Police in Lacey, Washington, have shot dead a person suspected of fatally shooting a right-wing activist during protests in Oregon, officials say.
Michael Reinoehl, 48, was being investigated for the killing of a supporter of President Trump during last weekend’s tension.
Reinoehl said he had acted in self-defence when he shot Aaron Danielson, a member of the Patriot Prayer group.
It was not immediately clear why officers shot Reinoehl.
A warrant for Reinoehl’s arrest was issued and he was located by agents on Thursday.
An anonymous official told AP press agency that Reinoehl had pulled a gun during the encounter with officers and was shot by police.
One official told the ny Times that a suspect within the area – who they might not confirm was Reinoehl – left an apartment and got into a vehicle.
“As they attempted to apprehend him, there was gunfire,” Lieutenant Ray Brady told the newspaper.
Black Lives Matter protesters have demonstrated nightly in Portland since the killing of Black man George Floyd in May but the town has seen clashes with right-wing groups.
Reinoehl, who regularly attended the protests, had told Vice News that he had thought he and a lover were getting to be stabbed by Danielson.
“I had no choice. I mean, I, I had a choice. I could have sat there and watched them kill a lover of mine of colour. But I wasn’t getting to do this ,” he said.
Earlier on Thursday President Trump highlighted the killing of Danielson, tweeting “Why aren’t the Portland police arresting the cold blooded killer of Aaron “Jay” Danielson. Do your job, and roll in the hay fast.”.
What happened at the Portland protests?
Reinoehl was suspected of shooting Danielson during clashes on Saturday night when an outsized procession of supporters of President Trump clashed with Black Lives Matter protesters.
The shooting came amid fights between the Trump supporters and BLM protesters within the city center .
Tension rose after a convoy of some 600 vehicles flying flags and carrying an estimated 1,000 Trump backers proceeded through central Portland.
Video showed some people firing what local media described as aerosol and pellets at BLM groups who had tried to stop them entering the town by blocking streets.
The city has become a flashpoint for tension with some violence between between far-right groups, like Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer, and left-wing counter-demonstrators referred to as antifa, or anti-fascist movement.
“I am 100% ANTIFA all the way!” Reinoehl posted on Instagram in June and he suggested that the counter-protestors’ tactics amounted to “warfare”, consistent with US media.
In July he was told to seem in court on charges of carrying a loaded gun publicly and assault .
On 26 July he told AP that that he had been shot in his arm after intervening during a fight between an armed man and a gaggle of young black people.
On Thursday Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Democratic officials condemned the violence that had taken place in Portland, writing “The violence must stop. there’s no place for racism or vigilantism in Oregon.
Source: bbc news