- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 5, 2020

Police in Portland, Oregon, provided new details Friday about the death of Aaron “Jay” Danielson after his accused murderer, Michael Forest Reinoehl, was shot and killed as well.

Authorities revealed Danielson and Reinoehl were each armed with handguns last Saturday, Aug. 29, during a deadly confrontation that led to the latter being charged with murder.

Three witnesses said they saw Danielson spray what detectives later determined to be a can of “Bear Attack Deterrent” before two shots were fired, according to an arrest warrant.

Rico Beniga, a homicide detective for the Portland Police Bureau, said the first bullet struck the can of bear spray before the second, fatal shot hit Danielson in his chest.

Authorities soon identified Reinoehl as a prime suspect and charged him with second-degree murder. He was shot and killed when police tried to arrest him Thursday, however.

Reinoehl, 48, claimed he acted in self-defense during an interview aired by Vice News late Thursday in which he seemed to acknowledge shooting Danielson.

“I had no choice. I mean, I had a choice,” said Rienoehl. “I could have sat there and watched them kill a friend of mine of color. But I wasn’t going to do that.”

Reinoehl was caught on video reaching toward his waistband as he emerged from a parking garage shortly before the shooting took place, according to the warrant for his arrest.

Danielson, 39, had a loaded 9mm handgun holstered to his waistband during the encounter and was equipped with extra magazines but never fired any shots, the detective wrote in the warrant.

He also had been holding an expandable metal baton in addition to the gun and bear spray, according to the police’s account of the encounter.

Danielson was killed while wearing a hat bearing the insignia of Patriot Prayer, a right-wing group that has been holding events in the region supportive of President Trump.

The shooting took place after a caravan of Trump supporters drove earlier in the day into downtown Portland.

Reinoehl previously described himself online as “100% Antifa,” short for anti-fascist, but denied being a “member” of the decentralized left-wing political movement.

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