Oregon Holdouts Agree to Surrender to FBI

Lawmaker intervened during tense standoff
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2016 12:55 AM CST
Oregon Holdouts Agree to Surrender to FBI
FBI agents surround the remaining four occupiers at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.   (Thomas Boyd/The Oregonian via AP)

After a dramatic standoff with FBI agents, the final four occupiers at an Oregon wildlife refuge have apparently decided that they want to leave alive. FBI agents in armored vehicles surrounded the armed group's camp on Wednesday night, leading to hours of tense negotiations captured on a live stream that had up to 60,000 listeners, reports the Oregonian. At times, the occupiers sounded close to panic, the AP reports. "You're going to hell. Kill me. Get it over with," yelled David Fry, 27. "We're innocent people camping at a public facility, and you're going to murder us." Nevada state lawmaker Michele Fiore, a prominent supporter of the occupation, called in to calm the situation down, telling the group that she needed them alive.

Along with Fry, Jeff Banta, 46, and married couple Sean Anderson, 48, and Sandy Anderson, 47 (some sources have the husband and wife's ages switched) are the last remnants of the 40-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. They had originally insisted that they would only leave if all charges were dropped and they were allowed to keep their guns, but they eventually agreed to surrender at 8am PST Thursday, with Fiore and the Rev. Franklin Graham present, reports the Guardian, which notes that the FBI has not confirmed the arrangement. "We are not surrendering, we're turning ourselves in," said Sean Anderson. "It goes against everything we believe in, but we're going to do it." Fiore and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, father of two jailed occupation leaders, are believed to be on their way to the scene. (More Oregon stories.)

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