The leader of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge takeover, Ammon Bundy, was among those arrested, and a man who had become a spokesman of sorts, Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, was shot and killed when he allegedly charged at officers at a police checkpoint. Ryan Bundy, 43, was also shot, but the injury was not life threatening. Six others were arrested in the confrontation, and Jon Ritzheimer turned himself in to Arizona authorities later in the evening. Those arrested will be facing felony conspiracy charges.
A handful of armed demonstrators remain inside the building, but the FBI has set up a perimeter around the refuge and all vehicles approaching the site will be stopped and searched. The only people who will be allowed access past the checkpoints will be local ranchers.
“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.
Jason Patrick, whom reporter John Sepulvado called one of the “new leaders,” has stated that five or six of the remaining members held a meeting following the arrests and decided to stay, asserting “we’re not cowards like the rest.”
He also compared the shooting of Finicum to the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was shot and killed by Cleveland police in 2014, saying "the government can kill who they want for whatever reason they want with impunity.”
On Monday, Finicum told local newspaper The Oregonian that tensions with the FBI were ramping up.
In response to the shooting and arrests, militia network Operation Mutual Defense issued a call for more “patriots” to descend on the Oregon town.
"You have an obligation to proceed to the Harney County Resource Center (the wildlife refuge) immediately," Gary Hunt, a network board member from California wrote on their website. "If you fail to arrive, you will demonstrate by your own actions that your previous statements to defend life, liberty, and property were false."
The militia seized the wildlife refuge on January 2, calling for the land to be returned to local ranchers and for the freeing of two ranchers who have been jailed on federal arson charges.