David Fry, 27, was the final protester in the Oregon stand-off after three of his counterparts walked away from the compound on Thursday morning. He contemplated suicide and demanded pizza before giving himself up
The Oregon standoff has come to an end after 41 days.
The four final occupiers walked out of the compound on Thursday morning at 11am and handed themselves in to the FBI at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge.
Their final act came hours after Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, whose son Ammon led the militiamen during their protest over land rights, was arrested as he landed in Portland.
David Fry and three other protesters – Jeff Banta, 46, Sean Anderson, 48, and Sandy Anderson, 47, – were taken into custody six weeks after they arrived at the compound.
They were the last remnants of the group that seized the government-owned reserve and demanded that officials turn over the land to locals and release two ranchers imprisoned for setting fires.
Fry, 27, stood his ground for an hour more than the others on Thursday, even though his supporters urged him to give up.
At points he admitted he was ‘feeling suicidal’ and is believed to have put a gun to his head as he considered what to do next.
During a ramble over the phone, that was broadcast over the phone, he said: ”This is where you come to the point in your life where it’s liberty or death.’
Fry, the youngest member of the demonstration, held his cell close to him and had it on at all times so the world could hear how the final moments of the occupation unfolded.
At one point he said he wanted to ‘die a free man’, demanded pizza and asked supporters to bring him marijuana while he ignored orders to give himself up without a fight.
In a phone conversation with KristAnne Hall and Gavin Siem, that was streamed live online, he described how he was lying in bed in a tent contemplating his situation and ‘enjoying his blanket’.
But eventually, after one more cigarette and a cookie, he walked out with his hands up at around noon on Thursday and approached the authorities.
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Two of the last occupiers, Sean and Sandy Anderson, are seen in their tent just hours before their last stand. They were both taken into custody after six weeks at the compound
The pair were part of the group that seized the government-owned reserve and demanded that officials turn over the land to locals and release two ranchers imprisoned for setting fires
He is now in FBI custody with his three counterparts – who turned themselves over earlier in the day.
The bureau hasn’t confirmed that the four surrendered, but a phone conversation and images of the scene suggest they have walked away.
This is where you come to the point in your life where it’s liberty or death
David Fry during his last stand in Oregon
On a live feed with his supporters, Fry initially seemed concerned that he would not be safe if he left the compound.
He feared he may be shot by the federal agents waiting around the compound.
‘I’m not gonna gamble my life in the hands of a corrupt system,’ he said.
‘I can’t come out because I’m a man, I’m making a stand. A stand means you’re willing to risk your life,’ he added.
He also talked about the possibility of getting abused in jail.
But, after spending more than an hour making random statements, including his thoughts on UFOs, he said: ‘I’m walking toward them (FBI agents) right now.’
No one was hurt during the standoff.
Cliven Bundy, 74, was taken into custody after landing in Portland International Airport on Wednesday night as he was on his way to join the militia.
He led the protest against with the government over Nevada grazing rights that ended with federal agents backing down in the face of about 1,000 armed militiamen.
A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas charged the 69-year-old Bundy with conspiracy, assault on a federal officer, obstruction, weapons charges and other crimes. He’s accused of leading supporters who pointed military-style weapons at federal agents trying to enforce a court order to round up Bundy cattle from federal rangeland.
Authorities lead a caravan of the final four occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge through the Narrows roadblock on Thursday morning
Two heavily armed troops stand next to two supporters of the protesters. One of the demonstrators is waving a flag in defiance
A photo from January 10, 2016, (eight days before the start of the occupation) shows David Fry standing at the compound. Before his capture he rambled to his supporters for an hour
Demonstrators stand on their cars behind the authorities as they wait for the situation to die down. One woman holds a sign saying: ‘I’m not ISIS, I’m Gramma (sic) Honey Bunny’
Ammon Bundy’s attorney Mike Arnold (second from left) walks at the Narrows roadblock
A law enforcement checkpoint is shown near the Malheur Wildlife Refuge outside of Burns, Oregon
The compound that was the scene of a standoff for 41 days is seen in the distance on the right. The group stayed put in trailers (right) and tents for the duration of their demonstration
Supporters of the ranchers wave the American flags near the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon where the 41-day stand off gradually came to an end
Authorities wait near the entrance to the compound as the tense situation approaches a resolution
They are the same as that levelled against two of his sons, Ammon and Ryan, for their role in the current siege at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Held: Cliven Bundy (mugshot pictured), the father of jailed protest leader Ammon Bundy, was arrested by the FBI at Portland International Airport hours before the last moments of the standoff
It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer to represent him ahead of a court appearance in federal court in Portland.
Federal authorities say the Bundy family has not made payments toward a $1.1 million grazing fee and penalty bill.
The holdouts and 12 others connected with the occupation have been charged with conspiracy to interfere with federal workers.
The takeover at Malheur was sparked by the return to prison of two Oregon ranchers convicted of setting fires that spread to federal property in the vicinity of the refuge.
The occupiers calmed down after a while, and arrangements were made for them to surrender at an FBI checkpoint on Thursday.
A Nevada lawmaker has been key in getting that agreement. Michele Fiore is also a friend of the Bundy family.
She came to Portland on Wednesday to show support for Ammon Bundy. When she heard the FBI had surrounded the refuge, she called into the online talk show to try to calm down the occupiers.
Fiore rushed to Burns to help negotiate a peaceful surrender of the occupiers.
The occupation was directed as a protest against federal control over millions of acres public land in the West.
Stand off: Agents have moved to end the stand off at an Oregon wildlife refuge. Members of the FBI are pictured here at the stand-off in January
On Wednesday, during the penultimate confrontation with law enforcement, Fry said the group was surrounded by armored FBI vehicles. At one point he said the authorities were ’50 feet’ and was convinced the group would be ‘shot dead’.
Another of the occupants reported seeing FBI snipers perched on a nearby hillside with high-beam vehicle lights trained on the compound.
‘If they tear gas us, it’s the same as firing on us,’ said one of the occupiers, who identified herself as Sandy Anderson. ‘Don’t come in. Don’t do it.’
She later reported that federal agents were trying to coax the protesters out of hiding, but added, ‘We’re not leaving without our weapons.’
Fiore, called in to try to get the occupiers to calm down, saying she could help them only if they stayed alive.
‘I need you guys alive,’ said the Republican member of the Nevada Assembly who was in Portland earlier in the day to show support for Ammon Bundy, the jailed leader of the occupation.
Shot dead: Rancher Robert ‘LaVoy’ Finicum, pictured, was shot in a clash with police during a confrontation
This is the moment LaVoy Finicum jumps out of his car with his hands up (left) then reaches for his pockets (right) as an armed FBI agent approaches him in the snow on the side of an Oregon highway last month
Fiore told occupiers Wednesday night she was driving to the refuge to try to help negotiate their exit from the refuge.
The occupiers prayed with Fiore and others as the situation dragged on for hours Wednesday night.
Sean Anderson said late Wednesday he spoke with the FBI and that he and the three other holdouts would turn themselves in at a nearby FBI checkpoint at 8am on Thursday.
Anderson relayed the news to Fiore.
‘We’re not surrendering, we’re turning ourselves in. It’s going against everything we believe in,’ he said.
Greg Bretzing, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon, said in a statement that the situation had reached a point where it ‘became necessary to take action’ to ensure the safety of all involved.
Bundy and 10 others were arrested in January in Oregon, most of them during a confrontation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and state police on a snow-covered roadside where a spokesman for the group, Robert ‘LaVoy’ Finicum, was shot dead.
The FBI says the Arizona rancher was reaching for a pistol in his pocket, but Finicum’s family and Bundy’s followers dispute that and say his death was not justified.
The takeover at Malheur started on January 2 when their leader, Ammon Bundy (pictured), and followers, seized buildings at the refuge in a protest against federal control over millions of acres public land in the West
The FBI said its agents moved to contain the remaining four holdouts Wednesday evening after one of the occupiers drove an all-terrain vehicle outside the barricades previously set up by the self-styled militia members at the refuge.
FBI agents attempted to approach the driver, and he sped away back to the compound, after which federal agents ‘moved to contain the remaining occupiers by placing agents at barricades both immediately ahead of and behind’ their encampment, the FBI said.
A number of the occupiers were broadcasting their account of events as they were unfolding via an independent Internet program, ‘Revolution Radio,’ that is known to be sympathetic to the occupation.
Some defiant videos were also posted online, in which one of the holdouts calls FBI agents losers, shows a defensive perimeter they have built and takes a joyride in a government vehicle.
The videos were posted Sunday on a YouTube channel called Defend Your Base, which the armed group has been using to give live updates.
In another video posted Sunday, Sean and Sandy Anderson are sitting together and the husband says they feel like hostages because they can’t leave without being arrested.
‘What are they to do with us?’ Sean Anderson says. ‘They either let us go, drop all charges because we’re good people, or they come in and kill us. How’s that going to set with America?’
Meanwhile, Ammon Bundy’s attorneys on Monday released an audio recording in which the jailed occupation leader called on elected officials in eight states to visit arrested occupiers from those states and show support for their rights to free speech, assembly and civil disobedience.
While federal authorities say the refuge occupation is illegal and Bundy’s followers had threatened violence and intimidated federal employees, Bundy contends the takeover was a peaceful protest.
HOW THE OREGON STAND-OFF UNFOLDED
January 2, 2016: A protest takes place in Burns, Oregon, amid mounting tension over prison sentences for two local ranchers. Dwight Hammond, 73, and his son Steven Hammond, 46, said they lit fires on federal land to reduce the growth of invasive plants and protect their property from wildfires. They were convicted and served a year or less. A federal judge later ruled their terms were too short and ordered them back to prison for about four years each. A group of armed protesters, led by Ammon Bundy, breaks away from the protest and travels 30 miles south to occupy the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
January 4, 2016: The Hammonds report to prison in California, and their attorney announces that they’ll seek pardons from President Barack Obama. The Hammonds distance themselves from the armed group.
January 5, 2016: Robert ‘LaVoy’ Finicum, an Arizona rancher often serving as spokesman for the occupiers, says he believes there’s a warrant for his arrest and tells reporters: ‘I’m not going to spend my last days in a cell. This world is too beautiful to spend it in a cell.’
January 6, 2016: Cheers erupt at a community meeting in Burns when Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward says it’s time for the occupiers to ‘pick up and go home.’
January 7, 2016: Ward and two other sheriffs meet with Bundy and other occupation leaders at a remote intersection, but nothing is resolved.
January 11: 2016: The occupiers announce they’re going through documents and accessing computers used by employees at the refuge. They tear down a stretch of government-erected fence, saying they are giving a local rancher access to the preserve. The rancher later says he didn’t give the occupiers permission to enter his property.
January 19, 2016: Several hundred people rally in Portland — about 300 miles north of the remote refuge in southeastern Oregon — to demand that Bundy end the occupation and to note that federal management makes it possible for all kinds of people to enjoy public lands.
January 20: 2016: Oregon Gov. Kate Brown says she’s angry that federal authorities have not yet taken action against the occupiers and that she plans to bill the U.S. government for what the standoff has cost Oregon taxpayers.
January 21, 2016: Bundy goes to the airport in Burns where federal officials have set up a staging area and, with reporters watching, speaks on the phone with who is apparently an FBI negotiator.
January 23, 2016: Occupiers hold an event at the refuge for ranchers to renounce grazing permits, but only one rancher from New Mexico takes part.
January 26, 2016: Bundy and other occupation leaders leave the preserve to hold an evening meeting in a town about 100 miles north of the refuge. The FBI and Oregon State Police move in to make arrests on a highway, resulting in a confrontation that leads police to shoot and kill Finicum. Most of the occupiers, thought to number about two dozen, immediately clear out of the refuge. Others straggle out in the following days, with three more arrests made.
January 28, 2016: The FBI releases an aerial video of the fatal traffic stop. Authorities say it shows Finicum reaching toward a loaded gun before police shoot him.
January 29: 2016: Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan Bundy, Ryan Payne and five others appear in federal court in Portland, where a judge denies their release.
February 1, 2016: Four holdouts remain at the refuge and say they want to be allowed to go without arrest. Bundy calls for them to leave.
February 10, 2016: The FBI surrounds the last four occupiers as the holdouts argue with a negotiator and yell at law enforcement officers in armored vehicles to back off.
February 11, 2016 (morning): Three of the last four occupiers turn themselves in, but David Fry, 27, stands his ground and threatens to kill himself.
February 11, 2016 (afternoon): After an hour, where Fry demanded marijuana, pizza and threatened to kill himself, he turned himself in to the authorities. It brought the standoff to an end.