Wow. Our experiment is off to a great start—let's see if we can finish it off sooner than expected.
Ammon Bundy, the leader of the armed militia group that seized a federal wildlife refuge on January 2, and several others were arrested on Tuesday night after a confrontation with law enforcement during a traffic stop. One militia member—Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, a.k.a #TarpMan—was shot and killed, though authorities have not released details about who fired the fatal shot. According to NBC News, Finicum had previously said he'd rather die than be arrested: "I have no intention of spending any of my days in a concrete box. There are things more important than your life and freedom is one of them. I'm prepared to defend freedom." (Finicum was also the author of a novel, Only By Blood and Suffering: Regaining Lost Freedom; several foster children, whom Finicum called his only main source of income, were taken from him and his wife while he occupied the refuge.)
During a highway stop north of the refuge, shots were fired, according to the FBI and Oregon State Police. Finicum was killed, and Ryan Bundy, who was also taken into custody, suffered a minor gunshot wound. In a separate incident in Burns, Oregon State Police arrested a sixth person, Joseph O'Shaunghnessy, an hour and a half after the initial arrests. All face federal felony charges of conspiracy to impede federal officers.
The Oregonian also reported that Jon Ritzheimer, another militant leader famous for complaining about a sex toy delivery to the refuge, surrendered to police several hours later.
The arrests comes three weeks after Bundy and the militia group took control of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge after protesting the imprisonment of Dwight and Steven Hammond, the father-son rancher duo who face prison time for setting fire to federal land.
Update, January 27, 9:40 a.m. EST: The FBI has ordered for the remaining militia members to leave.
i just spoke to the new leaders -- including jason patrick - They say that 5-6 ppl had a meeting, and by consensus they decided to stay. 1/2— John Sepulvado (@JohnLGC) January 27, 2016
they will not leave, "we're not cowards like the rest," say they're prepared to die. 2/2 #MalheurOccupation— John Sepulvado (@JohnLGC) January 27, 2016
Jason Patrick, one of the men still occupying the federal building, likened Finicum's death to the police killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. "The government can kill who they want for whatever reason they want with impunity," he told Reuters.