Officials call for calm after Trump supporters and protesters clash in Portland
Police are investigating the shooting death of a protester in Portland; Matt Finn reports.
The man under investigation in a fatal shooting in Portland over the weekend was shot during a scuffle in July while trying to wrestle a gun away from a stranger, according to media reports.
Authorities are looking into Michael Forest Reinoehl in the Aug. 29 shooting death of Aaron "Jay" Danielson during clashes between Black Lives Matter protesters and supporters of the far-right Patriot Prayer group and President Trump.
Weeks earlier, Reinoehl, 48, was cited by police on July 5 for allegedly carrying a loaded gun to a protest. The charge was eventually dropped, The Oregonian reported.
On July 26, he was wounded following a brawl in a downtown city park close to where nearly 100 days of protests continue.
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Aaron Scott Collins, 38, told the newspaper he was with a friend at a nearby bar and walked to the city-owned park afterward. Collins had a concealed weapons permit and had a 9 mm Smith & Wesson handgun attached to his hip.
While he and the friend were recording a group of underage people allegedly harassing an older Black man on a park bench, the crowd turned their attention to the pair.
“Somebody said, ’He’s recording us. He’s a Nazi. Get his phone,” Collins told The Oregonian.
Collins was struck in the head from behind with a skateboard and fell to the ground. The crowd then tried wrestling his gun away, including Reinoehl, the news report said. Reinoehl was shot when the weapon discharged during the chaos, Collins said.
“I realized people were trying to pull the gun out of my hand. I compressed my finger around the grip of the gun, under the trigger guard," Collins said. "I’m fighting for physical control of the gun. I felt someone trying to yank on it, the top part of the slide. They’re yanking on it really hard. After the second or third jerk, the gun goes off.”
Reinoehl ran from the scene, Collins said. One of the attackers took the gun and took out the magazine, he added. There were about a dozen attackers, Collins said, including Marquise Love, the man accused of kicking a man in the face earlier this month.
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Collins was taken to a hospital after police arrived. Reinoehl took himself to the hospital, police said. During an interview with Bloomberg QuickTake News the next day in which Reinoehl is wearing a bloodied bandage around his arm, he said he'd been shot.
"What happened is that he decided to start fighting back with the minors and the adults around jumped in to intervene," he said of Collins. "As soon as the adults jumped in, he pulled out a gun.
“I jumped in there and pulled the gun away from peoples' heads, avoided being shot in the stomach and I got shot through the arm,” he added.
Authorities still are investigating the incident, the outlet reported.
Reinoehl is currently being looked at for his possible involvement in the Saturday shooting death of Danielson. The 39-year-old and a friend were members of the Patriot Prayer group, whose members clashed with protesters downtown Saturday night and have repeatedly gotten into skirmishes with Antifa members in Portland in recent years.
In an interview with The Common Sense Conservative, Danielson's friend, Chandler Pappas, said the pair were accosted by a group of people looking to hurt someone.
Aaron "Jay" Danielson, 39, was fatally shot in Portland over the weekend amid clashes between supporters of President Trump and counter protesters.
(Police Police Bureau)
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"'We got a couple of them right here. Pull it out,'" the attackers said, according to Pappas.
A shooter opened fire and Danielson was hit. He later died, police said. No arrests have been made. Reinoehl's sister alerted police about her brother after seeing him on screenshots in connection with the shooting, she told The Oregonian.
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