An Occupation In Eastern Oregon

The Malheur Occupation In Eastern Oregon: Day 25

By OPB Staff (OPB)
Jan. 27, 2016 2 a.m.
At least 40 miles of Highway 395 were shutdown after militants were arrested while traveling to John Day from Burns to host a community meeting.

At least 40 miles of Highway 395 were shutdown after militants were arrested while traveling to John Day from Burns to host a community meeting.

Dave Blanchard / OPB

For the latest news and updates on day 26 of the Malheur occupation, please follow our new story here.


UPDATE: (11:25 a.m.) 

At a press conference Wednesday morning, U.S. District Attorney for Oregon Bill Williams said those arrested, including Ammon and Ryan Bundy, will be arraigned at 1:30 today in Portland, Oregon. 

Referencing Tuesdays arrests and an officer-involved fatal shooting, an emotional Harney County Sheriff David Ward said, "We could have waited a lot longer, but this has been tearing our community apart.
"It didn't have to happen. We all make choices in life. Sometimes those choices go bad."
Also at the press conference, Greg Bretzing, Special Agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon, said in a statement, "the armed occupiers were given ample opportunities to leave peacefully. They were given the opportunity to negotiate. As outsiders to Oregon, they were given the opportunity to return to their homes and have their grievances heard through legal and appropriate means. They chose, instead, to threaten the very America they profess to love with violence, intimidation and criminal acts."

UPDATE: (10:54 a.m.) OPB's John Sepulvado is on the ground in Harney County outside the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. He told OPB's Dave Miller on Think Out Loud that the FBI has stepped up its security around the refuge. He said he had to undergo a background check and his vehicle was checked when he arrived near the refuge last night.

This is a developing story. We’ll update with new information as it comes in. Read all of the related coverage from the armed occupation in Eastern Oregon.

UPDATE: (10:30 a.m.) The law enforcement partners involved in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. to provide updates on the ongoing situation. Harney County Sheriff David Ward, FBI Special Agent in Charge Greg Bretzing and U.S. Attorney Bill Williams are all expected to speak.

OPB Radio will air the press conference live. Think Out Loud will precede the press conference with live updates on the situation beginning at 10:36 this morning. You can listen live online. KGW will live stream a TV broadcast of the press conference.

UPDATE: (9:25 a.m.) In a statement released early Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Hood River, asked the occupiers who remain in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge after Tuesday night's events to "go home before anyone else gets hurt."

"I've been in close contact with local and federal officials throughout this long standoff, and we had all hoped for a peaceful conclusion to the situation in Harney County. Sadly, our hopes were shattered with the shooting that occurred during last night's arrest.   While we wait to learn more details and next steps, we must keep the people of Harney County in our hearts as they are a strong community and have endured a great deal," he said.

"And when this (is) done and the cameras' glare turns away from rural Oregon, the healing process will be a long one. Widespread frustration will continue until people in rural American feel like they are being heard and meaningful changes are made to federal land management policy.”

OPB's Conrad Wilson spoke with Morning Edition host Geoff Norcross about what happened Tuesday and what comes next.

UPDATE: (7:30 a.m.) FBI officials have established checkpoints around the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge as a handful of armed militants remain inside.

Related Content: Occupation To Standoff: FBI Surrounds Militants Still Inside Malheur Refuge

UPDATE: (5:00 a.m.)  OPB spoke with the new leaders inside the compound, which include militant Jason Patrick. He said the remaining group of militants are prepared to stay for the long run.

The children that OPB reported were inside the compound before the standoff are not in the building.

UPDATE (4:30 a.m.): FBI officials have established checkpoints around the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge as a handful of armed militants remain inside.

FBI officials say any vehicles approaching the checkpoints will be stopped and searched, and all occupants of the vehicles must present identification. Law enforcement officials said in a press release early Wednesday morning they will arrest anyone who is not compliant with the checkpoint procedure.

The only people allowed to pass the checkpoints will be local ranchers, according to the FBI.

“Anyone coming out of the refuge will have his or her identification confirmed and any associated vehicles searched,” a press release from the FBI stated.

How We Got Here: Malheur Occupation Reference Guide


UPDATE (4:00 a.m) The monthlong occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge took a turn Tuesday night – with the death of one militant after an officer involved shooting. At least eight others were arrested, including the leader of the occupation Ammon Bundy.

Related Content: What happened last night.

Protester LaVoy Finicum from Arizona was fatally shot by law enforcement officials on Jan. 26 during a traffic stop. Finicum was part of an armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Protester LaVoy Finicum from Arizona was fatally shot by law enforcement officials on Jan. 26 during a traffic stop. Finicum was part of an armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Amanda Peacher / OPB

UPDATE: (8:55 p.m.) Jon Eric Ritzheimer, 32, was arrested by the FBI in Arizona Tuesday night on a federal charge related to the Malheur Refuge occupation.  The FBI announced that Ritzheimer turned himself into the Peoria, Arizona, police department without incident.

Ritzheimer, like the other occupants arrested in Oregon Tuesday night, face one 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, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 372.

UPDATE (8:35 p.m.) Multiple sources report that Robert LaVoy Finicum was shot and killed by law enforcement officers.

A rancher from Arizona, Finicum initially became involved in the occupation to support the Hammonds, who he believed had been “very unjustly imprisoned.” Finicum had emerged as a spokesman for the militants occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

UPDATE (8:25 p.m.) Oregon State Police says the Deschutes County Major Incident Team will assist the police department and the Harney County District Attorney's Office with an investigation into Tuesday's officer-involved shooting near Burns.   The investigation will be conducted in compliance with Senate Bill 111 which outlines protocols to be followed when deadly physical force is used, police say.

UPDATE: (8:17 p.m.) An individual who suffered non-life threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital for treatment has been arrested and is in FBI custody.

UPDATE: (8:00 p.m.) Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley released a statement Tuesday evening:

I am pleased that the FBI has listened to the concerns of the local community and responded to the illegal activity occurring in Harney County by outside extremists. The leaders of this group are now in custody and I hope that the remaining individuals occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge will peacefully surrender so this community can begin to heal the deep wounds that this illegal activity has created over the last month.

The locally elected leaders and state, local, and federal law enforcement are to be commended for their close coordination in working to address this crisis.

UPDATE: (7:53 p.m.) Kieran Suckling with the Center for Biological Diversity has spent the past two weeks in Burns following the occupation. Suckling issued a statement following Tuesday night's news of one death.
"I'm saddened to see this standoff culminating in violence," Suckling said. "But the Bundys and their followers showed up armed to the teeth and took over lands that belong to all American people. We hope and pray those remaining at the compound surrender peacefully and immediately. Here's hoping cooler heads now prevail in southeastern Oregon and we can return to a semblance of peace and civility."

UPDATE: (7:46 p.m.) The FBI confirmed that Peter Santilli, age 50, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was arrested in Burns, Oregon. He faces the same federal felony charge as the other individuals arrested Tuesday night.

UPDATE: (6:57 p.m.) The FBI and Oregon State Police arrested six people in connection to the occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. One person was killed.

Ammon Bundy, Ryan C. Bundy, Brian "Booda" Cavalier, Shawna Cox and Ryan W. Payne were all arrested Tuesday night along Highway 395 between Burns and John Day, police said.

Officials said one person suffered non-life threatening injuries. The injured person was reportedly transferred to a local hospital.

The arrest of Ammon and Ryan Bundy along with three others took place around 4:30 p.m. Shots were fired during the arrest.

Law enforcement said no additional information will be released at this time about the deceased person.

In a separate event in Burns, Oregon State Police arrested Joseph Donald O'Shaughnessy, 45, of Cottonwood, Arizona. They did not give details about the nature of the arrest.

St. Charles Health System in Bend confirmed a helicopter had been dispatched to Harney County and is on standby awaiting to transport patients to its level II trauma center. The hospital is on lockdown.

Everyone arrested Tuesday night will face felony charges, according to law enforcement.

UPDATE (6:34 p.m.) A friend has confirmed that Ammon Bundy in police custody.

Bundy is lead decision maker for the militants involved in the occupation. He helped his father in a 2014 standoff between militants and the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada.

Follow all of our coverage on the Armed Occupation in Eastern Oregon.