BURNS, Ore. (KOIN) – One person is dead and several more were arrested – including militia leaders Ammon and Ryan Bundy – after the FBI and the Oregon State Police intercepted the group Tuesday afternoon.
In a statement, the FBI said one person who was “a subject of a federal probable cause arrest” was killed when shots rang out during the traffic stop along Highway 395 near Burns, Oregon late Tuesday afternoon.
The FBI did not release the deceased person’s name. Another unnamed person was injured and is expected to survive.
However, sources confirmed to CNN that Arizona rancher LaVoy Finicum, the de facto spokesman for the militia at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, was killed in the confrontation with FBI and Oregon State Police on Tuesday. Those same sources told CNN Ryan Bundy was the injured person.
Along with the Bundy brothers – Ammon, 40, from Emmett, Idaho and Ryan, 43, from Bunkerville, Nevada – the FBI and OSP took into custody Brian Cavalier, 44, of Bunkerville, Nevada; Shawna Cox, 59, Kanab, Utah; and Ryan Waylen Payne, 32, of Anaconda, Montana.
A sixth person, 45-year-old Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy of Cottonwood, Arizona, was arrested by the OSP in a separate incident in Burns, officials said.
Each person arrested faces a federal felony charge of conspiracy to impede US officers from “discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation, or threats, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 372.”
Later, right-wing online talk show host Pete Santilli, who has been embedded with the militia from the beginning of the occupation, was also arrested on the same charges. Santilli, 50, lives in Cincinnati.
More than a 50-mile stretch of Highway 395 north of Burns – not far from the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge – was closed in both directions. A medical helicopter was dispatched to Burns late Tuesday afternoon amid reports of gunshots fired in connection with the nearly 4-week-old occupation, KOIN 6 News, WOOD TV8’s Portland sister station, confirmed.
Ammon Bundy was expected at a meeting in John Day on Tuesday, but never showed up.
Bundy and a group of militia overtook the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 2 following a protest through the streets of Burns to support ranchers Dwight and Steve Hammond. The Hammonds were convicted of setting fires on federal land and were sentenced to 5 years in prison. The trial judge sentenced them to less than the federally-required minimum sentence, and they were ordered to return to prison to serve the rest of their sentence.
The militia claimed the federal government has no jurisdiction over the wildlife refuge.
Since that time, a series of community meetings urged the militia to go, but Bundy and the other occupiers refused to leave.
“God wants us here, there’s a sense that’s beckoning and it comes from heaven,” militiaman Kelly Gneiting told KOIN 6 News on January 20.. “We’re doing what’s right, we’re doing what the founding fathers would do because we’re inspired by God, also.”
—–This article was originally posted on KOIN.com.