BURNS, Ore., March 8, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) ─ “I’m going to be lying on the ground with blood on the street or I’m gonna see the sheriff.”
Those were the words of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, the Arizona-rancher-turned-Oregon-refuge-occupier just moments before he was shot to death by Oregon State Police officers during a Jan. 26 traffic stop.
Finicum’s defiant statement, as well as audio of his shooting, was captured on a never-before-seen cell phone video released Tuesday by prosecutors, who ruled Finicum’s shooting justified and “necessary.”
The video was recorded by Kanab resident Shawna Cox, a supporter of the Oregon occupiers and passenger in Finicum’s vehicle when they were confronted by the FBI and Oregon State Police. Authorities paired the newly revealed video with aerial surveillance video taken by police during the attempted roadblock.
Finicum’s supporters, including family members, have maintained the 54-year-old rancher was assassinated by law enforcement officers, who they claim fired hundreds of shots during the arrests.
Malheur County District Attorney Dan Norris and Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson, said a total of eight gunshots were fired during the traffic stop ─ six by Oregon State police officers and two by FBI agents.
Three of the shots were fired by OSP officers as Finicum’s vehicle sped toward a police roadblock.
The three other shots fired by Oregon State Police struck Finicum in the torso, mortally wounding him.
Of the shots reportedly fired by the FBI, one struck the roof of Finicum’s vehicle, but the other round was unaccounted for.
The revelation that FBI agents had opened fire during the confrontation came as a surprise, according to Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson.
Nelson said the agents did not initially divulge their actions and we’re now being investigated for their role in the shooting.
To see the newly released video, please click on the video player below.