The weeks-long armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge headquarters in Oregon suffered two major blows when protest leader Ammon Bundy was arrested and another key figure was killed.
Bundy and several fellow occupiers were pulled over Tuesday on U.S. Highway 395, a law enforcement official said. According to The Oregonian, they were headed to the city of John Day, where they planned to participate in a community meeting set up by local residents.
Everyone obeyed orders to surrender except LaVoy Finicum and Ryan Bundy, Ammon Bundy’s brother, the official told CNN.
Shots were fired, but it’s unclear who fired first, the source said. Ryan Bundy was wounded, and Finicum died.
With their leader Ammon Bundy in police custody and their spokesman, Finicum, dead, it’s unclear if the remaining occupiers will dig in their heels at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, which they have occupied for 26 days — or if their resolve will wane.
Occupiers: ‘A patriot has fallen’
Finicum was one of the most outspoken occupiers who took over the refuge building near Burns on January 2 to protest federal land policies.
Earlier this month, the father of 11 told CNN he doesn’t want to die — but would never go behind bars.
“I’m just not going to prison,” Finicum said. “Look at the stars. There’s no way I’m going to sit in a concrete cell where I can’t see the stars and roll out my bedroll on the ground. That’s just not going to happen. I want to be able to get up in the morning and throw my saddle on my horse and go check on my cows. It’s OK. I’ve lived a good life. God’s been gracious to me.”
Read more: CNN