Shots fired during arrest of leader, 5 other members of armed Oregon group; 1 dead
BURNS, Ore. — Federal authorities arrested Ammon Bundy, the leader of a group of protesters occupying a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon, during a traffic stop Tuesday, a law enforcement official told CNN.
In a statement Tuesday, the FBI said one individual “who was a subject of a federal probable cause arrest is deceased.” No other information about the deceased was immediately released.
The FBI said authorities arrested Ammon Bundy, 40, his brother Ryan Bundy, 43, Brian Cavalier, 44, Shawna Cox, 59, and Ryan Payne, 32, during a traffic stop Tuesday afternoon on U.S. Highway 395. Authorities said another person, Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy, 45, was arrested in Burns.
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.
A more than 50-mile stretch of U.S. 395 in Oregon was closed for the standoff.
The Oregonian reports that there had been a meeting scheduled between some members of the group and local residents in John Day on Tuesday night.
Bundy is the son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who was involved in a high-profile 2014 standoff with the government over grazing rights.
The group started out protesting the sentencing of Dwight Hammond and his son Steven, ranchers convicted of arson on federal lands in Oregon, but a march supporting the Hammonds led to the armed occupation of the refuge, with occupiers decrying what they call government overreach when it comes to federal lands.
Last week, Oregon’s governor said that she’d had enough of the protest at the refuge in Harney County, in the southeastern corner of her state.
“The residents of Harney County have been overlooked and underserved by federal officials’ response thus far,” Gov. Kate Brown said during 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.”
Additional reporting by CNN