FBI: Finicum nearly struck agent, reached for loaded weapon before he was shot and killed
HARNEY COUNTY, Ore. (KATU) -- LaVoy Finicum, the Arizona rancher who was shot and killed by state police Tuesday, nearly struck an agent while driving around a roadblock and reached twice for a loaded weapon, according to a video released by the FBI.
FBI agents and Oregon State Police troopers followed two cars, a Jeep and a white truck, being driven by the leaders of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge occupation as they drove to John Day for a community meeting Tuesday afternoon.
Ammon Bundy, the leader of the occupation, and Brian Cavalier eventually exited the Jeep without incident and were arrested. Ryan Bundy, Ryan Payne, Shawna Cox and an unidentified woman were in the white truck driven by Finicum.
In a video released by the FBI Thursday, Payne is seen exiting the truck and surrendering to police. The others remained in the truck for a few minutes as deputies and agents instructed them to come out.
The video then shows the white truck speeding away from the scene. Police say Finicum tried to drive around a roadblock, then got stuck in a snowbank.
Finicum is then seen coming out of the truck and stepping through the snow. Officials say they had information Finicum and the rest of the group was armed. In at least two instances, Finicum is seen reaching his right hand toward a pocket, which contained a loaded 9-mm semi-automatic handgun, police say.
Troopers then shot and killed Finicum, and launched flash bangs to disorient the rest of the militants who may have been armed. Law enforcement then deployed less-lethal sponge projectiles with OC capsules, which are similar to pepper spray.
Ryan Bundy and Cox were arrested several minutes later. The unidentified woman who was with them was not arrested.
Troopers gave medical assistance to Finicum about 10 minutes after the shooting. They found three other loaded weapons inside the truck, including two loaded .223 caliber semi-automatic rifles and a .38 special revolver.
Nine men left the refuge peacefully on Wednesday, three of whom were arrested on federal charges.
Four more members of the armed militia remain at the refuge as of Thursday evening. They've posted videos online from the refuge saying they don't want to surrender and do not feel safe leaving.
Oregon State Police removed some barriers to the refuge Thursday evening, but say it remains closed.
"I want to acknowledge the stress and disruption that the occupation of the refuge has caused has to the people of Harney County," FBI Special Agent in Charge Greg Bretzing said Thursday. "We know this is difficult. We know that you want this concluded as soon as possible. We are doing everything we can to bring this to a resolution safely and quickly."