FBI Releases Video of Killing of Armed Occupier in National Wildlife Refuge

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Remarks by SAC Greg Bretzing at a Press Conference to Address the Ongoing Situation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

FBI PortlandJanuary 28, 2016

Good evening. My name is Greg Bretzing, and I am the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon.

We have quite a bit of information to share with you tonight concerning the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

First, I would like to confirm that as of this morning one more person left the refuge through a checkpoint. We believe there are four others who currently remain on the refuge. Since the establishment of checkpoints, a total of nine people have left the refuge. Of those, the FBI released six and arrested three.

Secondly, I would like to confirm that the FBI and Oregon State Police have narrowed the containment zones. This was done to make it more convenient for those who live and work in the immediate area of the refuge to go about their business. To this end, Highway 205 is now open in both directions.

There has been some media reporting that the situation at the refuge is resolved. That is NOT true. Again, we still believe there are occupiers on the refuge. The negotiators continue to work around the clock to talk to those four people in an effort to get them to come out peacefully.

Thirdly, we know there is quite a bit of interest related to the events as they occurred on Highway 395 on Tuesday afternoon. We know there are various versions of what occurred during this event: most inaccurate, some inflammatory. To that end, we want to do what we can to lay out an honest and unfiltered view of what happened and how it happened.

FBI agents and Oregon State Police troopers were involved in this operation. During this operation, OSP troopers utilized deadly force due to their proximity to LaVoy Finicum as the situation unfolded. Because of this, the Deschutes County Major Incident Team is conducting the outside review of the shooting per Oregon State law and established protocols. Because of that ongoing investigation, I will not be able to answer every question you have, but hopefully we will give the public some clarity as to what occurred.

At approximately 4:25 pm on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, FBI and OSP began a law enforcement action to bring into custody the people riding in two separate vehicles as they traveled between Burns and John Day. The FBI did have a plane in the air, and what I am about to show you is a video from that plane. A couple of notes about the video before we watch it.

  • The plane is following the vehicles, and the camera sometimes pans from one vehicle to the other, a white truck in front and a Jeep in back. At other times when the vehicles are in a fixed location, the plane is flying in a pattern over that location. Because of that flight pattern, there are portions where trees obscure what is happening. The details that I am about to provide to you are based both on an analysis of this video and some ground-level observations of agents and troopers on the scene.
  • Because the operation lasted more than 25 minutes, we are showing you two of the most pertinent clips today. The entire unedited video from the start of the traffic stop through the surrender of all individuals will be available to the media and the general public on the FBI’s YouTube channel.
  • Because I am using some very specific language to describe what is happening, the entire transcript of my comments will be posted to www.flashalertbend.net.
  • I want to caution you that the video does show the shooting death of LaVoy Finicum. We realize that viewing that piece of the video will be upsetting to some people, but we feel that it is necessary to show the whole thing unedited in the interest of transparency.

The video picks up a few seconds before the FBI and OSP vehicles pull in behind the jeep, the second vehicle in line. The jeep quickly pulls to a stop while the white truck, driven by LaVoy Finicum, continues some distance up the road. Some law enforcement vehicles stay with the Jeep while others continue following the white truck. Over a period of several minutes out of camera view, the following people exit the jeep without incident:

  • The driver, who was not charged and will not be named
  • Ammon Bundy
  • Brian Cavalier

Looking at the white truck, about four minutes into the video, Ryan Payne exits through a back door. It’s difficult to see behind the trees, but in the lower right hand corner you can see him with his hands up being approached by the law enforcement officers and being taken into custody.

There is a period of approximately three minutes and 47 seconds where the truck sits on the road. We have edited it for time here, but it is available in the raw, unedited version on the FBI’s YouTube channel. Throughout this time, agents and troopers are providing verbal commands to the occupants to surrender. We can’t comment on what may have been going on in the truck at this time, but those details may come out later as part of the overall shooting investigation.

When we come back to the video, the white truck leaves the scene at a high rate of speed. It travels some distance, quickly approaching a vehicle roadblock in the roadway.

As the white truck approaches the roadblock, there is a spike strip across the road but it appears Finicum missed it as he attempted to drive around the roadblock. He nearly hits an FBI agent as he maneuvers to the left. The truck gets stuck in the snowbank.

Finicum leaves the truck and steps through the snow. Agents and troopers on scene had information that Finicum and others would be armed. On at least two occasions, Finicum reaches his right hand toward a pocket on the left inside portion of his jacket. He did have a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic handgun in that pocket.

At this time, OSP troopers shot Finicum.

Approximately 30 seconds after the shooting, law enforcement officers at the scene deployed flash bangs to disorient any other armed occupants. Shortly after that, they deployed less-lethal sponge projectiles with OC capsules. Those OC capsules would be similar to pepper spray.

Over a period of several minutes agents and troopers worked to safely remove the remaining truck occupants, and to take them into custody. Those people included:

  • Ryan Bundy
  • Shawna Cox
  • And another woman, who was not arrested and will not be named

As soon as the agents and troopers were confident that they had addressed any further threats, they provided medical assistance to Finicum. That happened about 10 minutes after the shooting.

Agents and troopers did find three other loaded weapons inside the truck. They included two loaded .223 caliber semi-automatic rifles. There was also one loaded .38 special revolver.

Again, you can see the rest of this unedited video on the FBI’s YouTube channel.

Finally, again, I want to acknowledge the stress and disruption that the occupation of the refuge has caused has to the people of Harney County. 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.

Joint Statement by the FBI and Oregon State Police on Law Enforcement Activity Near Burns, Oregon

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FBI Portland – January 26, 2016

At approximately 6:30 p.m. (PST), the FBI arrested Peter Santilli, age 50, of Cincinnati, Ohio, in Burns, Oregon. He faces the same federal felony charge as the individuals listed below. The arrest was without incident.

At approximately 4:25 p.m. (PST) on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Oregon State Police (OSP) began an enforcement action to bring into custody a number of individuals associated with the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. During that arrest, there were shots fired.

One individual who was a subject of a federal probable cause arrest is deceased. 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.

The arrested individuals 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

These probable cause arrests occurred along Highway 395.

In a separate event in Burns, Oregon, at approximately 5:50 p.m., Oregon State Police arrested the following individual:

  • Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy, age 45, Cottonwood, Arizona

All of the named defendants 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.

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. As the investigation is ongoing, we cannot comment further at this time.

All defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Military Strikes Continue Against ISIL Terrorists in Syria and Iraq

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SOUTHWEST ASIA- On Jan. 26, coalition military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Syria and Iraq. In Syria, coalition military forces conducted four strikes using attack and fighter aircraft. Separately in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted 10 strikes coordinated with and in support of the Government of Iraq using rocket artillery and attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft against ISIL targets.

The following is a summary of the strikes conducted against ISIL since the last press release:

Syria

• Near Al Hasakah, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
• Near Raqqah, one strike destroyed six ISIL workover rigs.
• Near Mar’a, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.

Iraq

• Near Al Baghdadi, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL weapons caches, an ISIL bunker, and damaged an ISIL vehicle.
• Near Al Huwayjah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
• Near Kirkuk, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL excavator.
• Near Ramadi, five strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL sniper position, two ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL fuel truck, damaged a separate ISIL vehicle, and denied ISIL access to terrain.
• Near Sinjar, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

Additionally, one strike from Jan. 25 was not included on the Jan. 26 strike release:

• Near Sinjar, one strike suppressed ISIL mortar fire.

Strike assessments are based on initial reports. All aircraft returned to base safely.

A strike, as defined in the CJTF releases, means one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative effect for that location. So having a single aircraft deliver a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of buildings and vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making that facility (or facilities) harder or impossible to use. Accordingly, CJTF-OIR does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria, and the wider international community.

The destruction of ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the group’s ability to project terror and conduct operations. Coalition nations which have conducted strikes in Iraq include Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Coalition nations which have conducted strikes in Syria include Australia, Bahrain, Canada, France, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

PennDOT has lifted the temporary restriction on certain vehicles from traveling

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PennDOT has lifted the temporary restriction on certain vehicles from
traveling
on Interstate 78, Interstate 80, Interstate 81, Interstate 176, Interstate
380,
and PA 33 in east central Pennsylvania.

Due to the winter storm impacting the region, PennDOT temporarily
restricted
certain vehicles from using the interstates earlier yesterday to help
ensure
that the interstates remained open during the most challenging conditions
of
the winter storm.

The types of vehicles that were prohibited from traveling on the
interstates in
the region since yesterday were:

• Empty straight trucks;
• Large Combination Vehicles (tandem trailers and doubles);
• Tractors hauling empty trailers;
• Trailers pulled by passenger vehicles;
• Motorcycles; and
• Recreational Vehicles, or RVs.

The purpose of the ban was to help ensure that the roadways remain open
during
the most challenging conditions of the storm.

Although PennDOT crews are treating roadways, the department’s primary goal
is
to keep roads passable, not completely free of ice and snow. PennDOT will
continue to treat roadways until all roads are clear.

While PennDOT recommends not traveling during winter storms, motorists can
check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded
winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which
is
free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather

forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 770 traffic
cameras.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and
Android
devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts
accessible
on the 511PA website.

The department also asks motorists to allow plenty of space when driving
near
plow trucks. Also, for their own safety and the safety of plow operators,
motorists should never attempt to pass a truck while it is plowing or
spreading
winter materials.

PennDOT reminds motorists to pack an emergency kit for their vehicles. A
basic
kit should include non-perishable food, water, blanket, small shovel and
warm
clothes. When preparing an emergency kit, motorists should take into
account
special needs of passengers such as baby food, pet supplies or medications
and
pack accordingly.

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WLRI IS NO LONGER OPERATING IN WINTER STORM MODE AS ALL WARNINGS HAVE BEEN CANCELED EARLY. PLEASE SEND YOUR PHOTOS, VIDEOS AND PERSONAL STORM REPORTS TO US. WE’RE MAKING A GEOGRAPIC STORM REPORT, OF WHICH WLRI WILL PRESENT AS INFO FROM THE PUBLIC IS REPORTED. MANY THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED US KEEP YOU INFORMED FROM MONDAY THROUGHOUT OUR EXTENDED, CONTINUOUS COVERAGE. SPECIAL THANKS TO THE PA STATE POLICE, PENN DOT, PEMA, LANCASTER COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, CHESTER COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY SERVICES AND ALL LANCASTER COUNTY AND CHESTER COUNTY FIRE, MEDICAL AND LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENTS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SACRIFICES AND EFFORTS KEEPING US SAFE AND INFORMED THROUGHOUT THE BLIZZARD OF 2016.