(NEWSER) – Occupation over? Eight people were arrested after an anti-government protester was shot dead Tuesday evening, and it's no longer clear who—if anybody—is now leading the occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge.
The man killed after FBI and state police stopped vehicles on Highway 395 has been identified as Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, 55, a spokesman for the occupation and one of its most visible members, the Oregonian reports. "He would never ever want to hurt somebody, but he does believe in defending freedom and he knew the risks involved," one of the Arizona rancher's 11 children tells the paper. In other developments:
- The FBI and Oregon State Police say group leader Ammon Bundy and his brother Ryan were among five people arrested after the highway incident, Oregon Public Broadcasting reports. Two men were arrested in the nearby town of Burns, and another suspect was arrested in Arizona.
- Authorities say Ryan Bundy, 43, suffered a gunshot wound during the incident and was treated in a hospital before being released to FBI custody.
- It isn't clear how many people remain at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, which the protesters seized in early January. Bundy supporter Brand Thornton says he left on Monday. "The entire leadership is gone," he tells the AP. "I wouldn't blame any of them for leaving."
- There are conflicting accounts of the highway shooting. Nevada lawmaker Michele Fiore says Ammon Bundy called his wife and told her that Finicum was cooperating with authorities when he was shot, but sources tell the Oregonian that he resisted arrest and ignored an order to surrender.
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