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The sister of Michael Reinoehl, the man suspected of gunning down a member of the conservative Patriot Prayer group in Portland last weekend, is “relieved” that federal officers killed him late Thursday.
In a phone interview with the Daily Mail after being informed of her brother’s death, April Reinoehl said she was “relieved and also disappointed.”
She said she believed it was just a matter of time before her Antifa-supporting brother, from whom she was estranged, would be killed but she was surprised that U.S. Marshals did it and not Right-wing operatives fulfilling a contract.
“I wouldn’t say at this point that this counts as bad news. It’s just more news,” April Reinoehl told the outlet.
“Honestly I didn’t expect it to be the police, I expected it to be the people who had a contract out for him. I was expecting the angry population of people who were out for blood,” she said.
She went on to say she believes his death will only spark additional violence and killing.
“Now we’ve got two martyrs. That’s how the two opposing sides are going to want to spin it,” April said, in reference to Aaron “Jay” Danielson, whom her brother allegedly shot and killed in Portland on Saturday.
“Hatred begets hatred. Anybody who saw him, in their eyes, standing up for the plight of the black people, being killed by a police officer, this is going to validate their feelings in their minds of all the anger that they have – whether or not it’s correct or righteous,” the teacher and mother of two continued.
Noting that Michael tended to be an “impulsive” man who let his “worst emotions guide his actions,” April said he would then try to rationalize them after the fact.
But she also said she never believed he would go down without fighting, which appears to have been the case.
“So I’m not surprised he got himself killed. I’m surprised a police officer did it,” she told the Daily Mail. “I’m relieved and also disappointed by that.”
“At least it wasn’t vigilante justice that got him, because I think that would actually be worse. It would feed the violence a lot more,” she speculated.
“But at the same time, the nationwide dispute is very highly black people versus officers, and now you have a member of Antifa killed by an officer. So I can imagine things are going to get worse again,” April continued.
From reports, it appears as though Michael exchanged 40-50 shots with officers using a military-style semi-automatic rifle.
According to a press release, Thurston County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Ray Brady said Reinoehl, 48, left an apartment building that was under surveillance in Lacey, Washington, located about 80 miles southwest of Seattle. As officers pulled up in their vehicles, the suspect tried to run away while pulling out a firearm, Brady said in the release.
Reports said that four officers opened fire on Michael, killing him.
For her part April, 36, who barely knew her brother, said his death would nevertheless impact his two kids, an 18-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter who were only beginning to come to terms with the possibility he had killed someone.
“I’m pretty sure they’re already both pretty thoroughly devastated,” she said. “I don’t imagine they’re going to take it well.”
April identified her brother to police following the Portland shooting. She also said he was verbally abusive to their mother, who is suffering from dementia, and that he was in a “downward spiral” after failing at becoming a professional snowboarder.
“He said, ‘I’ll look after the property and take care of mom, you should leave,’” April explained. “This is the same guy who only ever talks to her when he wants something from her, makes her cry if she can’t give it to him by guilting her, shaming her. Every kind of bullying and abusive tactic he could think of, that’s what he would do with her.”
In an earlier interview with VICE News, Michael essentially admitted shooting Danielson but said he was acting to protect a friend “of color.”
April also said that she has gotten dozens of threatening phone calls including from some people claiming to be with Patriot Prayer, beginning the morning after the shooting in Portland
“At 7:50 a.m. I got woken up by a phone call from somebody who thought I was my mom,” she said.
They named our address and said, ‘Your brother is a murderer and we know you’re hiding him. If you don’t turn him over to the police bad things will happen. Your whole family is in danger.’”
“One message said, ‘Patriot Prayer says hello,’ with a picture of me sent to my husband. It was very threatening,” she continued.
She added that her brother “was this nebulous figure who popped in and out of our lives, usually demanding money from our mom, and if she didn’t have it he’d guilt her until she did — not that she had money to give,” she said.
“We were a poor family growing up, but she always gave to him.”
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