[dropcap]N[/dropcap]EW YORK – Oregon standoff militia leader Ammon Bundy was arrested alongside several other militia members following a traffic stop on Tuesday night and one militia member was killed. The incident took place along U.S. Route 395, several miles north of Burns, Oregon.
A joint statement from the FBI and Oregon State Police confirmed the incident, which occurred around 4:25 p.m. PT, and confirmed arrests of Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan Bundy, Brian Cavalier, Shawna Cox, and Ryan Waylan Payne.
There have been reports that Lavoy Finicum was the militia member who was killed in the exchange of gunfire. Michele Fiore, a Nevada Assemblywoman associated with the Bundy family, told Oregon Public Radio that it was Finicum who was killed.
While not confirmed by law enforcement, Finicum’s daughter confirmed to The Oregonian that he was to be part of the militia contingent to the meeting in John Day.
Finicum, who recently told NBC News he’d rather die than go to jail, gained notoriety as a consistent spokesmen for the militia and, later, as “Tarp Man” after he was interviewed during a live newscast from the standoff while sitting under a tarp. Another militia member, Joe O’Shaughnessy, was also arrested Tuesday night in a separate incident.
According to the statement, all those arrested will 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 stemming from Tuesday’s incident.
What additional charges may be made in relation to the standoff aren’t yet known.
The FBI has also announced John Ritzheimer, an Iraq War veteran who joined the militia early on, turned himself in at an Arizona police station Tuesday night after facing similar charges as those involved in the standoff. He posted the following video on his Facebook page on Tuesday night.
Initial reports were sourced to right-wing Internet talk show host Pete Santilli, but KATU also reported Bundy’s arrest. Santilli was later arrested on the same charge as Bundy and the others.One of the local hospitals was also on lockdown and several roads in the Burns area were closed, including a 50-plus mile stretch of U.S. Route 395 between Burns and John Day.
Bundy and his group have been occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for weeks in protest of the federal government and the sentencing of fellow ranchers on federal charges. What’s next for the militia members still at the refuge is unknown but, right now, the members don’t seem to be going anywhere.