UPDATE: Reports: Arizona Rancher laVoy Finicum killed in shootout
Via RAW STORY
LaVoy Finicum — the Oregon militant who gained fame for conducting a television interview from beneath a blue tarp — has reportedly been shot and killed by law enforcement officers.
The Arizona rancher, who was caring for 11 foster children with his wife, vowed at the start of the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Preserve that he was willing to die for his interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.
“I have been raised in the country all my life,” Finicum said in a widely viewed television interview with a rifle on his lap. “I love dearly to feel the wind on my face. To see the sun rise, to see the moon. I have no intention of spending any of my days in a concrete box.”
He was reportedly shot Tuesday evening during a shootout when law enforcement officers stopped a group of militants on their way to establish a shadow government in nearby Grant County.
State Rep. Michele Fiore (R-Nevada), who is close to the Bundy family and other militants, has identified Finicum as the militant who has been reportedly killed.
Six others — including Ammon and Ryan Bundy — were arrested following the shootout.
Reports indicate that one other person might have been wounded in the gunfire.
BURNS – One militant is dead and the top leaders of the refuge occupation are in police custody after law enforcement officials stopped vehicles Tuesday afternoon about 15 miles north of Burns.
Ryan Bundy, 43, of Bunkerville, Nev., suffered a minor gunshot wound and was taken into custody in a highway stop conducted by the FBI and the Oregon State Police.
Also arrested were his brother, Ammon Bundy, 40, of Emmett, Idaho, and Ryan W. Payne, 32, of Anaconda, Mont., Brian Cavalier, 44, of Bunkerville, Nevada, and Shawna J. Cox, 59, of Kanab, Utah. They were charged with conspiracy to impede federal officers, a felony.
The identity of the person killed in the shootout was not released.
No details were immediately available about the dramatic finish to the free-roaming ways of the militant leaders. The FBI has been in charge of the refuge occupation, but it wasn’t immediately known which police agencies were involved in the arrest.
The militants seized the wildlife refuge on Jan. 2, insisting they wouldn’t leave until their demands were met, including the freeing of two Harney County ranchers jailed on federal arson charges. One militant on Tuesday afternoon posted a video of Ammon Bundy talking earlier in the day with an FBI negotiator identified only as “Chris.” The two have been negotiating since last week, with Bundy dictating the circumstances under which he would talk and what the group wanted.
The group of leaders was on U.S. 395 bound for John Day, where they were scheduled to participate in an evening community meeting set up by local residents. A crowd of several hundred had gathered at the John Day Senior Center, who were subsequently told the the “guest speakers” would not be appearing. Among those attending the meeting was Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer, who two weeks ago met with Payne and militant Jon Ritzheimer. He later publicly declared that Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son Steven should be freed from federal prison to help end the standoff. Palmer also has recommended that the FBI leave the Harney County scene and turn the matter to local police.
The armed militants seized the vacant headquarters compound at the refuge, about 30 miles southeast of Burns. They have been using refuge buildings for meetings and lodging, posting armed security guards.
At the refuge Tuesday evening before officials issued a statement, occupier Jason Patrick reported no unusual activity. The only word he had about a possible arrest was from an independent broadcaster allied with the militants.
“It’s pretty quiet here,” Patrick said. He said no one was leaving as of 6 p.m.
The occupiers have been moving without police interference between the refuge and Burns, even attending a county-sponsored community meeting at the Burns High School a week ago. Police estimated at least 50 militants scattered through the crowd of about 400 people. Read More