DESCHUTES COUNTY, Ore., March 8, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — A local investigation into the shooting death of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum has found that Oregon State Police Officers fired all three of the bullets that killed the rancher, and the shooting itself was justified.
Finicum, 54, was shot Jan. 26 when he left one of the cars Oregon State Police had stopped in connection with the standoff at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. Finicum and other occupiers were traveling to another town for a meeting when officers stopped them on a remote rural road.
Finicum exited his vehicle and raised his hands in the air. He appeared to be reaching toward his waistband when officers opened fire believing he might be reaching for a gun. A loaded 9mm pistol was later found in Finicum’s pocket.
The investigation found that Oregon State police officers fired a total of six bullets. Dan Norris, Malheur County District Attorney said the shots were justified, “… and, in fact, necessary.”
The investigation has also found that two additional shots were fired by FBI agents, who did not report the shots to investigators. The shots did not hit Finicum.
Investigators say they will now try to determine if other FBI officers joined in a coverup.
Finicum’s ranch is on the Utah/Arizona border. His funeral was held in Kanab, and attended by more than 800 people.
This is a developing story. Gephardt Daily will have more information as it becomes available.