Occupiers surrendering to FBI at refuge

BURNS, Ore. (KOIN) — The four people remaining at theMalheur Wildlife Refuge began surrendering one by one to the FBI on Thursday morning.

David Fry, Sean and Sandy Anderson and Jeff Banta could be heard on a live stream planning to surrender. The stream was hosted by Gavin Seim.

The tense standoff played out on the Internet beginning Wednesday night when the FBI surrounded the refuge.

David Fry (left) and Sean Anderson, Sandy Anderson are 3 of the 4 militants remaining at the Malheur refuge. (YouTube/Facebook)
David Fry (left) and Sean Anderson, Sandy Anderson are 3 of the 4 militants remaining at the Malheur refuge. (YouTube/Facebook)

Nevada lawmaker Michele Fiore arrived in Burns on Thursday morning to show her support.

She was heard on the stream saying she was meeting with the FBI and Reverend Franklin Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham, before they were going to drive into the refuge and be present for the surrender.

Fiore said the group was not giving up, just moving the fight to a “new location.”

The four in the refuge claimed they were unarmed but added that there were loaded guns on the premises.

Sean Anderson said he and wife Sandy will walk out holding an American flag. Earlier Thursday morning, Sean Anderson said “if the FBI ‘double crosses us, all deals are off.”

The four are remnants of an armed group that seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 2 to oppose federal land-use policies.

“We’re not surrendering, we’re turning ourselves in. It’s going against everything we believe in,” Anderson said Wednesday night after agreeing to stand down.

Fry, 27, of Blanchester, Ohio, sounded increasingly unraveled as he continually yelled on Wednesday night, at times hysterically, at what he said was an FBI negotiator. “You’re going to hell. Kill me. Get it over with,” he said. “We’re innocent people camping at a public facility, and you’re going to murder us.”

“The only way we’re leaving here is dead or without charges,” Fry said, who told the FBI to “get the hell out of Oregon.”

 

Greg Bretzing, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon, said in a statement the situation had reached a point where it “became necessary to take action” to ensure the safety of all involved.

Bretzing said one of the occupiers rode an ATV outside “the barricades established by the militia” at the refuge. When FBI agents tried to approach the driver, Fry said he returned to the camp at a “high rate of speed.”

The FBI placed agents at barricades ahead of and behind the occupier’s camp, Bretzing said.

“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,” he said in a statement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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