Officers with a U.S. Marshal-led task force responding near Lacey Thursday night shot and killed a man suspected of committing a widely reported slaying in Portland last week.
According to a statement from the U.S. Marshal Service, Michael Forest Reinoehl produced a firearm and threatened arresting officers, who in turn shot and killed him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
No law enforcement officers were hurt.
A statement from the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office labeled the responding task force the Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Taskforce, comprised of officers from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, Lakewood Police Department and Washington State Department of Corrections, and led by Marshals.
A warrant for Reinoehl’s arrest on a charge of murder had been issued out of Multnomah County in Oregon earlier on Thursday, according to the U.S. Marshals, and the team had found his location to be the unincorporated Tanglewilde near Lacey.
At around 7:30 p.m. in 7600 block of Third Way Southeast in Tanglewilde, the team was conducting surveillance on the suspect’s location. He was seen leaving an apartment, according to the sheriff’s office press release, and getting into a vehicle to leave.
“During the attempt to apprehend him, shots were fired at the suspect and he fled from the vehicle on foot. Additional shots were fired at the suspect and he was later pronounced deceased at the location,” reads the press release, which confirmed the suspect — who goes unnamed in the press release — had a handgun.
The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, in the release, said it would wait to release the deceased’s name upon the completion of an autopsy and contacting his next of kin. It only referred to him as a white male in his 40s. But by that time, Reinoehl’s name had already been released by the statement from the Marshals, which was distributed on social media by news outlets and referenced in a slew of news articles.
Reinoehl was wanted for the Aug. 29 shooting death of Aaron J. Danielson in Portland. According to the New York Times, Danielson was in the city with other supporters of President Donald Trump and clashed with protestors against racial injustice. The city has become the site of regular protest since Minneapolis police killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest.
The Times called Reinoehl a Portland resident and “persistent presence” during the ongoing demonstrations.
Several hours before Reinhoel was killed, Vice Media released an interview with him where he seemed to address Danielson’s death. He believed he and a friend were about to be stabbed, according to the interview, and he acted in self-defense.
Reinoehl’s death is being investigated by the Region 3 Critical Incident Investigation Team, comprised of law enforcement officers from Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific counties and Washington State Patrol. Thurston County will lead the investigation. No members of the Thurston County’s Sheriff’s Office were involved in the shooting.