Ammon Bundy and 6 others associated with Oregon federal building takeover arrested; shots fired, one killed

Ryan and Ammon Bundy and five others associated with the armed seizure of the Malheur National Wildlife refuge on January 2 were arrested late Tuesday afternoon in Oregon. The FBI reported that shots were fired and one person is deceased.

In addition to the six arrests and one fatality in Oregon, at 8:30 p.m. PST Tuesday Jon Eric Ritzheimer, age 32, was arrested in Arizona on a federal charge related to the armed occupation. Mr. Ritzheimer turned himself in to the Peoria, Arizona, Police Department. The arrest was without incident.

The seizure of the Refuge was triggered by the resentencing of Dwight Hammond, Jr., and his son, Steven Hammond who set fires on Bureau of Land Management property not far from the Wildlife Refuge. It escalated into demands that public lands be turned over to states, individuals, or corporations.

Below is the press release from the Portland FBI office:


“At approximately 6:30 p.m. (PST), the FBI arrested Peter Santilli, age 50, of Cincinnati, Ohio, in Burns, Oregon. He faces the same federal felony charge as the individuals listed below. The arrest was without incident.

At approximately 4:25 p.m. (PST) on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Oregon State Police (OSP) began an enforcement action to bring into custody a number of individuals associated with the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. During that arrest, there were shots fired.

One individual who was a subject of a federal probable cause arrest is deceased. We will not be releasing any information about that person pending identification by the medical examiner’s office.

One individual suffered non-life threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. He was arrested and is currently in custody.

The arrested individuals include:

  • Ammon Edward Bundy, age 40, of Emmett, Idaho
  • Ryan C. Bundy, age 43, of Bunkerville, Nevada
  • Brian Cavalier, age 44, of Bunkerville, Nevada
  • Shawna Cox, age 59, Kanab, Utah
  • Ryan Waylen Payne, age 32, of Anaconda, Montana

These probable cause arrests occurred along Highway 395.

In a separate event in Burns, Oregon, at approximately 5:50 p.m., Oregon State Police arrested the following individual:

  • Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy, age 45, Cottonwood, Arizona

All of the named defendants face 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, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 372.

We continue to work with Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward and his deputies; Oregon State Police; and the United States Attorney’s Office to address any further outstanding issues. As the investigation is ongoing, we cannot comment further at this time.

All defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

One thought on “Ammon Bundy and 6 others associated with Oregon federal building takeover arrested; shots fired, one killed”

  1. Now if the occupiers would just go home there won’t be any more deaths.
    However, I think that if the authorities simply cut off power and lights,
    then let “General Winter and Colonel Famine” do their work, they would give it up…


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