1 killed during traffic stop as FBI arrest leaders of Oregon militia

The FBI and Oregon State Police on Tuesday arrested the leaders of an armed group that has occupied a national wildlife refuge for the past three weeks, conducting a traffic stop that prompted gunfire - and one death - along a highway through the frozen high country.

See Full Article

Militant leader Ammon Bundy and his followers were reportedly heading to a community meeting at the senior centre in John Day, a Grant County town about 112 kilometres north of Burns, to address local residents to discuss their views on federal management of public lands.

The Oregonian newspaper reported several hundred people had gathered at the John Day Senior Center on Tuesday evening and were told the "guest speakers" would not be appearing.

In a statement, the FBI and Oregon State Police said agents had made eight arrests: Bundy, 40; his brother Ryan Bundy, 43; Brian Cavalier, 44; Shawna Cox, 59; and Ryan Payne, 32, during a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 395 Tuesday afternoon. Authorities said two others - Joseph Donald O'Shaughnessy, 45, and Peter Santilli, 50 - were arrested separately in Burns, while FBI agents in Arizona arrested another, Jon Eric Ritzheimer, 32.

Each will 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, authorities said. No indictments or federal charging documents had been made public.

Oregon State Police confirmed that its troopers were involved in the traffic-stop shooting, though neither agency released details about what started it. One of those arrested, described only as a man, suffered non-life-threatening wounds and was treated at a hospital, the agencies said. Another man "who was a subject of a federal probable cause arrest" was killed, they said. The agencies said they would not release further information about the death pending identification by the medical examiner.

Ammon 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. Law enforcement officers converged on the wildlife refuge after the arrests and were expected to remain at the site throughout the night; it was unclear how many people, if any, remained in the buildings.

The confrontation came amid increasing calls for law enforcement to take action against Bundy for the illegal occupation of the wildlife refuge. They previously had taken a hands-off approach, reflecting lessons learned during bloody standoffs at Waco, Texas, and Ruby Ridge, Idaho, during the 1990s.

Many residents of Harney County, where the refuge is located, have been among those demanding that Bundy leave. Many sympathize with his criticism of federal land management policies of public lands but opposed the refuge takeover. They feared violence could erupt.

Ammon Bundy recently had begun travelling into Grant County to try to drum up more sympathy for his cause.

"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," Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley said in a written statement. "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 Bundys are the sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who was involved in a high-profile 2014 standoff with the government over grazing rights.

The state police said it would investigate the officer-involved shooting, with help from the Deschutes County Major Incident Team and the Harney County District Attorney's Office.

The militants, calling themselves Citizens for constitutional Freedom, came to the frozen high desert of eastern Oregon to decry what it calls onerous federal land restrictions and to object to the prison sentences of two local ranchers convicted of setting fires.

Specifically, the group wanted federal lands turned over to local authorities. The U.S. government controls about half of all land in the West.

-----

Associated Press reporters Lisa Baumann in Seattle; Keith Ridler in Boise, Idaho; and Terrence Petty in Portland, Oregon, contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Cartoonists capture surreal side of Trump-Putin meeting

    World News CTV News
    “Bizarre.” “Shameful.” “Flat-out wrong.” That’s how three top Republicans described U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments during Monday’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Speaking in Helsinki, Trump cast doubt on U.S. intelligence findings that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. Source
  • 'Luckiest son of a gun around' heads home after grizzly attack

    Canada News CBC News
    Jordan Carbery is celebrating, despite suffering a ripped scalp and a chewed abdomen. He knows it could have been worse. The park ranger from Bella Coola survived an angry grizzly bear attack on July 3 and after 14 days at Vancouver General Hospital he's heading home to Bella Coola, B.C. Source
  • 'Must be the intelligence agencies': Lights go out during Trump statement

    World News CTV News
    The lights go out as U.S. President Donald Trump, center, accompanied by House Ways and Means Committee chairman Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, left, and Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., right, speaks in the Cabinet room of the White House, Tuesday, July 17, 2018, in Washington. Source
  • Remains of Sweetgrass Kennedy, 4, found on banks of North Saskatchewan River

    Canada News CBC News
    RCMP say they have found the remains of a four-year-old boy who disappeared from Prince Albert in May. Sweetgrass Kennedy was last seen May 10, playing with a group of children on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, according to Prince Albert police. Source
  • Mueller seeks immunity for 5 witnesses in Manafort case

    World News CBC News
    Special counsel Robert Mueller is seeking immunity for five potential witnesses in the upcoming trial of U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. Mueller's office told a federal judge in Virginia on Tuesday that they were seeking to compel the witnesses to testify under condition of immunity. Source
  • Ford says consultation on sex-ed curriculum will be largest in Ontario history

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Doug Ford says his government's consultations on a new sex-ed curriculum will be the largest in the history of Ontario education. The recently elected premier is scrapping the modernized version of the curriculum brought in by his Liberal predecessors and reverting to one introduced in 1998 while consultations are carried out for a new document. Source
  • Toronto police suspend officer after alleged leak during 'potential risk' probe

    Canada News CTV News
    Toronto police say they have suspended an officer for allegedly leaking information regarding a "potential risk" to public safety that was investigated last week. The force has said uncorroborated information about a potential risk in the Greater Toronto Area led them to increase their presence in the downtown core on Thursday, but also said the public didn't need to avoid the area. Source
  • Iceberg looming over Greenland village spotted from space

    World News CTV News
    BERLIN -- An iceberg that drifted perilously close to a remote Greenland village is so big it can be seen from space. The European Space Agency released an image Tuesday showing the giant iceberg just off the coast of Innaarsuit. Source
  • Head of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says fentanyl almost killed his son

    World News CBC News
    The head of the top public health agency in the U.S. says the opioid epidemic will be one of his priorities, and he revealed a personal reason for it: His son almost died from taking cocaine contaminated with the powerful painkiller fentanyl. Source
  • Ammo disappears after struggle between Calgary cop, suspect

    Canada News CTV News
    Police in Calgary are searching for a handgun magazine that was pulled off an officer's belt during a skirmish with a suspected car prowler. The police service says two officers were called to a neighbourhood in the city's northeast on Monday evening and began questioning a man who matched the suspect's description. Source