Portland, Oregon, Black Lives Matter protesters and pro-Trump supporters participating in the “Trump 2020 Cruise Really” had clashed, resulting in the death of Danielson whom Reinoehl had been monitoring. On the day he was killed on September 3, Reinoehl stated that his acts had been in self-defense. Danielson was holding a bear repellent and an expandable baton before he was shot.
After the August 29 shooting, Reinoehl went into hiding but was discovered to be staying in a block of flats in Thurston Country, Washington by law enforcement officers. According to the reports issued by the Thurston County Sheriff, Reinoehl had two bags and phone with him and was about to enter his Volkswagen when officers drove into the scene. One of the officers reported sighting Reinoehl raise a handgun before he was shot.
Two other officers reported that Reinoehl had only reached for the dashboard of his car. According to the investigators, officers shot at Reinoehl in and out of the vehicle after he continued reaching for his side in a bid to grab his handgun. The reports state that as Reinoehl collapsed on the ground, he still had his hands on his handgun. Before the officers tried to resuscitate him, they removed his hands from his pocket but left the .380 caliber handgun.
The officers fired from pistols and rifles according to the reports, and a .380 caliber handgun fired shell casing was recovered in the Volkswagen. The shell casing has been sent to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab for further investigation.
Garrett Louis, one of the witnesses during the September 3 shooting told reporters that he had assumed the law enforcement officers were members of the mafia trying to take down a rival as a result of the speed and violence with which they had descended on Reinoehl.
“I respect cops to the utmost, but things were definitely in no way, shape, or form done properly,” Mr. Louis declared.
President Donald Trump and the US Attorney General praised the officers for killing Reinoehl.
“This guy was a violent criminal, and the U.S. Marshals killed him,” President Trump. “And I will tell you something, that’s the way it has to be. There has to be retribution when you have a crime like this.”
Reinoehl, who stated that he was “100% ANTIFA” was one of the people who protested the killing of George Floyd by officers of the Minneapolis Police Department in May. He was a strong believer and an advocate of the Black Lives Matter movement and had provided security for protesters.