After 41 days, the armed occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is over. The four remaining members of the group surrendered to federal agents this morning, one day after the arrest of Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher whose sons led the takeover. The last hold out was David Fry, the 27-year-old who traveled from Ohio to join the occupation, and he was taken into custody peacefully after more than an hour of heated negotiations.
After the January 26 gunfight with law enforcement that resulted in the death of one terrorist and the arrest of Ammon Bundy and his brother Ryan, the occupation grew increasingly unstable. Most of the women and children staying at the wildlife center left within days, and the numbers of other supporters dwindled as well. In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, the FBI reported that the remaining members of the domestic terrorist group declared their intent to leave this morning.
Shortly after 9 am local time, three of the four remaining group members left without incident. Sean Anderson, Sandy Anderson, and Jeff Banta walked out of the Malheur wildlife center this morning and were apprehended by federal agents. Fry, the group’s self-proclaimed tech guru, initially refused to surrender, claiming that his “grievances haven’t been addressed.” Negotiators tried numerous arguments to persuade a frightened and suicidal Fry to change his mind. He suddenly decided to walk out on his own just before 11am local time. He was taken into FBI custody without further incident.
The occupation has been wrought with controversy since the start, when the group broke in and took over the wildlife center on Jan 2. Since then, the debacle has had all the elements of a wild Hollywood blockbuster: hilarious pleas for snack foods, strange video rants from supporters, and a gunfight that ended with the death of one terrorist and the arrest of two of the group’s leaders, Ammon and Ryan Bundy. The Bundy brothers remain in custody in the Multnomah County jail, where their father is also now being held.
Images via Wikipedia and YouTube screenshots