After more than three weeks at a standoff, things are coming to a boil at the occupied federal bird sanctuary in Oregon.
Ammon and Ryan Bundy, the brothers leading anti-government protesters occupying Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, and six other people were arrested Tuesday, state and federal authorities said. One person was dead, the FBI said.
Shots were fired about 4:25 p.m. (7:25 p.m. ET) when the FBI and Oregon State Police began an “enforcement action” in connection with the occupation, the FBI said.
Arizona rancher LaVoy Finicum, 54, was killed, his daughter, Challice Finicum Finch, confirmed to NBC News on Tuesday night.
“We all thought it would end, but not like this,” Finch said. “My dad did stress that they wouldn’t pull a gun on them [officers] unless they pulled a gun. They were all committed to not firing on federal agents.”
Finicum himself told NBC News the same thing in an interview Jan. 6. In the interview, he said that he had no intention of being taken into custody, preferring death to jail.
“There are things more important than your life, and freedom is one of them,” he said at the time. “I’m prepared to defend freedom.”
Three other people were arrested in addition to the Bundys in the initial incident, authorities said: Brian Cavalier, 44, of Bunkerville, Nevada; Shawna Cox, 59, of Kanab, Utah; and Ryan Waylen Payne, 32, of Anaconda, Montana.
Two more — Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy, 45, of Cottonwood, Arizona, and Peter Santilli, 50, of Cincinnati — were arrested later in separate but related incidents, the FBI said.
Let’s hope that is the end of it.