Kim Rollins, right, protested outside the press conference.

Kim Rollins, right, protested outside the press conference.

Bradley W. Parks/OPB

As the arrests of leaders of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation were announced in Burns by an FBI spokesman Wednesday, reaction from the community was almost all positive – almost.

Law enforcement said that one person, who multiple sources have identified as Arizona rancher Robert LaVoy Finicum, was killed in the arrests that netted militant leaders Ammon and Ryan Bundy.

While community members applauded the announcement at the press conference, Burns resident Kim Rollins passed out stickers to anyone who would take them.

Written on them was “Free the Hammonds,” referring to the Harney County father and son ranchers sent to prison for federal arson convictions. Rollins, who has lived in Burns for 30 years, said he was upset to see people he describes as patriots, being arrested and killed.

“I’m 64 years old,” Rollins said. “It was the saddest day of my life, the saddest day for my country, so that’s why I’m here.”

Rollins placed blame on county Judge Steve Grasty for limiting conversation about the role of federal and state government and the resulting fissure among county residents. The community has been noticeably divided since militants took over the refuge at the beginning of the month.

But the split has been there for a long time, according to Rollins. He thinks the only way to find a reasonable solution is through discussion of the issues central to the occupation.

“This dialogue, a peaceful dialogue, might have gone on and what happened (Tuesday) night with death and injury might not have happened,” Rollins said.