Oregon Militia Standoff: One Dead After Ammon Bundy and Others Arrested

News & Politics

An associate of the armed group occupying an Oregon wildlife refuge was shot dead on Tuesday after a shootout with federal agents that resulted in the arrest of the group’s leader Ammon Bundy and four other protesters.

The shootout appears to have taken place on a highway in rural Oregon, away from the federal refuge the armed, anti-government group has been occupying.

FBI officials said they arrested Bundy, his brother Ryan Bundy, Bryan Cavalier, Shawna Cox and Ryan Payne on Tuesday afternoon after they stopped them along the highway.

The agency described the shootout and arrests as resulting from “an enforcement action to bring into custody a number of individuals associated with the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge” that occurred at 4.25pm PST.

Police have not identified the individual who died, but said they were “a subject of a federal probable cause arrest”. One individual suffered non-life threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital for treatment, the FBI said in its statement. He was arrested and is currently in custody.

Reached by phone Tuesday night, Cliven Bundy, Ammon’s father, who led a standoff with the federal government in 2014, said he was devastated by the reports. “My sons are good people and they were there to help … It’s a rotten shame that people there are not trying to harm anybody and now they are shooting them dead.”

He added, “We’re not going to put up with this … This is a pretty big deal for America. This is the way they treat people who try to help? We are tired of the abuse.”

Members of the armed group had planned to attend a community meeting in the town of John Day, which is north of the Malheur national wildlife refuge that militiamen have been occupying since 2 January.

In a separate incident, Joe Oshaughnessy – another rightwing activist who earlier claimed he was trying to prevent violence from erupting at the refuge – was arrested in Burns, the closest town to the wildlife refuge.

At 6.30pm PST, FBI officials also arrested Pete Santilli, a conservative Ohio radio host who has been a vocal supporter of the Bundys and was earlier live-streamingthe chaos outside of a hospital in Burns.

Santilli, Oshaughnessy and the five men arrested on the highway are all facing federal felony charges of conspiracy to impede officers through the use of force, intimidation or threats.

Harney County Judge Steve Grasty, who has for weeks demanded that Bundy and the other armed men end the protests, said he was saddened to hear that there has been a death. “I’m deeply disappointed … that it looks like there has been a fatality,” he told the Guardian by phone. “This is so hard on everybody – our community and even the occupiers.”

Grasty said he couldn’t say yet whether the standoff was over. “I don’t know that it’s over. I have no idea what is happening at the refuge.” He added: “I’m glad to see this winding down, but we wanted this to come to a peaceful end and it didn’t.”

Bundy and a group of rightwing protesters stormed the refuge to protest the federal government and the imprisonment of two ranchers in rural Harney County.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}
@2023 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by fontsempire.com.