A rancher who was killed during a traffic stop while in Oregon for an armed standoff at a wildlife refuge recently vowed he would die before going to prison.

Fifty-five-year-old LaVoy Finicum of Cain Beds, Arizona, died after law enforcement officers initiated the stop Tuesday night near the Malheur (MAL'-hure) National Wildlife Refuge.

It's unclear what happened in the moments before the shooting, or if Finicum or others exchanged gunfire with officers. Authorities wouldn't say how many shots were fired.

On Jan. 5, Finicum told reporters at the refuge that he learned there was a warrant for his arrest. With rifle in hand, he said he would die before spending the last of his days in a cell.

The traffic stop happened as group leader Ammon Bundy and his followers drove to a community meeting in the town of John Day. Bundy and seven other occupiers were arrested.

__

Boone reported from Boise, Idaho.