Shots fired, one killed in arrest of Oregon militants


The FBI on Tuesday arrested the leaders of an armed group that has occupied a national wildlife refuge in Oregon for the past three weeks, conducting a traffic stop that prompted gunfire — and one death — along a highway through the frozen high country.

Militant leader Ammon Bundy and his followers were reportedly heading to a community meeting at the senior center in John Day, a Grant County town about 70 miles north of Burns, to address local residents to discuss their views on federal management of public lands.

The Oregonian newspaper reported several hundred people had gathered at the John Day Senior Center on Tuesday evening and were told the “guest speakers” would not be appearing.

In a statement, the FBI and Oregon State Police said agents had made six arrests: Bundy, 40; his brother Ryan Bundy, 43; Brian Cavalier, 44; Shawna Cox, 59; and Ryan Payne, 32, during a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 395 Tuesday afternoon. Authorities said another person, Joseph Donald O'Shaughnessy, 45, was arrested in Burns.

One of those arrested suffered non-life-threatening wounds after shots were fired and was treated at a hospital, the agencies said. Another individual “who was a subject of a federal probable cause arrest is deceased,” they said. The agencies said they would not release further information about the death pending identification by the medical examiner.

Ammon Bundy's group, which has included people from as far away as Arizona and Michigan, seized the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 2 as part of a long-running dispute over public lands in the West. It was unclear how many people remained in the buildings Tuesday night.

The confrontation came amid increasing calls for law enforcement to take action against Bundy for the illegal occupation of the wildlife refuge. Many residents of Harney County, where the refuge is located, have been among those demanding that Bundy leave. Many sympathize with his criticism of federal land management policies of public lands but opposed the refuge takeover. They feared violence could erupt.

Ammon Bundy recently had begun traveling into Grant County to try to drum up more sympathy for his cause.

The Bundys are the sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who was involved in a high-profile 2014 standoff with the government over grazing rights.

The FBI said the people arrested Tuesday 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. No indictments or federal charging documents had been made public.

Federal law enforcement officers converged on the wildlife refuge after the arrests and were expected to remain at the site throughout the night. It was unclear how many members of the armed group, if any, were at the refuge when the law enforcement officers arrived.

The militants, calling themselves Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, came to the frozen high desert of eastern Oregon to decry what it calls onerous federal land restrictions and to object to the prison sentences of two local ranchers convicted of setting fires.

Specifically, the group wanted federal lands turned over to local authorities. The U.S. government controls about half of all land in the West.


Associated Press reporters Gene Johnson and Lisa Baumann in Seattle; Keith Ridler in Boise, Idaho; and Terrence Petty in Portland, Oregon, contributed to this report.



I'm glad this armed take over of public land by out-of-state extremists is coming to an end. Its a shame that someone died, but from what I've read he claimed that he would never be taken alive. I guess he got his wish.

Horse with no name

A little tidbit coming out of this whole mess is the matter of Grant county Sheriff Glenn Palmer and his affiliation with the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. When you have a Sheriff agreeing with the occupiers that convicted criminals should be released and that the FBI should walk away from the armed takeover of a federal property; what the heck is with that?

"Palmer is aligned with the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, a national nonprofit which interprets the constitution to severely limit federal government powers. Palmer was the association's first "Constitutional Sheriff of the Year" in 2011 and now serves on its advisory board." http://www.oregonlive.com/oregon-standoff/2016/01/post_2.html

If this is the type of behavior the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association promotes, I think we should know more about their agenda and who of our public employees are members.


Horse - I read that it may be possible that Sheriff Palmer was working with the FBI in an effort to coordinate their arrest. From what I understand he was at the road block where the Finicum was killed and the other five were arrested. Sheriff Palmer may be sympathetic to their cause, but he may not be foolish enough to want outside agitators coming into communities and turning the town into a war zone.

Horse with no name

Mudstump - I would like to believe that and I might if they take their award back from him. Itook a look at CSPOA's site and found the founder's mission statement which is where you lay out your vision and it is pretty off the wall...
"This is our plan, our goal and our quest. We are forming the Constitutional Peace Officers Association which will unite all public servants and sheriffs, to keep their word to uphold, defend, protect, preserve, and obey the Constitutions of the United States of America. We already have hundreds of police, sheriffs, and other officials who have expressed a desire to be a part of this Holy Cause of Liberty.
We are going to train and vet them all, state by state, to understand and enforce the constitutionally protected Rights of the people they serve, with an emphasis on State Sovereignty and local autonomy. Then these local governments will issue our new Declaration to the Federal Government regarding the abuses that we will no longer tolerate or accept. Said declaration will be enforced by our Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers. In short, the CSPOA will be the army to set our nation free. This will guarantee this movement remains both peaceful and effective..."
“Holy Cause of Liberty”, really? They talk about the Constitution all day long and what they are really promoting is sedition. They believe they are chosen by God to return this country to biblical law, straight out of the Dominionist playbook.
Guess who Sheriff Mack, the founder of CSPOA, inspiration is, W. Cleon Skousen. In 1984 according to the Arizona Daily Star, Mack said of the 240 officers who heard Skousen speak: “I don’t know what happened to the other 239 of them, but this one was converted.”
A Sheriff can believe whatever they want but voters should understand what they are getting.


Horse - I agree with you and it is frightening to read what these religious extremists have in mind for our country. When they talk about the "Constitution" they are NOT talking about the Constitution as most of us know it. They believe in an "interpreted version" of the Constitution written by W. Cleon Skousen. Here is a little snip from Wiki:

Skousen disregarded all federal regulatory agencies and argued against the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency.[24] He also wanted to repeal the minimum wage, eliminate unions, nullify anti-discrimination laws, sell off public lands and national parks, end the direct election of senators, eliminate the income tax and the estate tax, remove the walls separating church and state, and end the Federal Reserve System.[24]

Skousen believed in converting the USA into a theocracy and so do his followers. Dangerous people indeed.

Horse with no name

Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer appears to be all in, with the other side of the law.


This is what happens when religious beliefs override our civic laws. Real nice, now Grant County can split itself apart like happened in Harney.

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