I had just boarded a plane from Denver to Charlotte on Tuesday evening when I heard the news that the FBI had decided to move on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. During that confrontation, one of the ranchers was shot and killed and eight people were taken into custody.
One person is dead and eight others, including Oregon occupation leader Ammon Bundy, were detained following a violent confrontation with the FBI and state police Tuesday night.
It all began with a traffic stop while Bundy and some of his followers were en route to a community meeting at a John Day senior center, about 70 miles north of Burns.
Shots were fired after FBI agents, Oregon State troopers and other law enforcement agencies made the stop on US Highway 395.
Ryan Bundy suffered a minor gunshot wound. However, LaVoy Finicum was not as fortunate. He was shot and killed during the traffic stop.
Finicum, a frequent spokesman for the group, was a 55-year-old rancher and a foster parent to fifty boys through Catholic Charities Community Services.
"My ranch has been a great tool for these boys," Finicum told Oregon Public Broadcasting. "It has done a lot of good."
Finicum joined the Bundys after an incident in which a few of his cattle were found grazing on the land past the time allotted, which was put in place to allow the land time to recover.
"After that incident, I had to do a lot of soul-searching," Finicum told St. George News. "I realized that Cliven Bundy was standing on a very strong constitutional principle—and yet, here I was continuing to pay a grazing fee to the BLM."
"I talked to him, and he said they were telling people to go if they weren't there for the right reasons, they didn't want anyone there who could make everything go bad," said Arianna Finicum Brown, Finicum's 26-year-old daugher. "He had no plans to be violent. My dad was a really good guy."
Following the news of the death of her husband, Jeanette posted to Facebook, "I had a wonderful time in Oregon with wonderful, dedicated, hard working people. I have so much respect for everyone there who loves our Country so much to put ALL on the line."
Cliven Bundy commented to the Los Angeles Times, "Now we've got one killed, and all I can say is, he's sacrificed for a good purpose."
Among those arrested during the stop were Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Brian Cavalier, Shawna Cox and Ryan W. Payne. Joseph Donald O'Shaughnessy and Pete Santilli were also arrested later, and Jon Ritzheimer was arrested in Arizona, following his surrender.
Sadly, they are all being charged with federal felony charges that are based on unconstitutional agencies and activities.
"All of the named defendants face a federal felony charge of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation, or threats, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 372," read the statement from Beth Anne Steele from the FBI Portland office. "All defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty."
The charges of conspiracy to impeded officers of the united States from discharging their official duties, through the use of force, intimidation or threats is ridiculous. No officers were on duty at the Wildlife refuge! No one was hindered in any way. The only ones who have actually used force, intimidation and threats have been Sheriff David Ward and the feds. The ranchers have all sought to deal with the constitutional issue that deals with where federal control of land exists.
The standoff had lasted 24 days and during all of that time, the ranchers had openly stated over and over that they were not desiring to use their weapons and that they would only use them defensively.
While the traffic stops had become routine, allowing local ranchers who had property on the refuge to pass through the checkpoints, the remained of those leaving had their vehicles searched.
"I am relieved this situation is coming to an end, however, I am saddened by the loss of life," Harney County Judge Steve Grasty said Tuesday. "I hope and pray that those who remain at the refuge will stand down peacefully."
Grasty could have ended it peacefully by siding with the Constitution. Sheriff Ward could have ended it peacefully by siding with the Constitution. The FBI could have done the same. None did and because they did not, they have blood on their hands.
In fact, we know that the FBI appeared to even be conducting some sort of false flag event, even though some members of the agency seemed to be somewhat friendly and others had appeared to respond positively to the arrival of the Idaho Three Percenters. The incident regarding FBI agents at the County Armory led to the fire chief turning in his resignation to Judge Grasty, who referred to him as "old man and… has nothing left" that his "perception is all wrong."
My friend Bob Powell reported on Wednesday morning that he received a phone call from a Three Percenter inside the FBI, who informed him that 200 plus armored vehicles were in Burns and gave the remaining people at the refuge until 4am PST to vacate the refuge.
According to Powell, "My source says the peaceful occupiers have to get on Highway 20 and go to Burns before the 4am deadline and they will be granted safe passage. Anyone remaining in the Refuge after 4am local time will be considered an "enemy combatant," and they will be subject to the same type of murder the Feds carried out on LaVoy Finicum yesterday evening."
The story is still developing and there is sure to be eyewitness reports from the Bundys about what really took place regarding the shooting of Ryan Bundy and Robert Finicum.