Last night, law enforcement and some members of the insurrectionists holed up at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge got into a violent confrontation about 20 miles away from Malheur, and one militia member was killed, one was injured, and a bunch were taken into custody.
Oregon standoff spokesman Robert "LaVoy" Finicum was killed and other leaders of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation were arrested Tuesday after the FBI and state police stopped vehicles about 20 miles north of Burns.One might imagine that means their insurrection is over, but one would be wrong: "At the refuge Tuesday evening, occupier Jason Patrick reported no unusual activity. 'It's pretty quiet here,' Patrick said. He said no one was leaving as of 6 p.m. Hours later, Patrick said the refuge remained quiet but 'we're all standing here ready to defend our peaceful resolution.' He wouldn't elaborate."
Authorities did not release the name of the person who died at the highway stop, but Finicum's daughter confirmed it was Finicum, 55, of Cane Beds, Arizona, one of the cowboy-hat wearing faces of the takeover.
...Ryan Bundy, 43, of Bunkerville, Nev., suffered a minor gunshot wound in the confrontation about 4:30 p.m. along U.S. 395. He was treated and released from a local hospital and was in FBI custody, authorities said.
Also arrested during the stop were his brother, Ammon Bundy, 40, of Emmett, Idaho, Ryan W. Payne, 32, of Anaconda, Mont., Brian Cavalier, 44, of Bunkerville, Nevada, and Shawna J. Cox, 59, of Kanab, Utah. They were charged with conspiracy to impede federal officers, a felony.
...[Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore], a vocal supporter of the Bundy family, said that Ammon Bundy told his wife that Finicum was cooperating with police when he was shot.
But sources told The Oregonian/OregonLive that Finicum and Ryan Bundy disobeyed orders to surrender and resisted arrest. No other details were available.
And outside the refuge, Finicum is now a martyr to the cause, and other extremist groups are rallying around the government action taken against the insurrectionists.
In the meantime, Operation Mutual Defense, a network of militias and patriot sympathizers, issued a call on its website for help at the refuge. The post was written by Gary Hunt, a board member from California who has expressed support for Timothy McVeigh, who bombed a federal building in Oklahoma City and had ties to the patriot movement.Which means that things could potentially get a lot worse before this things, unless the feds move to end it swiftly. But they haven't shown much inclination to do that, frankly.
"You have an obligation to proceed to the Harney County Resource Center (the wildlife refuge) immediately," Hunt wrote. "If you fail to arrive, you will demonstrate by your own actions that your previous statements to defend life, liberty, and property were false."
My condolences to Finicum's family, who I'm sure loved him very much.