In a violent confrontation with law enforcement, several leaders of the militia standoff at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon were arrested and one was killed Tuesday evening.
Ammon Bundy, the leader of the rag-tag group of militiamen who have been holed up at an Oregon wildlife refuge for more than three weeks was arrested along with four other leaders in a traffic stop along an Oregon highway, according to the FBI.
The AP reported that the FBI confirmed that one person “who was a subject of a federal probable cause arrest is deceased.”
CNN and the Oregonian reported Tuesday night that LaVoy Finicum, 54, was killed. When law enforcement officials intercepted the vehicle carrying several militia leaders, most surrendered, according to CNN. However, police told CNN that Ryan Bundy and Finicum did not. Law enforcement told CNN they were not clear on who opened fire first. Bundy did not suffer life threatening injuries.
Finicum was a rancher from Arizona who had stopped paying grazing fees to the federal government. Finicum had said he was inspired to take a stand after participating in the 2014 confrontation between Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada. He had also penned a survivalist thriller on ranchers taking up arms against law enforcement after an electromagnetic pulse knocked out America’s infrastructure titled “Only By Blood and Suffering.”
Finicum was a foster parent, but four of the children in his care were removed from his home in Arizona earlier this month as the refuge standoff dragged on
According to the FBI and reported by the AP, Ammon Bundy, 40, his brother Ryan Bundy, 43, Brian Cavalier, 44, Shawna Cox, 59, and Ryan Payne, 32,were all taken into custody during the traffic stop. Authorities said another person, Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy, 45, was arrested in Burns. According to the Oregonian, John Ritzheimer, who became well-known during the standoff for a video of him pushing a box of dildos onto the ground, was also arrested and Pete Santili, a documenter and cheerleader for the militiamen was arrested. Both men were arrested on conspiracy charges.
According to the news outlet, the individuals were taken into custody as the men were on the way to an event in the community of John Day.
Law enforcement was not immediately available to comment on the events unfolding.