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The FBI on Thursday released video footage of the highway stop that led to the shooting death of an armed militant and the arrests of several members of the group that had occupied a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon since early January.
Greg Bretzing, special agent in charge of the FBI in the state, said agents and Oregon state troopers showed "great restraint" during the enforcement action and only used deadly force after Robert "LaVoy" Finicum ignored commands and reached for a weapon.
The FBI released the unedited video and a version shortened for length during a press conference to discuss the ongoing occupation and several high-profile events from this week. Ammon Bundy, son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and de facto leader of the group, was arrested on Tuesday with others during a highway stop outside of the refuge.
The video, which appears to be taken from a helicopter, shows two vehicles -- a white pickup and a Jeep, as they're approached by law enforcement around 4:25 p.m. Tuesday. The Jeep stops immediately, leading to the arrest of Bundy. But the pickup, driven by Finicum, drives away from authorities for several minutes before stopping.
One individual, identified as Ryan Payne, leaves the vehicle before it again speeds up toward a roadblock, where Bretzing said the truck narrowly avoided hitting an FBI agent, then became stuck in a snowbank. Finicum is seen on the video exiting. Bretzing said he ignored verbal commands and "at least two times" reached for a jacket pocket that he said agents later determined carried a loaded 9 mm handgun.
"We waited a very long time ... for a period of almost four minutes," Bretzing said. "The occupants of that vehicle refused to comply with those commands. The officers showed great restraint."
Bretzing wouldn't say how many times Finicum was shot. Four weapons were found inside the truck. Bretzing wouldn't say if any were fired during the confrontation.
After his arrest, Bundy urged those remaining on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to leave.
"To those remaining at the refuge, I love you," Bundy said in a statement released through his attorney. "Let us take this fight from here. Please stand down. Go home and hug your families."
At least one other person has left. Authorities said four people remained at the refuge.
When asked why the FBI decided to release the video so soon after the shooting, Bretzing noted claims had been made about the shooting that needed to be clarified before accusations spread. Several people, including Nevada politician Michele Fiore, said Finicum had been "murdered" with his hands up.
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