Aaron “Jay” Danielson was fatally shot during rioting in Portland, Ore., last month because he was a supporter of President Trump, his friend Chandler Pappas said Thursday night.
The shooting was simply an act of hatred in a nation that needs to eliminate such acts, Pappas said during an appearance on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“I think this country needs a lot of healing,” he said. “I think everything that’s going on downtown for the pawns that are down there destroying the city. I think they’re just fueled with hatred.”
Pappas was a witness to the shooting and said he tried to save Danielson’s life after his friend was allegedly targeted by Black Lives Matter supporters. Late Thursday, a suspect identified as Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48, was killed in Lacey, Wash., by federal investigators, according to reports.
Pappas told Tucker Carlson that a MAGA hat, along with any apparel that’s “pro-patriot,” is a “pretty big target” for anyone looking to cause harm to someone who holds conservative views.
Earlier Thursday, news outlet Vice had posted an interview with Reinoehl in which he claimed he “had no choice” but to open fire during a confrontation in Portland on Aug. 29.
Pappas — whose appearance on Fox News preceded news reports of Reinoehl’s death — said the fact that Reinoehl hadn’t been arrested had made him lose hope in Oregon’s justice system.
“I lost confidence in the justice system here a long time ago,” he said. “People are throwing explosive devices at Homeland Security and being let off. … This is completely one-sided out here. It’s corrupt like you see in the movies.”
Even though Danielson has been described by some in the media as a “white supremacist,” and identified as a supporter of Patriot Prayer, Pappas described him differently.
“Anybody who knew Jay knew him by his smile,” he said. “He was the happiest, like, most compassionate, first-to-buy-you-a-drink kind of guy that you would ever meet. He got along with everybody.”
Pappas claimed neither he nor Danielson were armed in Portland on the night of Danielson’s death.