Leader of occupation at Oregon wildlife refuge arrested after shootout

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Ammon Bundy, the leader of an armed occupation at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, has been arrested along with four others after a shooting along a nearby highway in which one person has been killed. Another person was arrested at a second location.

The confrontation happened at about 4:25 p.m. PT on Tuesday when the FBI and the Oregon State Police carried out a traffic stop on a vehicle that was carrying Ammon and several others, who were on their way to a community meeting in the city of John Day. During that stop, which happened along Highway 235, multiple shots were fired.

“One individual who was a subject of a federal probable cause arrest is deceased,” the FBI and the Oregon State Police said in a joint statement. “We will not be releasing any information about that person pending identification by the medical examiner’s office. One individual suffered non-life threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. He was arrested and is currently in custody.”

Those arrested were identified as 40-year-old Ammon Bundy, 43-year-old Ryan Bundy, 44-year-old Brian Cavalier, 59-year-old Shawna Cox, and 32-year-old Ryan Payne. Another individual, identified as 45-year-old Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy, of Cottonwood, Arizona, was arrested in Burns at about 5:50 p.m. PT in an operation unrelated to the traffic stop.

Authorities say that all 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. “We continue to work with Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward and his deputies; Oregon State Police; and the United States Attorney’s Office to address any further outstanding issues,” the statement added.

The incidents did not take place at the refuge itself, where there have been no reports of police activity, indicating that the occupation is still underway.

The occupation began early this month when several dozen armed militants seized the Malheur Wildlife Refuge south of Burns to protest the prison sentences of local ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond. The federal building was unoccupied when it was seized by the group and there had been no casualties until Tuesday’s incident.

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