One man is dead and five in police custody after the group occupying the Malheur Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Burns, Oregon, reportedly exchanged gunfire with the FBI and the Oregon State Police during a highway traffic stop Tuesday.
Oregon Live reported that Ryan Bundy, 43, suffered a gunshot wound, and was taken into custody along with Ammon Bundy, 40, Ryan W. Payne, 32, Brian Cavalier, 44, and Shawna J. Cox, 59 on felony charges of “conspiracy to impede federal officers.”
KATU News reported that “there was some sort of engagement involving shots fired” on Highway 395 around 5 p.m. between Burns and John Day, where the group was traveling for a community meeting.
The group of protesters initially occupied the Malheur Wildlife Refuge headquarters in early January, in support of two ranchers who were forced to serve mandatory minimum sentences after they were convicted of arson on federal lands.
Prior to the occupation, Ammon Bundy, the son of rancher Cliven Bundy of Nevada, asked supporters to come out to the refuge and encouraged “patriots” to “stand up not stand down.”
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown wrote two letters to the federal government Wednesday asking for help removing the group, whom she referred to as “armed criminals.”