The FBI said gunshots rang out after officers stopped a car
carrying protest leader Ammon Bundy and others near the Malheur
National Wildlife Refuge. Activists said Robert LaVoy Finicum, a
rancher who acted as a spokesman for the occupiers, was killed.
FBI agents were setting up a perimeter on Tuesday night around the
wildlife refuge, where some people were still holding out,
continuing their protest against federal control of large tracts of
the country, a law enforcement official told Reuters.
One of the remaining occupiers, Jason Patrick, told Reuters by phone
they would stay until the "redress of grievances".
“I've heard 'peaceful resolution' for weeks now and now there’s a
cowboy who is my friend who is dead – so prepare for the peaceful
resolution,” Patrick said.
The takeover at Malheur that started Jan. 2 was a flare-up in the
so-called Sagebrush Rebellion, a decades-old conflict over the U.S.
government's control of millions of acres of territory in the west.
Protesters say they are defending the Constitution.
Federal officials said they had probable cause to arrest Finicum,
who told NBC News earlier this month that he would rather die than
Protest leader Ammon Bundy and four other senior members were taken
into custody following the confrontation along Highway 395, near the
reserve in northeast Oregon around 4:25 p.m. local time (0025 GMT),
the FBI said.
A sixth person was arrested by Oregon State Police in Burns, Oregon,
about 1 1/2 hours later. The FBI said a seventh person was later
arrested, 50-year-old Peter Santilli, a journalist who livestreamed
events at the refuge.
The FBI said they also arrested an eighth person in Peoria, Arizona,
in relation to the occupation.
All of those arrested face federal charges of conspiracy to use
force, intimidation or threats to impede federal officers from
discharging their duties, the FBI said.
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The protester Patrick likened Finicum’s death to the killing of
Tamir Rice, an unarmed 12-year-old African American boy fatally shot
by police outside a Cleveland recreation center in 2014. The
officers were not charged.
"The government can kill who they want for whatever reason they want
with impunity," Patrick said.
Asked how the occupiers would respond to law enforcement entering
the refuge he did not indicate a clear plan.
"I don't know what to tell you but if somebody saying 'peaceful
resolution' comes in and points guns at me..." he said before
The Oregonian reported that Bundy had been en route to a community
meeting in John Day, Oregon, where he was scheduled to be a guest
speaker, when authorities stopped his vehicle.
The newspaper said 43-year-old Ryan Bundy, Ammon's brother, suffered
a minor gunshot wound.
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco and Dan Whitcomb in
Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Julia Edwards in Washington,
Jonathan Allen in New York and Victoria Cavaliere in Los Angeles;
Editing by Lisa Shumaker, Sara Catania and Andrew Heavens)
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