Ammon Bundy, other protesters arrested in Oregon; LaVoy Finicum killed

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By Sara Sidner, Dana Ford and Jason Hanna


MALHEUR NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, Oregon (CNN) — Harney County Sheriff David Ward on Wednesday blamed the occupiers of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon for the death of an outspoken protester who authorities tried to arrest during a traffic stop tied to the ordeal.

Authorities have not identified the person who was shot and killed during Tuesday’s stop, but others have identified him as LaVoy Finicum. Protest leader Ammon Bundy was arrested during the same stop.

“Multiple agencies put a lot of work into this to put the best tactical plan that they could to arrest them peacefully,” Ward told reporters. “(The death) didn’t have to happen. We all make choices in life. Sometimes our choices go bad.”

Shots were fired, but it’s unclear who fired first, a law enforcement official said.

With their leader arrested and a fellow protester killed, an unknown number of demonstrators have indicated they’ll continue their weekslong armed occupation. The FBI tried to assert more control Wednesday, setting up checkpoints on roads heading to and from Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

“We don’t arm up and rebel,” said Ward, urging everyone involved in the occupation to “move on.”

“We work through the appropriate channels. This can’t happen anymore. This can’t happen in America, and it can’t happen in Harney County,” the sheriff said.

Occupation continues

Occupiers who remained told a CNN crew near the headquarters building that they intended to stay there. It wasn’t immediately clear how many remained.

The checkpoint into the refuge had high security Wednesday. A CNN crew was instructed to stop. A sniper aimed at vehicles as a reporter was told to get out, and asked for ID and whether she had any weapons on her. FBI agents got into the cars by themselves and drove the vehicles through the checkpoint to the other side.

Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) radio’s John Sepulvado, reporting on refuge grounds outside the occupied building, said that occupiers told him they were prepared to die.

“I just spoke to the new leaders — including Jason Patrick — They say that 5-6 (people) had a meeting, and by consensus they decided to stay,” Sepulvado wrote Wednesday morning on Twitter.

The decision to stay came on the 26th day of the occupation of the refuge building in eastern Oregon, which armed demonstrators took over January 2, in part to protest the sentencing of two ranchers and what they call government overreach when it comes to federal lands.

It came the day after Finicum’s death — a killing that his fellow demonstrators called murder.

Finicum, Bundy and four others were pulled over on U.S. Route 395, a law enforcement official told CNN. According to The Oregonian, they were headed to the city of John Day, where they planned to participate in a community meeting set up by local residents.

Everyone obeyed orders to surrender except Finicum and Ryan Bundy, Ammon Bundy’s brother, the official told CNN.

Ryan Bundy was wounded, and Finicum died, the source said.

Occupiers: ‘A patriot has fallen’

Finicum was one of the most vocal occupiers who took over the refuge building near Burns.

Earlier this month, the father of 11 told CNN he did not want to die — but would never go behind bars.

“I’m just not going to prison,” Finicum said. “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. I want to be able to get up in the morning and throw my saddle on my horse and go check on my cows. It’s OK. I’ve lived a good life. God’s been gracious to me.”

News of Finicum’s death quickly reached the protesters still holed up at the refuge building.

“It appears that America was fired upon by our government,” the occupiers said on the Bundy Ranch Facebook page. “One of liberty’s finest patriots is fallen. He will not go silent into eternity.”

The occupiers claimed Finicum had his hands in the air when he was shot.

The Bundys’ father, controversial Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, told CNN affiliate KTNV that Ammon Bundy relayed to him by phone that Finicum had his hands in the air when he was shot.

“LaVoy Finicum, they cold-blooded killed him,” Cliven Bundy said. “They said he was out, had his hands in air, said he wasn’t armed, wasn’t any threat, and they cold-blooded just killed him. They shot him several times, I guess. Anyway, my son said that’s what happened.”

Cliven Bundy’s account couldn’t be independently corroborated.

A representative from the Joint Information Command Center in Harney County said authorities had no comment on the claim that Finicum had his hands up. He said more information would be released.

Cliven Bundy said Finicum died supporting his beliefs.

“He was a wonderful man,” he told KTNV. “He was a student of the Constitution. He was interested in freedom, and I think he gave his life where he felt it was best.”

The arrests

In all, police arrested eight people Tuesday linked to the wildlife refuge takeover: five in the traffic stop on U.S. Highway 395; two others in Burns; and one in Arizona, the FBI and Oregon State Police said.

The five arrested at the traffic stop were Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Brian Cavalier, Shawna Cox and Ryan Waylen Payne.

The two arrested in Burns were Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy and Peter Santilli.

All seven arrested in Oregon were expected to have initial court appearances on Wednesday.

Protester Jon Ritzheimer, who previously made headlines for leading an anti-Islam protest in Arizona, turned himself in to police in Peoria, Arizona, FBI spokesman Kurt Remus said.

All eight face a federal felony charge of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation or threats, authorities said.

The standoff

Ammon Bundy and others started out protesting the sentencing of Dwight Hammond and his son Steven, ranchers who were convicted of arson on federal lands in Oregon.

But a January 2 march supporting the Hammonds led to the armed occupation of the refuge, with protesters decrying what they call government overreach when it comes to federal lands.

Since then, the occupiers have turned the refuge into their own — changing the sign in the front and tearing down a fence they claimed harmed the livelihood of a rancher. But that rancher told The Oregonian he didn’t ask the occupiers to tear down the public fence — in fact, he was upset by it.

Ammon Bundy has said that while the armed protesters don’t want violence, they would be ready to defend themselves if necessary.

But with the leader arrested, it’s not clear what will happen next.

On Twitter, Gov. Kate Brown stressed that she was doing everything in her power to end the occupation.

Sara Sidner reported from Oregon. Dana Ford and Jason Hanna reported and wrote from Atlanta. CNN’s Evan Perez, Holly Yan, Jason Kravarik, Shane Deitert, Dave Alsup, Dottie Evans, Keith Allen, Tina Burnside and Joshua Gaynor also contributed to this report.

™ & © 2016 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.



  • anotherbob

    Totally not surprised it was LaVoy Finicum, they guy was a total wacko and was hellbent on getting into a shootout with the feds. Glad to see this come to an end, these guys are terrorists as far as I’m concerned, they think they are fighting the evil feds but in all reality they are all just senile.

    • Diogenes

      Lavoy Finicum was one of the kindest, gentlest souls. And he was shot three times whiles on his knees, unarmed, with his hands on his head. None of the occupiers wanted to have to use the guns they brought for their defense.

      • Freddy

        Why didn’t the media interview you as an eyewitness of this incident? His words and actions in this situation are at odds with your comments. I saw and heard nothing to indicate he was a kind and gentle or that he didn’t want to use his gun.

      • Ken

        Why didn’t the media interview him? Maybe because then the real story would have been told. Are you that blind that you can’t see the media has an agenda and only tell you what they want you to know?

      • t

        Wrong! The driver (Mark McConnell) of the vehicle that had Ammon Bundy and Brian Cavalier in it said that Finicum charged police. Get your facts straight.

      • STR8LEG

        Everyone needs to watch the video. LaVoy was not on his knees, he did not have a gun in his hand at the time he was shot, he was not charging anyone, he may have reached down to his side (maybe to draw a gun or maybe not). He appeared to be compliant. One fact stands out, he was shot in what seems to be the head by a person holding a large caliber rifle, who came out of the woods from the left side. How did that agent get into position to make that shot so fast.

    • anotherbobsucks

      Spoken like and by a true liberal puke who is obedient like a good little sheep to the godless, most lawless,racist administration ever to inhabit the white house.His type of human garbage turn their head to EVERY indiscretion committed,by his god ovomit,and scream at the top of their lungs every imagined injustice by conservatives.His gods can kill babies and sell the body parts,provide guns to cartels,allow untold border crossings(many possibly terrorists)at the expense of the american people all in the name of keeping the democrats in power.Spend us to death to continue their freebies policy in another attempt to stay in office.Guaranteed this person has obama sphincter rings around his neck.People like this make me physically ill.

      • anotherbob

        I think you should seek professional help, your post was the verbal equivalent of projectile diarrhea and we are now dumber to have read it. In the end I’d rather have Obama’s sphincter rings around my neck than “little Barry” shoved down my throat as you do.

    • anotherbob

      @DIOGENES I can’t tell if you’re trolling or you’re just that delusional. Did you never listen to any of the comments he had to say while being interviewed by media? He pretty much told them he would never be taken alive and he would die protecting his “freedoms”. Also speaking of how kind/gentle he was, it would seem you’ve conveniently forgotten how he exploited children for child slave labor so he and his wife could profit. The guy was a total nutjob and so are you.

    • Celeste

      Excuse me, that is someone’s mate, parent probably grandparent and loved one too many. He was also out there carrying a message for our freedoms well so many are sitting at home doing nothing about it. So with all due respect I say this is perhaps a time that if you don’t have something nice to say you might just keep it to yourself. Or maybe say a prayer for those fatherless eleven children, as we all have our opinions but a little compassion goes a long way. Have a nice day.

  • Douglas

    Anotherbob…were our founding fathers terrorists? Does that make me a terrorist for being a patriot and being fed up with our government? What is the definition of a terrorist? That makes every group with an agenda a terrorist group, including our government and military. I too am glad it is over for the most part. LaVoy was a little off.

  • miles(dave)

    im confused. i assumed that ammon was among those at the wild life refuge. how was it that he got from the refuge to a vehicle and drove for some (to me an unknown distance) then was stopped. i thought the refuge was surrounded by police and other officials. thats what they talked about anyway the cost to pay these people and bring them meals.

    what am i missing

    • Diogenes

      They had been traveling freely until now. They attended community meetings both locally and in nearby counties, until the FBI showed up this time with state police and their cameras turned off.

  • Diogenes

    Cold blooded murder. Lavoy Finicum was shot three times while on his knees, unarmed, with his hands on his head.
    The Feds had already gotten the State of Arizona to take four of his foster children, and the children of another occupier Blaine Cooper were also taken from his home because they were involved in the occupation.

  • gmaillogin

    Well it’s about damn time. I only pray they charge this armed terrorist as a terrorist and lock him away in a cage at the super max prision for the next three or four hundred years.

    • anotherbobsucks

      Yet another “american” that would have sold out the founding fathers as terrorists to the british…..
      gmaillogoff it’s OK we have seen our share of cowards and benedict arnolds throughout history,your kind is nothing new.The kind that would sit and watch a child drown in a pond rather than jump in and save them.Fear and cowardice.

      • Freddy

        Do you and Gmaillogin have a history that the rest of us are not aware of? You seem to know much more information about Gmaillogin than a simple, 2-sentence comment would provide.

    • anotherblob

      I also think they should charge the person that provided guns to terrorists in the fast and furious scandal,guns that have now been used against our border patrol agents in a deadly fashion and have also been recently found( a .50 cal)in el chapo guzmans possession.But you don’t want to talk about that do you?

  • anotherblob

    Hey freddy right back at you, why didn’t they interview you?
    Sounds like anotherblob,you have a preconceived liberal notion of anyone that opposes your god obamas admin is a terrorist.I am also sure that patriots,our military,police,target shooters,gun lovers,boy scouts,christians,are also terrorists in your demented mind right?
    Yeah you seem to have ALL the answers even though you weren’t there?
    As for me I have heard nothing to indicate he was anything but lucid.If you have any evidence point to something else please share with us oh enlightened one.I am sure we could all benefit from your superior otherworldly intelligence.

  • FinnyWiggen

    It is true that the founding fathers rebelled against the established government of their day. But only a fool would compare what those patriots did, to the actions of the terrorists in Oregon.

    Totally different circumstances.

    The founding fathers were separated from the British Government by 150 years, several generations, and a distance that for all intents and purposes was as far away as Mars is to us today.

    If we established a colony on Mars today, and then 150 years from now were taxing them dry, and refused to give them representation in our government, THEN you could claim an equivalent set of circumstances.

    These Oregon terrorists are rebelling against a government that is by the people, for the people, and of the people. In the name of a religion that condemns them. On behalf of groups who do not invite them, and who reject the notion that they represent them.

    They are nuts. Dangerous. And have no place in a civil world.

    • STR8LEG

      Everyone needs to watch the video. LaVoy was not on his knees, he did not have a gun in his hand at the time he was shot, he was not charging anyone, he may have reached down to his side (maybe to draw a gun or maybe not). He appeared to be compliant. One fact stands out, he was shot in what seems to be the head by a person holding a large caliber rifle, who came out of the woods from the left side. How did that agent get into position to make that shot so fast.

      • STR8LEG

        Finnywiggin, if you believe that we are a government of the people, by the people, for the people, why do you condemn men who were pushing back against the same said government who thinks it is OK to snatched land out from under people, to imprison 2 men who merely set a back fire to protect their land from a fire started by a lightning storm that burn thousands of acres, and who sentenced the same 2 men to 5 years in a federal prison. People who murder and rape can get a lesser sentence. They harmed nobody.
        I support these men fully , and if you enjoy the freedoms that our military and honest law enforcement officers provide, you may want to get behind the Patriots that are willing to die for a just cause such as this. Our government is no longer for the people. They are for whatever they can get. They have become too big and too powerful.
        Thomas Jefferson said “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure”.

        SGT Douglas Henry Sr
        U.S. Army ( ret. )
        III% Molon Labe

  • Scott

    so they kill him and plant a stolen 9mm weapon. this is about mercenaries working for French Banking interests calling themselves FBI, now they are attacking Ranchers and telling them to shut up or have their nuts smashed. the media wont tell you about this, who owns them ? why is Hillary selling Uranium to the Russians to fund her Foundation and Campaign ? who owns this Land, surely not the Federal government. Why are local judges calling for Military help ? if you want to know turn off the TV, and get on the internet, ignore the paid trolls from cointelpro making posts. Time is up Criminals

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