Day 40 of the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge reached a dramatic climax Wednesday evening with the FBI confirming it had moved in to surround the four holdouts, who were speaking to an FBI negotiator — and to thousands of YouTube listeners in a streaming online phone call.
Here’s the full FBI statement:
“At approximately 4:30 pm (Pacific) on Wednesday, February 10, 2016, one of the occupiers rode an ATV outside the barricades established by the militia at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. FBI Agents attempted to approach the driver, and he returned to the encampment at the refuge at a high rate of speed.
“At this time, the FBI has moved to contain the remaining occupiers by placing agents at barricades both immediately ahead of and behind the area where the occupiers are camping. Negotiations between the occupiers and the FBI continue. No shots have been fired.
“It has never been the FBI’s desire to engage these armed occupiers in any way other than through dialogue, and to that end, the FBI has negotiated with patience and restraint in an effort to resolve the situation peacefully. However, we reached a point where it became necessary to take action in a way that best ensured the safety of those on the refuge, the law enforcement officers who are on scene, and the people of Harney County who live and work in this area,” said Greg Bretzing, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon.