FBI Confirms 1 Dead as Oregon Militia Leaders Arrested: Report
One has person died and brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy were arrested, along with others on Tuesday when Oregon protestors got into a confrontation with authorities, according to reports.
The FBI confirmed that shots rang out just before 4:30 p.m. local time, as the bureau and Oregon State Police started an “enforcement action” at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, where protestors have taken up residence since early January, NBC reports.
The victim reportedly remains unidentified.
At the beginning of the year, the Bundy brothers and hundreds of other militia and local citizens occupied the refuge in protest of the ruling that two ranchers, father and son Dwight Hammond Jr. and Steven, would have to return to prison after being convicted of arson on federal lands in the state.
“We’re planning on staying here for years, absolutely,” Ammon told The Oregonian at the start of the protest. “This is not a decision we’ve made last minute.”
Although the occupation’s leader said the movement was planned, members of the group took to Facebook after being holed in the building for one day, asking for snacks and energy drinks.
Ammon also told the newspaper that they were not there to hurt anyone, but warned that it might come to that if police tried to remove the group.
Now, according to CNN, up to eight individuals have been arrested and while it’s confirmed that shots were fired, it’s unclear which party opened fire first.
The group has been there for almost a full month, but Oregon Governor Kate Brown said last week that she was fed up with the occupation, venting her frustration at federal officials and the increasing costs of the protest, estimating that “[maintaining] public safety” cost $100,000 per week, CNN reports.
“The residents of Harney County have been overlooked and underserved by federal officials’ response thus far,” Brown said at a news conference. “This spectacle of lawlessness must end. And until Harney County is free of it I will not stop insisting that federal officials enforce the law.
“The estimated of $100,000 a week represents the costs of labor, including overtime, travel reimbursement, lodging and meals for the officers.”
The Harney County Sheriff was reportedly providing extra officers, as well as receiving help from “law enforcement entities around the state,” including the Oregon State Police Troopers.