Federal law enforcement confirmed the arrest of Oregon protest leader Ammon Bundy on Tuesday. One person was killed while FBI and Oregon State Police arrested several others, the deceased was the subject of a federal probe. Another person received non-life threatening injuries and was taken to a local hospital. Officials said all six of 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, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 372.
Bundy, the head of an anti-government group, has been holed up at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge since Jan. 2. Oregon State Police and Harney County, Oregon, representatives would not confirm the arrest but said they would release a joint statement momentarily. Kristen Grainger, communications director for Gov. Kate Brown, said the governor’s office has no information about the reported incident.
Other reports on social media indicated that at least four people were arrested and that Harney District Hospital was on lockdown. Bundy is the son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who was involved in a high-profile 2014 standoff with the government over grazing rights. Bundy and others started out Bundy is the son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who was involved in a high-profile 2014 standoff with the government over grazing rights.
But a march supporting the Hammonds led to the armed occupation of the refuge, with occupiers decrying what they call government overreach when it comes to federal lands. Oregon’s governor said that she’d had enough of the protest at the refuge in Harney County, in the southeastern corner of her state.
The residents of Harney County have been overlooked and underserved by federal officials’ response thus far. This spectacle of lawlessness must end. And until Harney County is free of it I will not stop insisting that federal officials enforce the law.”
Local media reported that a hospital in nearby Burns had been placed on lockdown. Among those arrested include:
- Ammon Edward Bundy, age 40, of Emmett, Idaho
- Ryan C. Bundy, age 43, of Bunkerville, Nevada
- Brian Cavalier, age 44, of Bunkerville, Nevada
- Shawna Cox, age 59, Kanab, Utah
- Ryan Waylen Payne, age 32, of Anaconda, Montana
A sixth person, identified as Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy, 45, of Cottonwood, Arizona, was arrested in a separate incident in Burns about an hour and a half later, state police said. They provided no further details. A sixth person, identified as Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy, 45, of Cottonwood, Arizona, was arrested in a separate incident in Burns about an hour and a half later, state police said. They provided no further details.
The takeover at Malheur was the latest flare-up in the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion, a decades-old conflict over the U.S. government’s control of millions acres of land in the West. The occupiers said their move was in support of two local ranchers who were returned to prison this month for setting fires that spread to federal land. The ranchers’ lawyer has said the occupiers do not speak for the family.