By: Patrick Henningsen, 21st Century Wire |
Last night, the standoff at Malheur Wildlife Refuge outside Burns, Oregon took a rather ugly turn which resulted in one man shot dead and another wounded by federal agents.
The incident took place as two vehicles carrying protesters led by Ammon Bundy were en route to a community meeting in the nearby town of John Day in Oregon.
According to numerous mainstream media reports and local media outlet Oregon Live, ‘federal sources’ are telling the media that only “3 shots were fired”, but a new eye witness testimony by one of the vehicle’s passengers tells a very different story.
While the mainstream media is still referring to the event as “a shoot-out”, according to this latest eye witness account at the scene – no shots were fired by vehicle passengers.
According to eyewitness Victoria Sharp, 18 yrs old from Lakeside, Montana, who was in the same truck with Arizona rancher Lavoy Finicum, Ryan Bundy, Ryan Payne and Shawna Cox, dozens of federal vehicles and countless agents were waiting for the group, pre-positioned at a point along on the isolated rural Highway 395, before intercepting the group and making 8 arrests, but eventually holding only 5 persons including Ammon and Ryan Bundy – all of whom were booked into Multnomah County Jail early this morning.
Sharp confirmed that the passengers never drew weapons and attempted to get out of their vehicles before federal agents fired “at least 120 shots altogether” at both vehicles carrying her party, and the other vehicle with Ammon Bundy and other passengers.
Federal agents fired their first shots at passenger Ryan Payne as he attempted to make contact with the agents by sticking his head and hands out of the window, at which point a frightened Payne got back inside the vehicle.
After crashing into the snow bank on the side of the highway, driver Lavoy Finicum (photo, above) then exited the vehicle, was visibly upset and with his hands in the air, before being gunned down by federal agents. Finicum was walking with his hands in the air, daring federal agents, “Just shoot me! Just shoot me” – at which point the agents shot him dead. His hands were still in the air.
Numerous ‘red dots’ from lasers could be seen pointed on the passengers, in what was described by this witness as an “ambush” by federal authorities. Sharps said, “I had 20 lasers on me when I got out of the car.”
She also confirmed that Ryan Bundy was shot and wounded by federal agents while still inside the truck.
At least 40 vehicles, as well as many armed federal agents were seen emerging from the surrounding forest along the highway leaving little doubt as to the scale of the operation.
According to local media reports: “The highway was blocked for a 40-mile stretch between Burns and John Day. Police were stationed near Seneca, a small city of 200 south of John Day, with long guns. They said they didn’t know how long the roadblock would be place. Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer was there.”
Listen to Ms. Sharp’s harrowing testimony here:
This shocking turn of events comes just days after Oregon governor Kate Brown issued what some considered as a veiled threat to the protesters and militia, saying that the federal government “must move quickly to end the occupation and hold all of the wrongdoers accountable.”
According to the FBI’s press release, arrested individuals include:
Ammon Edward Bundy, 40, of Emmett, Idaho
Ryan C. Bundy, 43, of Bunkerville, Nevada
Brian Cavalier, 44, of Bunkerville, Nevada
Shawna Cox, 59, of Kanab, Utah
Ryan Waylen Payne, 32, of Anaconda, Montana
Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy, 45, of Cottonwood, Arizona
Peter Santilli, 50, of Cincinnati, Ohio
Those still in detention are scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Portland.
According to reports, the FBI also “made a probable cause arrest of Jon Eric Ritzheimer, age 32, on a federal charge related to the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon.”