Eight militia members remain in custody facing felony charges
BURNS, OR —
Wednesday night people gathered for a candlelight vigil honoring Lavoy Finicum in Burns. Finicum was shot and killed Tuesday as law enforcement teams arrested Ammon Bundy and several of his followers north of Town.
The anti-government group's leader and several members now face felony charges and will remain in jail. Ammon Bundy and several of his followers faced a Federal Magistrate for seizing a federal nature preserve. They are charged with a felony offense of "conspiracy to impede officers from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation, or threats."
"These individuals have chosen to threaten and intimidate the America that they profess to love," said Greg Bretzing, FBI Special Agent in Charge of Oregon.
The judge ruled the eight militia members were a flight risk and ordered them to remain in custody until a second hearing on Friday. They were arrested Tuesday night when FBI agents and police intercepted them on an Oregon highway. Bundy's brother Ryan was shot, and the militia's spokesman 55-year-old Lavoy Finicum was killed.
Bundy's father Cliven says Finicum was murdered and was shot several times while on the ground.
"What kind of human beings do that?" said Cliven Bundy. "They've got a man down, and they walk up and shoot him 3 or 4 more times. That's the kind of people we are tired of dealing with."
Protestors have occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon since January second to oppose federal land policies.
"We don't arm up and rebel...we work through the appropriate channels," said Harney County Sheriff. "This can't happen anymore."
Many in the area want Bundy's group to leave.
"I've been ready for them to leave for, for several weeks," said resident Brandon Baron.
Federal agents have set up road blocks and surrounded the refuge where the remaining armed occupiers are refusing to end the siege.
Its estimated there could be anywhere from ten to as many as three dozen armed occupiers still hunkered at the refuge. Ammon Bundy issued a statement through one of his defense attorneys to the remaining protestors.
"To those remaining at the refuge, I love you," said Mike Arnold, Bundy's attorney. "Let us take this fight from here. Please stand down."
The FBI says several cars left the refuge today (Wednesday) before they set up check points. Since then, eight people left, three arrested on felony charges. It's unclear if Bundy or the others exchanged gunfire with officers.