This has been one long, cold month in Oregon as the so-called Bundy Militia perpetually occupied a bird sanctuary by force. The group was protesting rancher property rights and the imprisonment of two of their brethren. Somewhere, things went very wrong with the least impressive federal occupation all the time, which devolved into #Vanilla ISIS and #YallQaeda memes. Then things turned too ridiculous, but the jokes are over for now.
The reign of Ammon Bundy and several of his militia buddies has ended. The Guardian reports how shots were fired during a traffic stop, which ended in six arrests and one death. Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan, and Ryan Payne (the sniper specialist/tactical organizer of the bunch) all landed in custody. They were booked under a federal felony charge (conspiracy to impede a federal officer by force). One member, LaVoy Finicum, was killed in the gunfire. He was also known as the famed #Tarpman of the group. Finicum turned into an internet meme even as he lost his cows and foster children.
When informed of the incident, notorious rancher Cliven Bundy granted some quotes to the press about his sons’ arrests:
[The FBI] described the shootout and arrests as resulting from “an enforcement action to bring into custody a number of individuals associated with the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge” that occurred at 4.25 p.m. PST.
Reached by phone Tuesday night, Cliven Bundy, Ammon’s father, who led a standoff with the federal government in 2014, said he was devastated by the reports. “My sons are good people and they were there to help … It’s a rotten shame that people there are not trying to harm anybody and now they are shooting them dead.”
According to the FBI statement, Jon Ritzheimer (the member who left his family a goodbye video) was not at this incident. He conveniently fled the roost back to Arizona, but turned himself into authorities (while asking for legal fee donations) shortly after he heard of Finicum’s death. The FBI has reportedly warned all other occupiers at the refuge, who still remain and wish for a peaceful resolution.