FBI releases video of fatal shooting of armed occupier of Oregon wildlife refuge

Claudia Cowan reports from Burns, Oregon


The FBI released a new video late Thursday showing one of the men who has been occupying an Oregon wildlife refuge reach for his jacket pocket before he was shot and killed by police.

The footage from an FBI surveillance plane was taken after Robert “LaVoy” Finicum sped away from a traffic stop where the group’s leader Ammon Bundy was arrested, according to FBI special agent in charge Greg Bretzing. 

Finicum, a rancher from Arizona who acted as a spokesman for the occupiers at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, was armed when he was stopped by police and killed on Tuesday afternoon. 

“We want to do what we can to lay out an honest and unfiltered view of what happened and how it happened,” Bretzing told reporters.

The video shows a truck speeding toward a roadblock and hitting a snow bank.

Bretzing narrated the video and said that Finicum then got out of the truck.

The video appears to show the individual that got out of the truck reaching into his pocket. Bretzing said Finicum had a loaded handgun in his pocket and he "on at least two occasions" reached his right hand toward the pocket inside his jacket.

The video then shows the man being shot by officers. Bretzing told reporters that Oregon State Troopers fatally shot Finicum after he reached toward his pocket.

(WARNING: Graphic footage shows “LaVoy” Finicum’s death)

Warning: Graphic video of deadly altercation with after highway traffic stop


"Actions have consequences," Bretzing said. "The FBI and OSP tried to effect these arrests peacefully."

Bundy followers had given conflicting accounts of how Finicum died. One said Finicum charged at officers, who then shot him.

A member of the Bundy family said Finicum did nothing to provoke the officers.

Meanwhile, four occupiers remained at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, demanding assurances they not be arrested.

On Thursday, Oregon Public Broadcasting spoke with the holdouts and identified them as Fry, who is from Ohio, husband and wife Sean and Sandy Anderson of Idaho, and Jeff Banta of Nevada.

Fry told the station that Sean Anderson faces a federal arrest warrant.

The FBI has established checkpoints around the refuge. Bretzing said that any remaining occupants of the refuge were free to leave through the checkpoints, but those leaving would be identified on their way out.

Bretzing said as of Thursday night, there were four people remaining on the refuge. Since the establishment of checkpoints, a total of nine people have left the refuge, according to Bretzing.

Of those, he said the FBI released six and arrested three.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.