The Latest: Official: Man shot was reaching toward waistband

AP News
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Posted: Jan 28, 2016 7:20 PM
The Latest: Official: Man shot was reaching toward waistband

BURNS, Ore. (AP) — The latest on an armed group that took over buildings at a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon (all times local):

4:15 p.m.

A law enforcement official says the Arizona rancher killed during the arrest of an armed group in Oregon was shot after reaching toward his waistband multiple times.

The official, who had been briefed on the investigation but spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it by name, said Robert "LaVoy" Finicum of Arizona was armed, but did not have an opportunity to shoot.

The Deschutes County Sheriff's department said in a statement that Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office performed an autopsy Thursday and confirmed the 54-year-old Finicum's identity. The autopsy results were not released.

Authorities say the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office will be the lead agency on the police shooting investigation.

Group leader Ammon Bundy and seven other main figures in the takeover were arrested earlier in the week, most of them in the traffic stop Tuesday night that erupted in gunfire.

Bundy's group seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Oregon on Jan. 2 to protest federal land use policies.

— Eric Tucker

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1:25 p.m.

The jailed former leader of an armed group occupying an Oregon wildlife refuge reiterated his call for the last few holdouts to leave.

In a statement Thursday issued through his lawyer, Ammon Bundy said: "Turn yourselves in, and do not use physical force."

Bundy and others protesting federal land policies were arrested during a traffic stop Tuesday that left one man dead. Bundy's statement says FBI agents told him that the shooting of Arizona rancher Robert "LaVoy" Finicum was recorded on video.

He says he's waiting to review the footage because "questions must be answered."

Bundy supporters have given conflicting accounts about Finicum's death. One said the rancher charged at officers, who then shot him. A member of Bundy's family said Finicum did nothing to provoke the officers.

Authorities have refused to release details.

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12 p.m.

The last few occupiers of an Oregon wildlife refuge have been posting online videos in which they say they are in negotiations with the FBI and that their numbers are down to four.

A video posted Thursday to the YouTube channel "DefendYourBase," which the group has been using to give live updates from Malheur National Wildlife Refuge says the occupiers want assurances they won't arrested.

A speaker believed to be David Fry said: "We're stuck here, four of us. They're telling us it's safe to leave, but it's not safe."

He says one of the occupiers faces a federal arrest warrant.

The latest videos show them sitting around a campfire near pickup trucks, an American flag, weapons, a tarp and clutter. In one, a couple dances slowly to a country Western tune.

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9:50 a.m.

A video posted by the holdouts occupying an Oregon wildlife refuge says the remaining five members of the armed group will leave if none of them face arrest.

The statement was posted early Thursday to the YouTube channel "DefendYourBase," which the group has been using to give live updates from Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. David Fry has made frequent posts, but no face was visible in the video.

It shows a campfire while a man says authorities told the group that "out of five people left here, four of us are allowed to leave."

The video says the FBI told them that one of the remaining occupiers faces a federal felony charge. The video says "we are willing to stay here" unless authorities agree to drop it.

The FBI has established checkpoints around the refuge. Eleven other people have been arrested in connection to the standoff.