Oregon Refuge Occupation Continues, Despite Shooting, Arrests

The militia spokesman was killed in an apparent shootout with federal agents; eight people have been arrested.


An armed occupation at Oregon's Malheur Wildlife Refuge Oregon took a dramatic turn during a traffic stop Tuesday, when authorities shot and killed one man and arrested several others.

The group was apparently en route from their refuge encampment to the nearby city of John Day, where they planned to participate in a community meeting, when they were intercepted by federal and state agencies and ordered to surrender.

Details are still unclear, but Robert "LaVoy" Finicum — the colorful de facto spokesman of the militant group — was apparently shot and killed by agents, who also arrested five people at the scene: leader Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan Bundy, security detail Brian “Booda” Cavalier, Shawna Cox, and Ryan Payne.

In Burns, Oregon State Police also arrested "Captain" Joseph O'Shaughnessy, and independent broadcaster Pete Santilli. Jon Ritzheimer, who had returned to Arizona where he lives with his family, turned himself in to officials there on Wednesday.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said a total of eight people were arrested, each facing federal felony charges of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation or threats.

Back at the refuge, many of the original group packed up their belongings and left. However, a handful of people still remain in what now appears to be a standoff with federal agents. They are intermittently livestreaming videos and pledging to fight to the death.

Last updated: 27 January 2016

Originally published: 27 January 2016

Brooke Binkowski is an award-winning journalist and researcher. She has written and produced for CNN, CBS, NPR, the Globe and Mail, AJ+, the Christian Science Monitor, and various other outlets. Brooke speaks two languages well and five languages very badly. She loves to travel, run, play music, and read, and is an avid saber fencer and an accordion enthusiast.



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