One man was shot dead and another wounded after authorities confronted occupiers of an Oregon federal wildlife reserve Tuesday night. Eight people were arrested, including leader of the occupation, Ammon Bundy.
LaVoy Finicum, a spokesman for the group, died after shots were fired at a traffic stop in Harney County. Occupation leaders were reportedly on their way to a community meeting when the confrontation took place. Another leader, Ryan Bundy, suffered non-life-threatening wounds and was treated at a nearby hospital.
The FBI said those arrested 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.
Details about what set off the gunfire at the traffic stop have not been released.
In an interview with MSNBC earlier this month, Finicum was asked whether he was prepared to die rather than go to jail for occupying the wildlife refuge.
"Absolutely," was his response.
He went on.
"There are things more important than your life---and freedom is one of them," he said. "I’m prepared to defend freedom."
According to The Oregonian, Finicum and another occupation leader, Ryan Bundy, resisted orders to surrender during the traffic stop. However, Ammon Bundy reportedly told his wife Finicum was cooperating with police when he was shot.
Finicum (55) is survived by his wife Jeanette. Together, they maintained a ranch in northern Arizona where they raised 11 children.
In an effort to assist the family at this difficult time, the publisher of Finicum's book, Only by Blood and Suffering---Regaining Lost Freedom, is dedicating 100 percent of proceeds from the book to Jeanette.
Glenn expressed his sympathies to the Finicum family on Faceboook Wednesday. Read the post below.
Featured Image: An Oregon State Police officer at the scene of a confrontation on U.S. 395 in Seneca. Authorities said shots were fired during the arrest of members of an armed group that has occupied a national wildlife refuge in Oregon for more than three weeks. (Dave Killen / The Oregonian)