Final Oregon refuge occupier turns himself in

The four remaining holdouts of the armed protest group that has occupied a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon for the past 41 days turned themselves in peacefully Thursday.

But the end of the standoff did not come without drama.

After the first three protesters surrendered to authorities at around 9:40 a.m. local time, the last occupier, David Fry, initially resisted. But just after 11 a.m., Fry turned himself in to the FBI, according to the Oregonian.

Fry had said on a live audio webcast that he was "feeling suicidal" and would "die a free man." At one point he said he was pointing a gun at his head. He ranted about abortion, UFOs, the government "chemically mutating people" and Syria.

"I'm taking my stand, this isn't something I'm going to back away from," Fry said.

But eventually, after requesting listeners yell "Hallelujah," he walked out to meet authorities.

The FBI confirmed that all four protesters were in custody.

"No one was injured and no shots were fired," an FBI statement said.

One of the three protesters who turned themselves in first was holding an American flag as the group went out to meet authorities. Another protester said on an audio webcast that officials were not being rough and did not have guns pointed at the group.

"The occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is over," a statement from Harney County Court said. "Law enforcement will now be able to begin the process of clearing booby traps and processing the crime scene. Let's be clear, armed occupation of federal property is a crime, it is not a peaceful protest, and the illegal taking of federal property is a matter rightly dealt with by the FBI."

Earlier during the livestream, Fry, 27, sounded increasingly unraveled as he continually yelled, at times hysterically, at what he said was an FBI negotiator. "You're going to hell. Kill me. Get it over with," he said. "We're innocent people camping at a public facility, and you're going to murder us."

He added, "The only way we're leaving here is dead or without charges," telling the FBI to "get the hell out of Oregon." Fry said the group was surrounded by armored vehicles. The occupiers also said they saw snipers on a hill and a drone.

The group seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 2 to oppose federal land-use policies.

A Nevada legislator, Michele Fiore, called in to try to get the occupiers to calm down. Fiore said she could help them only if they stayed alive.

"I need you guys alive," said the Republican member of the Nevada Assembly who was in Portland earlier in the day to show support for Ammon Bundy, the jailed leader of the occupation. The occupiers prayed with Fiore and others as the situation dragged on for hours.

Greg Bretzing, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon, said in a statement the situation had reached a point where it "became necessary to take action" to ensure the safety of all involved.

Bretzing said one of the occupiers rode an ATV outside "the barricades established by the militia" at the refuge. When FBI agents tried to approach the driver, Fry said he returned to the camp at a "high rate of speed."

The FBI placed agents at barricades ahead of and behind the occupier's camp, Bretzing said.

"It has never been the FBI's desire to engage these armed occupiers in any way other than through dialogue, and to that end, the FBI has negotiated with patience and restraint in an effort to resolve the situation peacefully," he said in a statement.

Authorities had for weeks allowed the occupiers to come and go freely from the remote refuge, leading to criticism from local and state officials that law enforcement wasn't doing enough to end the situation.

Ammon Bundy was arrested Jan. 26 as he and other main figures of the occupation were traveling to the town of John Day. Four others were also arrested in that confrontation, which resulted in the shooting death of the group's spokesman, Robert "LaVoy" Finicum. The FBI said Finicum was reaching for a gun.

Most of the occupiers fled the refuge after that. Authorities then surrounded the property and later got the holdouts added to an indictment charging 16 people with conspiracy to interfere with federal workers.

At first, Bundy urged the last holdouts to go home. But in response to the grand jury indictment, he took a more defiant tone from jail.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.