Quantcast
Connect with us

FBI claims slain militant LaVoy Finicum reached for a gun — and they say they’ve got video to prove it

Published

on

Lavoy Finicum announces his intention to refuse a warrant for his arrest on Jan. 5, 2016. (MSNBC)

Law enforcement officials have offered some details about the death of Oregon militant LaVoy Finicum — and they revealed that his fatal shooting was recorded on video.

A law enforcement source described the fatal encounter to CNN, which reported that Finicum attempted to drive away from a traffic stop at high speed before crashing his pickup into a snowbank along U.S. 395.

ADVERTISEMENT

That matches the account given by 18-year-old Victoria Sharp, who was riding with Finicum, and Mark McConnell, who was riding in another vehicle stopped by police just minutes before the crash and shooting.

But those two witnesses contradict one another in some key details.

McConnell said he spoke to two other passengers in Finicum’s pickup, who he said told him the rancher charged at law enforcement officers before he was shot.

Both of those other passengers were arrested and have not publicly spoken about the shooting.

Sharp, however, said Finicum got out of his pickup at officers’ request and walked toward them with his hands up while daring them to shoot him.

ADVERTISEMENT

“He’s like, just shoot me then, just shoot me — and they did, they shot him dead,” Sharp said. “They shot him right there, he was just walking — I saw it. I swear to God, he was just walking with his hands in the air.”

Now, a third account offers additional, possibly contradictory, details about what happened when Finicum tried to drive around a roadblock and became stuck in a snowbank.

The law enforcement source told CNN that FBI agents and state police ordered Finicum to surrender when he emerged from his truck, which both McConnell and Sharp said was still running and possibly still in gear.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Finicum reached down toward his waistband where he had a gun,” CNN reported, citing unspecified and unnamed authorities.

SWAT officers opened fire at that point, killing Finicum and wounding Ryan Bundy on the arm, the authorities said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Bundy was riding in the back seat with Sharp and 59-year-old Shawna Cox.

The shooting was captured on video recorded by SWAT officers, and the FBI and Oregon state police are discussing whether to release the video to “counter claims by supporters that Finicum was gunned down while trying to surrender,” CNN reported.

No timetable was given for the video’s release.

ADVERTISEMENT

Supporters of the militants who occupied Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for nearly a month have claimed that Finicum died while either kneeling or attempting to kneel in surrender, although even Sharp has claimed he was walking toward officers.

A Grant County man who happened upon the incident places McConnell closer to the scene than the militant leader’s bodyguard, who guessed he was about a mile away, did himself.

Dave Hannibal, of Dayville, was stopped Tuesday afternoon by authorities while driving north on U.S. 395, and an FBI agent told him to stop and pull over.

Arun Gupta, who is reporting on the occupation for The Raw Story, was also stopped about that time on the same stretch of road and told that a crash had closed the highway.

ADVERTISEMENT

Law enforcement officers said they had been watching the militants come and go for weeks, gathering information and evidence, and waited until the group’s top leaders left the base together in a two-vehicle convoy.

“They got quite comfortable coming and going,” said one law enforcement official. “This was a ‘standoff-lite.'”

Authorities knew which route they planned to take to the John Day Senior Center, where they were believed to be plotting a similar armed takeover in Grant County — and that’s where officers set their trap.

Hannibal watched at a distance, snapping photos, as law enforcement officers ensnared the first vehicle and arrested militant leader Ammon Bundy and one of his bodyguards, Brian “Booda” Cavalier.

ADVERTISEMENT

He said both men were arrested without a fight and sat handcuffed on the highway.

Hannibal said he spotted a second vehicle about a quarter mile or half mile up 395, about 50 feet off the road in the snow.

He said that vehicle’s passenger-side window appeared to have been shot out.

Sharp said officers opened fire on Finicum’s pickup after he demanded they let him drive on to Grant County to speak to the sheriff, who he considered an ally, and then drove away at high speed.

The teen, who said she and the other passengers dove to the floorboard at that point, also claimed that officers fired as many as 100 bullets at the pickup after killing Finicum — who would have turned 56 years old the next day.

ADVERTISEMENT

Hannibal did not mention any other damage to Finicum’s pickup, but it’s not clear how close he was to that vehicle.

Both Sharp and McConnell were questioned and released after the traffic stop.

Authorities have arrested 11 people in connection with the three-week occupation of the wildlife refuge, although more arrests are expected.

At least three militants are believed to be remaining at the refuge, after three surrendered late Wednesday.

ADVERTISEMENT

All of the militants who have been arrested were charged with a federal felony charge of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation or threats.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Confused Trump can’t stop talking about the new military ‘hydrosonic’ toothbrush missile

Published

on

President Donald Trump spent some of his time at his Ohio rally Saturday, saying that under his leadership, the military has developed a secret hydrosonic missile.

There's just one problem: Hydrosonic is a toothbrush.

The Hydrosonic Pro is a Curaprox product that boasts "ultra-fine, gentle CUREN® filaments."Hypersonic missiles are weapons that can travel at 17 times the speed of sound and Navy warships will be outfitted with them. Trump also seems confused about the facts, saying that the missile travels at five times the speed of normal missiles.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Jarring’: PA Trump fans attack polls making so much noise poll workers couldn’t read instructions to voters

Published

on

One Pennsylvania polling place fell under a full out attack on those standing in line to vote and trying to cast a ballot on Saturday.

In a Twitter thread, Behavioral Economist Alex Imas explained that while he was casting his ballot on the outskirts of Philadelphia County, PA Saturday, a parade of semis and other cars surrounded the polling place, laying on their horns.

"I arrived just as polling place opened. Short line. Thought I'd be in and out in 20 minutes tops. Even w/ this short line, it took 2+ hours," he explained.

"Then the next Semi followed, then the 3rd," he continued. "A motorcade of semis, jeeps, and a few sedans drove down the road. All honking. All flying Trump 2020 flags. With people yelling out the window. This motorcade snaked around the polling place the entire time I was there (2 hrs)."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump gives 9/11 first responders back the $3.3 million he took from health fund: GOP Congressman

Published

on

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told Rep. Peter King (R-NY) announced that the 9/11 first responders would get the $3.3 million back that President Donald Trump stole from the program that helped them with medical treatments.

Those at the Twin Towers site in the days following the terrorist attacks breathed in a series of toxic gasses and asbestosis, leading them to have a slew of health problems years later. A fund was set up to ensure that those heroes were always taken care of for the rest of their lives as they suffered through their final years.

“It’s a great victory for really deserving people,” King told the New York Daily News Saturday. "I mean this just never should have happened, but we fought hard, we got it done."

Continue Reading
 
 
Democracy is in peril. Invest in progressive news. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE