After 41 days of occupying a federal wildlife refuge in Burns, Oregon, the last of the protesters surrendered to authorities, but not before a dramatic ending. David Fry, 27, remained in the building for more than an hour past his three fellow occupiers who had ended their stance and surrendered to agents.
Fry told supporters that he was pointing a gun at his head and he was tired of living during a phone call. He stated that unless his grievances were addressed, people would probably have to watch him kill himself or the event of being killed by authorities.
After rambling about his issues with the federal government and his thoughts on UFOs, he smoked a last cigarette and ate a cookie. Fry ended his time in the building by asking his mediators to shout “Hallelujah,” as he surrendered to agents.
Protesters had informed authorities they had set booby traps, but did not state whether or not the trip wires would trigger explosives. Federal authorities spent weeks scouring the crime scene for explosives and hidden protesters. Materials to assemble explosives were found on the property during the investigation.
Takeover of the building began on January 2 after two Oregon ranchers convicted of starting fires that spread to federal property had returned home after their sentence. The protesters were led by Ammon and Ryan Bundy. Ammon and Ryan’s father, Cliven, was arrested in Portland, Oregon after being charged with an assault on a federal officer and obstruction of justice in connection with a separate charge from a 2014 standoff on a Nevada ranch that was sitting on federal land.
Ammon and Ryan Bundy were arrested with nine other protesters on a road as they drove to John Day to a meeting. A spokesman, Robert “LaVoy” Finicum was shot dead as he appeared outside of the vehicle with his arms stretched out in front of him, but reached for an inside pocket twice. Officers had been warned that the group would be armed or at least had guns in their possession. Finicum carried a 9 mm semi-auto handgun in a pocket inside the jacket.
Following her arrest, Shawna Cox, one of the last people left inside the refuge building, filed a lawsuit against the federal government and others. In her lawsuit, she alleges “damages from the works of the devil” in excess of 666,666,666,666.66.
Cox claims she is planning to subpoena ranchers in the western U.S., judges and prosecutors, Oregon’s current and former governor, local and state police officers, FBI agents and several law professors. Cox is asking for civil and criminal penalties against some of these same people. She claims they have worked to overthrow the constitutional government and they imposed socialistic, imperialistic and communistic types of government onto the people of the United States.
The lawsuit was filed on the same day a federal grand jury found Cliven Bundy and his two sons, Ryan and Ammon guilty of charges in the 2014 armed standoff. Cox believes she is a victim of malicious prosecution and that the group of protesters was using “hostile adverse possession” tactics that are legal, to unveil the federal government’s misuse of laws handling the land in Northwest Territories.
Cox also states the government property they seized occurred during a time the refuge was preparing to shut down for the winter season, dispelling the count that the group had interfered with any government employees. Cox states, “If anything, it was their choice to not come to work, out of guilt.”
Shawna Cox, a Utah resident, states the government tried to kill her. The claim also includes the “murder” of fellow protester, Finicum. Her lawsuit states the armed group never meant to hurt anyone, but rather wanted to discuss land ownership issues with government workers.
The U.S. District Court reports that Cox’s complaint is a civil matter and is not a matter that will be addressed in a criminal case that is directly connected to the protesters or their crimes. The court requested that Cox should speak with an attorney.
A total of 25 people who reside in at least six states have been charged for the occupation of the wildlife refuge. Cox is the only female to face charges. She is now under house arrest in Kanab, Utah.