1 Dead, 7 Arrested After Firefight with Authorities in Oregon Standoff
Seven people of the armed militia occupying a wildlife refuge in Oregon have been arrested, including the group’s leader, after a firefight with police broke out that left one person dead.
According to CNN, Ammon Bundy, the group’s leader, and six other men were traveling on Highway 395 on Tuesday when they were pulled over at a traffic stop. The men were reportedly heading to John Day city where they planned to attend a community meeting assembled by local residents when they were stopped by federal officials.
From the Guardian:
“FBI officials said they arrested Bundy, his brother Ryan Bundy, Bryan Cavalier, Shawna Cox and Ryan Payne on Tuesday afternoon after they stopped them along the highway.
“The agency described the shootout and arrests as resulting from “an enforcement action to bring into custody a number of individuals associated with the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge” that occurred at 4.25pm PST.”
CNN reported that five of the men obeyed orders to surrender, but two others refused. The situation escalated, but it is unclear who fired first.
The man killed was LaVoy Finicum, the group’s spokesman, who had been one of the first to take over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 2.
Another was injured, Ammon Bundy’s brother, Ryan. No police are reported to have been injured.
With their de facto leader in custody, it’s unclear what the group may do now, but the occupiers are unlikely to take the news lightly.
“It appears that America was fired upon by our government,” read a statement on the Bundy Ranch Facebook page. “One of liberty’s finest patriots is fallen. He will not go silent into eternity.”
Finicum, a father of 11, told CNN he did not want to die for the cause, but would never go to prison.
“I’m just not going to prison,” said Finicum. “Look at the stars. There’s no way I’m going to sit in a concrete cell where I can’t see the stars and roll out my bedroll on the ground. That’s just not going to happen.”