“I am 100% ANTIFA all the way!” he posted on Instagram in June, referring to a loose collection of activists that have mobilized to oppose groups they see as fascist or racist. “I am willing to fight for my brothers and sisters! Even if some of them are too ignorant to realize what antifa truly stands for. We do not want violence but we will not run from it either!”
In the Vice interview, Mr. Reinoehl said he acted in self-defense, believing that he and a friend were about to be stabbed. “I could have sat there and watched them kill a friend of mine of color, but I wasn’t going to do that,” he said.
The fatal law enforcement encounter occurred on a residential street lined with town homes and single-family houses in Lacey, not far from the Washington State capital of Olympia. The entrance to an apartment complex was blocked off by sheriff’s tape and law enforcement vehicles. Neighbors stood in groups outside in the glare of flashing sheriff’s vehicle lights.
On July 5 during the protests, Mr. Reinoehl was charged with resisting arrest and possession of a loaded firearm, but the case was later dropped. At the end of July, he showed a bloodied arm to a journalist with Bloomberg QuickTake News and said he had been shot while intervening in a fight.
Reese Monson, a leader in the local protest movement who also helps organize security, said all the people who helped with security in Portland, including Mr. Reinoehl, were trained on de-escalation.
“He was excellent at that,” Mr. Monson said.
Mr. Monson said the security designees have been trained to approach potential agitators and politely ask them to leave. They have also been trained on how to conduct physical removals but are cautioned to try to avoid such measures because they can cause things to escalate. Mr. Monson said Mr. Reinoehl would often come over to discuss how to appropriately handle potential agitators.
The night of the shooting began with a large crowd of supporters of Mr. Trump gathering in the suburbs. They planned to drive hundreds of vehicles carrying flags around the highways of Portland, but many of them eventually drove downtown, where protesters have been congregating regularly. Once there, some Trump supporters shot paintballs into the crowd, while people on the streets threw objects back at them. Some fistfights broke out.