Yesterday we reported that the Bundys were arrested but one man was shot and killed in the affair. Here’s how it went down:
NBC NEWS – Local and federal officials seeking to end a nearly month-long protest at an Oregon wildlife refuge realized there was only one way to bring the drama to a close: Arrest the leadership.
The details of Tuesday afternoon’s operation — provided to NBC News by a senior law enforcement official Wednesday — ended with the arrest of brothers and occupation protest leaders Ammon and Ryan Bundy, and the death of anti-government rancher LaVoy Finicum.
The decision to carry out the arrests was set into motion when the defiant leaders left the refuge Tuesday to attend a community meeting in the town of John Day. The incident took place some 45 miles north of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Highway 395.
Arresting the leaders away from the refuge was meant to minimize the potential for violence, the official said.
But for reasons not immediately explained, shots were fired at about 4:25 p.m. (7:25 p.m. ET), as federal agents and Oregon State Police began an “enforcement action” in connection with the occupation, the FBI said.
The activists — a total of nine people — were in two vehicles.
The FBI and state police staked out a spot along the route to John Day to stop the caravan. At first, both vehicles complied with an order to pull over, but then the lead vehicle took off, the law enforcement official said.
It didn’t get very far, hitting a snow bank. Finicum, the official said, jumped out of that vehicle “brandishing a firearm.” He was shot and killed.
Ryan Bundy, 43, of Nevada, was also struck by gunfire. He was wounded in the arm, the official added, and was released Tuesday night from a local hospital where he’d been treated for the gunshot wound.
The official did not know who fired the shot or shots that killed Finicum, 54, of Arizona.
Finicum was a Mormon rancher with 11 children, 19 grandchildren and a wife of 23 years. He told NBC News three weeks ago that he would rather die than be taken into custody as part of the occupation.
All face federal felony charges of conspiracy to impede federal officers from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation or threats, authorities said.
I’m glad this is over and that it didn’t turn into an O.K. Corral shootout where more were shot dead. It stinks that the one guy didn’t comply but it sounds like officers did what they had to do to protect themselves.
Hopefully this is the last we’ll be hearing from the Bundys…at least like this.
The bodyguard of Ammon Bundy, who was in the first vehicle during the arrest, released this video and you all should watch it: