The leader of an armed occupation at a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon and others were arrested on Tuesday after shots were fired during a traffic stop, leaving one person dead and another wounded, the FBI said.
Protesters were still occupying the remote Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon after leader Ammon Bundy's arrest and the Federal Bureau of Investigation was setting up a perimeter with the hopes of a peaceful resolution, a law enforcement official told Reuters.
A total of eight people were arrested in two states.
The takeover at Malheur that started Jan. 2 is the latest flare-up in the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion, a decades-old conflict over the U.S. government's control of millions acres of land in the West.
Several media outlets, including the Oregonian and CNN, reported that law enforcement sources said LaVoy Finicum was killed. Finicum, a rancher who acted as a spokesman for the occupiers, told NBC News earlier this month that he would rather die than be arrested.
"There are things more important than your life, and freedom is one of them," he said in the NBC interview.
Bundy and four leaders of the occupation were taken into custody following the confrontation along Highway 395 in northeast Oregon around 4:25 p.m. local time (0025 GMT), according to the FBI.
A sixth individual was arrested by the Oregon State Police in Burns, Oregon, about 1.5 hours later. The FBI said a seventh person was later arrested, 50-year-old Peter Santilli, an independent journalist who livestreamed events at the refuge.
The FBI said they also arrested an eighth person in Peoria, Arizona, in relation to the occupation.
All of those arrested face federal charges of conspiracy to use force, intimidation or threats to impede federal officers from discharging their duties, the FBI said.