Oregon militia spokesman LaVoy Finicum has been shot dead after a traffic stop escalated into a shoot-out that saw Ryan Bundy wounded and eight leaders of the occupation movement arrested.
The group’s leader Ammon Bundy was among the militiamen arrested during the encounter on Tuesday afternoon as they drove to attend a community meeting in the neighboring town.
It is the climax of a tense stand-off between federal agents and the activists more than three weeks after they took over a government building in Burns, Oregon, to protest two ranchers being jailed.
According to local media, shots were fired within minutes of the traffic stop, killing Finicum and wounding Ryan Bundy.
It is not clear who opened fire first.
Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, and three other leaders of the occupation – Ryan Payne, Brian Cavalier, and Shawna Cox – were charged with conspiracy to impede federal officers,Oregon Live reports.