An FBI shootout at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon finally led to the arrest of militia leaders Ammon and Ryan Bundy who had been occupying the federal refuge for the past month to protest government control of rancher lands.
One militant, 54-year-old LaVoy Finicum, died during the gunfire. According to his Facebook page, he was allegedly “murdered” while his “hands were in the air.”
Finicum had somewhat ominously predicted this outcome, as he told NBC News after the New Year that, “there are things more important than your life and freedom is one of them.”
Cliven Bundy, father of Ammon and Ryan, spoke to the Las Vegas Review-Journal about the incident, and he had a similar, if somewhat callous, perspective on the situation:
“We believe that those federal people shouldn’t even be there in that state, and be in that county and have anything to do with this issue. … I have some sons and other people there trying to protect our rights and liberties and freedoms, and now we’ve got one killed, and all I can say is, he’s sacrificed for a good purpose.” He also referred to the shootout as a “wake up call.”
The Bundy Ranch Facebook page reiterated the claims made on Finicum’s Facebook, stating that he was “murdered in Cold blood today in Burns Oregon by the FBI and State Law enforcement. He had his hands up and was shot 3 Times.”
Following the shootout, the FBI arrested six participants of the occupation. All arrested militants, “face federal charges of conspiracy to use force, intimidation or threats to impede federal officers from discharging their duties,” according to the FBI.