The New York Times appeared to downplay Portland suspect Michael Forest Reinoehl’s ties to Antifa in its report about his fatal altercation with police.
The Times was the first outlet to break the news that Reinoehl, 48, was shot dead by police after he had been accused of murdering a pro-Trump counterprotester last week, something he seemed to have acknowledged during an interview with Vice News.
“Michael Forest Reinoehl, an antifa supporter, died when law enforcement went to arrest him, four officials said. He was being investigated in the fatal shooting of a member of a far-right group,” the Times initially wrote below the headline.
However, the Twitter account Editing TheGrayLady, a bot that automatically flags edits made by the Times, first made notice of the removal of the “antifa supporter” descriptor.
Fox News was able to confirm the article’s scrubbing of the Antifa reference below the headline.
The Times changed it to read, “Law enforcement agents killed Michael Forest Reinoehl while trying to arrest him, four officials said. He was being investigated in the fatal shooting of a supporter of a far-right group.”
The article’s first reference to Reinoehl’s support for Antifa did not appear until the sixth paragraph.
As the Times reported, “‘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!'”
The Times did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Reinoehl was the prime suspect in the death of 39-year-old Aaron “Jay” Danielson, who was shot in the chest Saturday night, officials told Fox News.
Law enforcement officers from a federal task force led by the FBI and U.S. Marshal Service were conducting surveillance outside an apartment complex in Lacey, Wash., roughly 120 miles north of Portland, on Thursday, when Reinoehl left the building at approximately 7:30 p.m., officials and law enforcement sources told Fox News.
A Washington-based law enforcement source told Fox News four officers had learned that Reinoehl was inside an apartment located within the complex and were waiting for a SWAT team to arrive to arrest Reinoehl when he came out of the house and got into a car. The officers decided to immediately make a traffic stop, the source said.
As they did so, Reinoehl moved a short distance, before stopping and exiting his vehicle, according to the source.
Thurston County Sheriff’s Lt. Ray Brady said the suspect, identified by sources as Reinoehl, said officers initially shot at the vehicle in an attempt to stop him. Federal agents had “attempted to peacefully arrest him,” different sources told Fox News.
As Reinoehl fled on foot, he allegedly pulled out a gun, Brady said in a press release. Officers then shot at and struck Reinoehl, who was pronounced dead at the scene. Two witnesses told The Olympian they saw two sport utility vehicles pull up to a man, believed to be Reinoehl, who was inside a car. The man then opened fire using what the witnesses said appeared to be an assault rifle, according to reports.
The witnesses told The Olympian they heard roughly 40 to 50 shots being fired before officers shot back.
Brady later identified Reinoehl’s weapon as a handgun. Brady said during a news conference following the shooting that it wasn’t immediately clear how many bullets were fired, according to both reports.
An investigation into the shooting will be conducted by the Region 3 Critical Incident Investigation Team, which is comprised of multiple local and state law enforcement agencies, the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.
Fox News’ Stephanie Pagones, Bill Mears, David Spunt and the Associated Press contributed to this report.