(Reuters) – A 48-year-old Oregon man said he acted in self defense during the fatal shooting of a supporter of a right-wing group in Portland as he thought he and a friend would be stabbed, Vice News reported on Thursday.
“I had no choice. I mean, I, I had a choice. I could have sat there and watched them kill a friend of mine of color. But I wasn’t going to do that,” Michael Reinoehl said in a video interview published by Vice News about the Saturday shooting of Aaron Danielson, 39.
Reinoehl did not say he shot Danielson in the fragment of video shown by Vice News before the full interview is aired on Thursday night.
The Oregonian newspaper reported Reinoehl was under investigation in the killing that took place after Danielson, a supporter of the Patriot Prayer group, participated in a rally in support of President Donald Trump.
Portland police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reinoehl, a self-declared anti-fascist, was active in Black Lives Matter demonstrations against racism and police brutality in Portland that have gone on for nearly 100 days, according to messages and videos on his Instagram feed.
He said in posts on Facebook and Instagram he was a professional snowboarder and a U.S. Army veteran and was prepared to fight “to change the course of humanity.”
“I am 100% ANTIFA,” he said in a June 16 post, using the term for the anti-fascist movement. “We truly have an opportunity right now to fix everything. But it will be a fight like no other! It will be a war and like all wars there will be casualties.”
His Facebook page says he is from Gresham, Oregon, a community around 15 miles (24 km) east of Portland.
(Reporting by Andrew Hay; Editing by Leslie Adler and Bill Berkrot)