Sheriff on deadly confrontation with refuge occupiers: 'There do - KPTV - FOX 12

Sheriff on deadly confrontation with refuge occupiers: 'There doesn't have to be bloodshed'

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Harney County Sheriff David Ward at a press conference Wednesday Harney County Sheriff David Ward at a press conference Wednesday
Armed occupiers remained at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday Armed occupiers remained at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday
Suspects arrested in Oregon in connection to standoff in Harney County Suspects arrested in Oregon in connection to standoff in Harney County
BURNS, OR (KPTV) -

An emotional Harney County Sheriff David Ward urged the remaining armed occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to return home following Tuesday's confrontation with law enforcement that left one person dead.  

"It's time for everybody in this illegal occupation to move on. There doesn't have to be bloodshed in our community," Ward said at a news conference Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the FBI and Oregon State Police conducted an enforcement operation on Highway 395 that led to the arrests of multiple people, including group leader Ammon Bundy.

Police said shots were fired and CNN reported that group spokesman LaVoy Finicum was killed.

Eight people have been taken into custody in connection to the standoff. Seven were arrested in the Burns area, and an additional suspect with a warrant turned himself in to authorities in Arizona.

They all face federal charges of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation or threats. The seven suspects in Oregon were set to appear in court Wednesday.

Investigators did not release any details about the shooting Wednesday, but an FBI spokesman said the group has had "ample opportunity" to leave the refuge peacefully and, "actions are not without consequences."

Federal authorities have placed roadblocks around the refuge, and said those still "illegally occupying" the refuge can leave through those checkpoints. 

A group of militants remained there Wednesday morning, however, and had the entrance to the refuge blocked with a piece of heavy machinery.

Ward said there is deep disappointment that Tuesday's traffic stop on Highway 395 "ended badly," but said the occupation of the refuge has been "tearing our community apart."

"We don't arm up and rebel. This can't happen anymore. This can't happen in America and this can't happen in Harney County," he said.

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