Funeral For Slain Rancher, LaVoy Finicum, To Be Held In Kanab, Utah

Anti-government protester, Robert LaVoy Finicum, 56, killed during a confrontation with the FBI and Oregon State Police outside the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Photo: UPI

KANAB, Utah, Jan. 29, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) ─ Funeral services for LaVoy Finicum, the anti-government protester killed Tuesday during in a violent confrontation with FBI agents and Oregon State Police, will be held in Kanab, Utah.

Word of the Feb. 5, 2016 funeral service was announced Friday by Finicum’s family.

Finicum, 56, a Mormon rancher from Arizona, and father of 11, was a well-known spokesperson for anti-government protesters who had staged a three-week armed occupation of the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon.

The militia group, led by Ammon and Ryan Bundy -─ sons of anti-government rancher, Cliven Bundy ─ said the takeover was a show of support for two Oregon ranchers who been re-sentenced to federal prison for setting fire to government land after a judge decided an earlier sentence was too lenient.

In Friday’s statement, Finicum’s family acknowledged the uncertainty surrounding the deadly chain of events, but also said the feds would do anything in their power to justify the shooting.

The Finicum’s full statement is as follows:

We know that there are always at least two sides to every story. We also know and recognize that the FBI and law enforcement agencies involved will do everything in their power to make it appear as if the needless death of our husband, father, grandfather, brother and son, LaVoy Finicum, was justified.

We know that there are always at least two sides to every story. We also know and recognize that the FBI and law enforcement agencies involved will do everything in their power to make it appear as if the needless death of our husband, father, grandfather, brother and son, LaVoy Finicum, was justified.

Like almost everyone else, we were not there, so we don’t know exactly what happened. Like most others, we have no choice but to rely on other sources of information. One of those sources of information is the account of Victoria Sharp. Another piece of information is the video recently released by the FBI, along with the FBI’s chosen narrative of what happened. In response to this information, we would like to make a few observations.

The first observation is that from what we understand, the occupation was on track toward a peaceful resolution. LaVoy and those he was with were on route to a public meeting in an adjoining county when they were stopped in something far different from a “routine traffic stop,” as has been portrayed by the media. Unfortunately, the powers that be were not interested in being patient enough for the occupation to come to a peaceful end. Some had called for LaVoy and those he was with to simply be gunned down, just as he was, with no due process. Oregon Governor Kate Brown was putting pressure on the FBI to to end it sooner rather than later. The Harney County Sheriff’s Department, working in conjunction with the FBI, tried to do everything they could to emphasize how disruptive the occupation was to the local community, when in reality it appears to have been their own reaction that was causing most of the disruption. And it was the FBI that chose to escalate the situation to force a confrontation, and violent ending.

With respect to the actual facts and circumstances surrounding LaVoy’s death, the video really speaks for itself. People will interpret it according to their own views. As the FBI’s own narrative stated, LaVoy was not wielding a firearm or any other weapon when he was killed. His hands were obviously in the air. Knowing LaVoy, it is our view that he was moving away from the vehicle in an attempt to draw any hostility or violence away from the others. Unfortunately, we don’t know what he was saying, and what was being said to him. He appears to have been gesturing, or trying to keep his balance while moving in deep snow. Although he my have been animated, he does not appear to have been threatening or posing any real threat or danger to anyone. The FBI claims that LaVoy had a loaded firearm in an inside pocket of his coat. After reviewing the extended video, at this point we are not accepting at face value the FBI’s statement that LaVoy was actually armed. But even if he was, as far as we can see, that firearm posed no more danger to anyone than it would have if he had stayed in the vehicle, with his hands on the steering wheel. Contrary to what has been stated by some sources, LaVoy was not “charging” anyone. He appears to have been shot in the back, with his hands in the air.

It is our understanding that according to applicable law, the use of deadly force is justified only if there is a genuine threat of death or serious bodily injury. It is our understanding and position that deadly force should only be used as a last resort. In LaVoy’s case it appears that they were determined to go straight to the last resort. It is our understanding that the U.S. Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit Court of appeals have ruled as follows:

“The reasonableness of (officer’s) actions depends both on whether the officers were in danger at the precise moment that they used force and on whether (the officers’) own reckless or deliberate conduct during the seizure unreasonably created the need to use such force.”

“(W)here an officer intentionally or recklessly provokes a violent confrontation … he may be held liable for his otherwise defensive use of deadly force.” Although officers may claim self-defense, they may still be liable for using excessive force if their reckless and unconstitutional actions create the need to use excessive force.

It is our understanding that in addition to shooting LaVoy multiple times, after he was lying harmlessly on the ground, the officers also fired upon his truck and the passengers in it, putting them at risk, despite the fact that they were posing no threat to anyone. The video clearly shows one of the windows being blown out. It has been gut-wrenching for our family to view the video of LaVoy being shot, and then left to die in the snow while a whole army of so-called “public servants” terrorized the others. We can only hope their families never have to watch such a thing. We will be interested to inspect the vehicle. We will also be interested to see the autopsy report.

At this point we will await the outcome of any investigation, but based on the information currently available to us, we do not believe that LaVoy’s shooting death was justified. We likewise can’t see any justification for the force and risk of serious injury or death that was exerted against the others in the truck, who posed no threat.

We know that under such circumstances law enforcement typically makes every attempt to cast such shooting victims in the worst possible light. In that regard, we also want to observe and emphasize that LaVoy had a squeaky clean record, and had never had so much as a speeding ticket. In addition to raising his own eleven children, he had also been entrusted with the care of at least 50 foster children over the course of approximately 10 years.

On January 7, 2016, LaVoy issued an official statement from the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. Among other things, the statement said: “We want to clarify that we share any and all concerns about safety for everyone involved, including ourselves, our families, the public, and law enforcement officials. All lives are important to us. Ultimately, we want everyone involved to be able to return safely to their homes and families.”

“We are deeply troubled and saddened that our governments do not share the same concern for human life. We are deeply troubled that our governments would view whatever was happening at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge to be worth spilling blood over. We are deeply troubled and saddened that our governments have come to place so little value on life, liberty, property and pursuit of happiness.

We love LaVoy as our husband, father, grandfather, brother and son. He was a hero to us. We believe he died as a patriotic martyr. Regardless of any and all differing opinions, we know that he died standing for a cause HE believed in.

LaVoy’s funeral will be held in Kanab, Utah on Friday, February 5, 2016.

We take comfort in our faith and our belief that LaVoy is now in a better place. May our dear Lord bless and receive him into that realm. We sincerely appreciate all the thoughts and prayers that have been sent our way. We pray for those who chose to take LaVoy’s life. We desire justice and genuine accountability for what happened, but we pray for them.

And finally, we thank God for this country and what it is supposed to stand for. We pray for this country, and that God will please bless, help and forgive us all.


  1. To set the record straight;
    LaVoy was not anti government. He was anti UNLAWFUL government. He was PRO Constitution and Constitutionally abiding government.

    And you can hardly call what happened when LaVoy and his passengers were ambushed a ‘confrontation’.

  2. I’m glad you got some of it right, he was a peaceful man that loved America and the Constitution. LDS BELIEVE this is a God given country and the founding fathers were inspired by god.

  3. Right on Julie. Furthermore he was a true blue American hero. He wasn’t trying to protect US corporate interests overseas, run DEA drug interdiction ops, assassinate foreign nationals resisting US occupation, etc., etc. He literally sacrificed his life for freedom. You people need to start waking up to reality.

  4. I live in north eastern Nevada, we have a small ten acre homestead where we grow our own gardens,raise chickens and alpacas, many large ranchers veiw us as squatters and I have no love lost for the corporate ranch and farms,and I have personally seen the BLM mismanagement of public lands,and most of all I have witnessed the corruption in Elko county government! So all in all I have much distaste for government and ranchers. ..but what I saw on that video of this man being ambushed in a classic military style KILLZONE put my heart in the dirt….how dare the FBI and OSP try to justify this ending,We the people want to see body cams and audiovisual in real time,,Maube farmers and ranchers should withhold beef and other commodities to stand together and show our dissatisfaction with a government gone corrupt! I am sorry for this families loss anyone that can raise over 50 kids speaks for himself once again HOW DARE YOU TRY TO JUSTIFY THIS SHOOTING.!

  5. We live on a small homestead in northeast Nevada, considered squatters by many ranchers, I have witnessed corruption in the BLM management of public lands in Elko county and have witnessed corruption in Elko county government, So I have no love lost for ranchers or the government!!! But what I saw on the video release by the FBI put my heart in the dirt….How dare you public servants gun a citizen down in this manner and try to justify this !We demand a full investigation and real time audiovisual, not some edited version? I think instead of armed protest, we farmers and ranchers should stand together and withhold beef and all American farm commodities until a fair resolution of federal lands out west is reached! This will bring the said entities to the bargaining table quickly and with NO VIOLENCE! I personally apologize to this ranchers family and others involved for what our government has done,America wakeup ! Stop killings one another, love your neighbor, care about what happens and demand justice! This was no ordinary traffic stop,it was a classic military style KILLZONE designed to have this outcome, Im shocked that no one else was killed,and I think it was done to quiet this federal land grab rebellion. Sad…….

    • we don’t have a WE THE PEOPLE government we have a WE THE CORPORATION government and most agencies of this corporation government are private companies set up to claim sovereignty over WE THE PEOPLE to rule over us for there own private good and they are taking everything and the sad thing is we believe them to be our servants.

  6. There is an infinite number of sides to every story, until you know the truth, and then there is only one side. (A character in a novel by C. S. Lewis says that.)

  7. I am so sorry to Mrs. finicum and LaVoy’s children. I am a 5th generation rancher in Wyoming. I too run my cattle on federal leases and it is getting worse every year to try to deal with these people and their policies!!!! LaVoy was not a evil man from what I Read and listened about him. He is a hero! Not many federal employees would stand for what he loved and believed in. Nor would they try to save others lives and draw attention away from friends to save their lives! We (Americans) are doomed, they government Is bullish and is on their way to destruction! It makes me wonder if sheriff Dave Ward was one of the martyrs in his peaceful resolution? Ye know I’m a hunter and I’ve used the same “Set up” to kill elk and sorry to say it worked for the FBI. Where were their tazers? Possibly a better approach?? There was NO gun to impose a threat but our cowardly FBI and OSP had no intentions of a peaceful resolution! They will cover This up and go home to their families with no guilt. But the Finicum family is left without a husband A father and a friend. This is dirty a point to prove and unlawful who is going to help us? We went and Helped people in Iraq,Afganistand so who is gonna come save us????? So Grab your boot straps and suck down your hat because it is going to get western……. Thank you LaVoy Finicum for being a hero and for giving your life For freedom for your beliefs and for being a honorable man “Well done my faithful servant”!!!!

  8. Anti-Government? We are not anarchists!!! We are pro-CONSTITUTION of the United States of America, the Supreme Law of the Land.

    Why would you twist this, degrading a good, even great man!

    Why would you fail to note he is an author? The book is ‘Only By Blood and Suffering’.

    Why not include a link to his last interview?

    Or maybe even his video from last summer?

    I wish you would have the integrity to portray this man as he was, a good man! I loving man! A humble man! A God-fearing man! A man with 11 children and over 50 foster children through the years! A man who took care of his livestock and his land.


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