Hands Up, Just Shoot! Claims Witness To Oregon Protester Killing

Jeff Knox covers claims of witness to killing of Oregon protester.

LaVoy Finicum
The death of LaVoy Finicum is a needless tragedy.

Oregon – ↓5-(Ammoland.com)- The occupation of a remote wildlife refuge turned violent yesterday when federal agents stopped two vehicles carrying protesters to a town hall meeting in John Day, Oregon.

Victoria Sharp, a passenger in one of those vehicles, has reported that federal agents opened fire on the group without provocation after conflicting and confusing demands for the protesters to surrender.

Sharp reported that shots were first fired at Ryan Payne as he complied with orders to show his hands out of the window of the vehicle in which she was riding, but that the shots missed. Payne was calling for police to not shoot, as there were women in the vehicle, and exited the vehicle, asking that the women be allowed out.

At this point, LaVoy Finicum, one of the spokesmen for the occupiers, who was driving the vehicle in which Ms. Sharp was riding, yelled out the window that they were going to go talk to the sheriff (at the meeting in John Day), or that agents could just shoot him. He told the passengers to get down, and drove forward, precipitating heavy gunfire from the agents, and crashing the vehicle into a snowbank.

Sharp said that Finicum then exited the vehicle, hands in the air, yelling, “Just shoot me then!” A volley of shots rang out, and Finicum fell to his back, hands still over his head, and was shot several more times on the ground, Sharp said.

According to Sharp, agents continued shooting at the car, striking Ryan Bundy in the shoulder as he shielded her on the floorboard, and deploying tear gas before finally taking the rest of the group into custody. She also claims that none of the protesters fired a shot or even touched a gun during the encounter.

The full audio of Victoria Sharp’s account is posted on YouTube, and comes across as very credible.

Listen to Victoria Sharp’s testimony:


Another report suggested that Finicum “charged” at police after exiting the vehicle but does not dispute the claim that his hands were in the air. Cliven Bundy, father of Ammon and Ryan Bundy, leaders of the occupation who were both taken into custody during the incident, has further charged that, not only were Finicum’s hands in the air, but he was not armed at the time.

In interviews during the occupation protest, Finicum, a soft-spoken rancher and father of 11 from Arizona, had insisted that he would rather be killed than “put in a cement box” prison. He said that some things were more important than life, and that freedom was one of those things.

The occupation was initiated in protest of the re-incarceration of a pair of Oregon ranchers who had been convicted of terrorism for starting two controlled burns on their graze lands back in 2001 and 2005. The ranchers, father and son Dwight and Steven Hammond, were initially sentenced to, and served short sentences and fined $400,000 for their actions, but a federal appeals court later concluded that the judge in the case had improperly waived a five-year minimum sentence for the charges, and the two were resentenced to that minimum and ordered to return to prison.

I reported on the Hammond case and the resulting protests a few weeks ago in this column, pointing out that the stated objective of the protest was being lost in the news coverage of the protest itself. Ammon Bundy and his compatriots appeared to be more interested in generating a confrontation with federal authorities than in drawing attention to the Hammonds and the abusive practices of federal agencies that led to their plight.

The death of LaVoy Finicum is a needless tragedy.

Federal authorities had wisely been taking a hands-off approach to the occupation, denying Bundy and his friends the opportunity for the tense stand-off they seemed to be seeking. Unfortunately, politicians like Oregon’s Democrat Gov. Kate Brown, took the occupation as a personal affront and were calling for law enforcement to take more aggressive action to put a stop to the flagrant defiance of federal authority. The result is a martyr for the fringe and escalation of the situation from a nuisance to a volatile and dangerous level.

The strategy was clearly to “remove the head of the snake” by capturing the leaders of the occupation, but what if those leaders were the cooler heads that were keeping the protest calm and peaceful?

With the death of Finicum, in circumstances that some are calling murder, a fuse has been lit, and unless authorities can and do quickly produce evidence that their actions were clearly justified, this could blow up in a very ugly way. And it all could have been easily avoided.

Realistically, what harm were the protesters doing? They were occupying buildings of a remote wildlife refuge in a sparsely populated area of the country in the dead of winter. They were making no threats, harming no one, and getting less and less attention from an unsympathetic media. They were not supported by any national or state militia organizations, and their whole agenda had pretty well fizzled.

I wish Ammon Bundy had taken my advice, negotiated a peaceful end to the situation and sent his supporters home to their families weeks ago. That didn’t happen, and what happens next is anyone’s guess. The remaining occupiers must be concerned about what might happen to them if they try to leave, especially in light of the death of Finicum, and by setting up roadblocks and checkpoints, authorities have now committed manpower and resources to potentially long, cold, uncomfortable duty that can’t help but engender deeper frustration and resentment between police and occupiers. Any trust that might have developed is completely out the window. Worse, the bloodshed may provoke other groups to step in and escalate the mess even further.

Perhaps this week’s arrests will bring this whole thing to a close, but I fear that it is more likely signaling the beginning of something much worse than protesters occupying a wilderness outpost.

About The Firearms Coalition:
The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition is a project of Neal Knox Associates, Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.org.

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I’ve read about 6 comments on this one so far, and all I have to say is I’m going to go get some popcorn to finish reading the rest.


I also want to add that the Feds went well beyond what they had to and also showed 3 weeks of patience with Bundy and crew !


So many of the posters here trying to defend Bundy and his band of idiots sound like the black BLM fools ! Finicum reached for a gun and paid for being stupid ! The same would have happened to anyone ! LE has every right to use deadly force in situations like this !


I can’t believe all this nonsense about conspiracy to commit murder. BS ! The Feds came up with a plan to get these morons out of the compound and it worked. What made it work was that Bundy and the rest of the idiots fell for it. Finicum had his hands up for a second then reached for his weapon ! Conspiracy ?… No way !


Oh yes, mcveigh – our hero……are u people friggin nuts??

Linicum got what he wanted, Let it alone.


Now Ammon Bundy is pleading with the remaining people in the compound to ‘turn themselves in’ ?!? He said let the constitution and the courts decide the issue ! Ammon Bundy is a complete idiot and the people who followed him must be short brained. All Bundy has done is get a man killed,his brother wounded,and the rest will be convicted and do a long prison stretch. All of these fools will be convicted felons,lose their right to own firearms,vote,etc. ! I hope they made there point,whatever that was !

old Marine

Leonitus,,,, I agree with you the video is very good witness a conspiracy to commit murder. VERY,VERY BAD Leadership. The buck stops with them and I believe that there is more to this than anyone knows. PS the BLM violated their own Charter…by trying to own the land that they are just custodians of. Selling the land and prohibiting use of the land by the owners WE THE PEOPLE is fraud and a felony, but is there anyone to stand up for the people… only citizens who protest???? When are Americans going to act like Americans???


After seeing this video, got to tell ya folks, he got tuned up for doing all the wrong things. Trying to run the LEO block; damn near hitting a LEO, then hands up and then going for his jacket–they had little choice. Although as might the Secret Service, I wish to hell these guys would shoot for legs (just as big a target as the body) and incapacitating as hell–then if fight continues finish the fight. But look, if you want to resist arrest you have two decision points: To comply with the orders OR to fight it to the… Read more »


After watching the video, it seems more than evident the “authorities” had planned to end it this way. Not only murder, but conspiracy to commit murder.

Old Marine

Sounds to me like we have a lot of UN-American men out there out there that support the criminal government acts out there. Anytime the LAW ENFORCEMENT takes action that does not comply the Constitution and the bill Of Rights then it is is a Criminal Act and must be judged by the Courts ( the peoples representatives ) but I don”t think that will happen because corrupt government officials will basically ignore the event. This event screams for the justice system to work. Many of you are against this demonstration but forget that this country exists because of of… Read more »


just watched the heavily redacted NSA drone footage of the shooting. First it proves that it was no mear traffic stop as advertised but more of an ambush. second, the dude did drop his hands but only after the cop in front of him waved for him to do so with his riffle. Third, the cop behind him fired first, shooting him in the back, the others followed. Forth, the militiamen never got off a shot contrary to what the FBI told the media.


It’s a shame there’s no audio. The fact that Finicum reaches for his gun then pulls his hand back then reaches again could be an indication that he was getting conflicting orders from the cops. I’ve read that that’s what happened. No conspiracy just incompetence.


The Bubba Effect has its Bubba. The earlier videos where people said he was “Charging” or Waving a Gun were obviously lies and his hands were up, at least at first, some of the FBI Stories don’t match their own Drone Video in that respect. Whatever footage the Helicopter caught might show something different. They may very well have fired on the truck before it ran off the road. He was reaching for his gun, so you can’t fault the agent who fired the final shots, but the circumstance leading to that were altogether unjust from square one. He knew… Read more »


The shooting video has been released by the Feds. You pilgrims that say Finicum was murdered by the Feds will change your minds ! Finicum tried to go around the roadblock almost taking out a fed. Finicum jumped out of the truck with his hands up then reached into his coat pocket to pull a weapon. A fed appears from the tree line and takes out Finicum?


Have any of you men noticed that Oath Keepers and Stewart Rhodes himself were/are avoiding this thing like the plague ? Curious ain’t it ?

Jim K.

Wasn’t there something in the Obama’s inauguration speech about defending this country from enemies foreign and domestic? Now he wants to welcome our enemies in because he doesn’t want to fix the problem in syria.
I would think that would make him impeachable bye him being a terrorist. Everyone knows what the refugees have been doing in Europe so he can’t claim ignorance.

joe gomez

The gun carrying citizens of Oregon should have surrounded the federalies, disarmed them then jailed them. Its time to take back our country. They should be tried for murder just like you and I would be if we had committed such an act. This is a perfect reason we need to unit 38 states or more to pass the Convention of States. To finally get the federalies out of our back pocket and out of our lives.


@Cowboy Danny,I ain’t a Yankee ! I’m native Texan !


From all the comments i’ve read only Dave makes any sense the rest of you need some serious HELP!!!!!


I’m not racist by all means but if these folks were black or Mexican all you people saying he got what he deserved would be singing a diffrenent tune. Wouldn’t you?


Okay, lets see some police cameras proving that there was a threat to them!!!


This site has progressed from a forum where opposing points of view could be exchanged to one where conspiracy nuts rule the day. Not one mention of the other side of this story that Finicum was reaching into his waistband when he was shot. Who here really thinks these guys were unarmed? The already stated that they were willing to die for thair beliefs. Anyone who disagrees with the crazy theories is branded a un-American. We do not live in Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia. We are still free to do as we please — work, pray to whatever man… Read more »

Ed Hines

The Law makes many mistakes and one of them is taking your land (public lands) away fro you and selling it for money they keep, even worse is killing citizens over it. A good American needs to stand up for what is right and sometimes die for it, that is what our military do out of this country, Do you think that the law will stand up for you…GOOD LUCK…,these people were not in this for selfish reasons, listen to what they said, They were protesting injustice. You can look at this from 4 different views, all true to different… Read more »


Super G – Why couldn’t the FBI use tasers, bean bag rounds, batons, tackle the guy, or whatever. Lethal force was deliberate and calculated. And if true, why were the feds peppering the car too? FBI motto: kill first, ask questions later.


Well said Al. We would probably stop more violent crime by disarming the government.


Gerald Brookman and Jamie – First, comparing these ranchers to ISIS or Al Qaeda terrorists who kill anyone that doesn’t follow their belief system is ridiculous. These ranchers were trying to bring attention to the over reach of our government and the unjust imprisoning of fellow ranchers. These buildings were unoccupied and remote, so what harm was being done? Why was Oregon’s governor so anxious to have the FBI attack? Why would they block the road for such a long distance? Could it be that they didn’t want any reporters hiking in and witnessing the assassination? Are you both going… Read more »


According to the driver of one of the stopped vehicles, Finicum charged the officers and was shot, thus committing suicide by cop. He isn’t a martyr, just an idiot who wanted to break the law with impunity.


While the subject of who should not own land (Govt) and charge B.S. grazing fees, and determine who can step foot on a piece of property is all legit, along with of course all the other overreach that must change, the fact is these people stole personal records of our fellow americans, albeit govt. employees, harassed the local population, followed the cops around brandishing weapons, etc. If some people did this in your community would you be happy? Are they domestic terrorists? By definition, who knows. Did any of them commit crimes? Yes. Theft of personal records is a crime.… Read more »


..seemingly endless government gun violence..

Bob M.

” The result is a martyr for the fringe ”

Oh so Americans who believe in liberty and justice are now the “fringe”?


“The death of LaVoy Finicum is a needless tragedy.” NO! It was a CRIMINALLY instigated GOVERNMENT based tragedy. Lavoy Finicum was the first soldier and HERO to be SACRIFICED in the new American war for freedom. In recent years shooting UNARMED men seems to be the norm. This was an AMBUSH by honor-less government stooges. People who fire first and others who just start shooting in a fear based rage because they heard their first person shoot. Meanwhile unarmed passengers screamed “Don’t shoot” and if there had been no roof I am quite sure the FBI PUSSIES would have killed… Read more »


We will probably never know the truth. You cannot believe either side. I do know that cops are over zealous. A lot of them cannot wait to shot or beat the crap out of someone. I know one cop in particular that has expressed this to me. These cops were on high alert since they knew these suspects had weapons. But the cops have their little fraternity and the rest of the judicial system to cover their actions. I have firsthand experience how this works. Railroaded by the system.


I should have said in previous post …to be shot–sorry for the grammar.


I absolutely guarantee you-this was video tapped by the LEOs on site. So legal types should immediately try to subpoena those tapes before they get lost. The full Waco event early on with first shootout was taped and shown a few times on TV before it became greatly censored, is now nearly impossible to locate. The news bites we now see show just a few favorable to the Gov. at the site–like the guy on the roof by the window–he was shown actually to shot by his own man inside right after the guy on the roof fragged his partner… Read more »


its plain as day, it was a pre meditated ambush..they sent in a mole who set this whole thing up under the false pretense of speaking at a town meeting…their only crime was occupying an empty building in the middle of no where in the dead of winter..


Gerald Brookman

Please explain how any of what Bundy and Crew were doing is Anti-Federal…

Sounds like just more typical ignorant drivel from the under-educated.


Hey Jamie, if they are our public buildings, why wouldn’t these ranchers be allowed to occupy them? There is nothing public about BLM land. It was confiscated by an increasingly tyrannical government for their own desires and paid for by the very people that are restricted from using it. Were you chanting death to the black lives matter rioters or occupy rioters?


@The Rifleman: “Sad and unfortunate as all of this is, I think the moral of the story here is if you take a stand against law enforcement, even if you are in your rights, you are literally committing suicide, and you can bet none of these guys are going to lose any sleep over killing you. In fact, they will be rewarded with “paid administrative leave” and maybe even be presented with a “bravery reward!” Go figure…” The moral is that the Police (State) / “Law” EnForcement have attained way to much power via we the peoples mass willful ignorance… Read more »

Gerald Brookman

Reply to Jamie: I agree. And I saw another account, on UTube, from the driver of the other vehicle (not law enforcement, but the “occupiers”) that disputes the account above of how it occurred. It would appear that not only ISIS, Al Qaeda, etc. have fanatics who want to be martyrs, so does the anti-Federal movement.

The Rifleman

RDNK, Although I agree with how you feel, I can’t say that “he got his wish.” We would have to first walk a mile in his shoes to see if we can understand where his coming from on this. I think he was standing up for something that he truly believed in, and unfortunately, it cost him his life. He said that he would rather be killed than do time in jail. I think perhaps one would have to do time in jail or prison to make that determination. Meaning.. maybe death would be considered a blessing in comparison. Here… Read more »

Mark Are

For some reason, I may be wrong, but I remember being taught in junior high that according to our Constitution we were INNOCENT until PROVEN guilty and that means that “law” enforcement should make every effort to refrain from being Judge, jury and executioner. Yes, Jeff, I agree…this may have lit a fuse. ESPECIALLY if everything that is being said about Finicum is the truth.

Charles smoak

I can only say this is bad.Congress needs to reconsider the government owning the majority of land in many states.Some cases it was farm land taken a century ago..Would it be better farmers owning it again and paying taxes on it instead of we the people that will mostly never see it having to support it..maybe better to pay on the national debt..


Legalized Murder. The man was not holding a weapon. Patriot Lives Matter.


They are lucky only one person was killed. I am surprised they waiting this long to get this bunch of trash out of our public buildings.

Mr Randy

TRAGEDY! BS! MURDER, MURDER, MURDER. The HWY 365 was closed for 60 miles [ no whiteness allowed ] The Clintons are involved to THEIR Eye Balls. Clinton Foundation, and the Agenda-21, they use the BLM , The Department Of Interior, to Corrupt the local and state governments and use the BLM as Mob Enforcers to get the Ranchers. Clinton foundation and Uranium 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzMKdJgnxGM Dots getting connected on Judge Grasty https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrSz9xHYW1w BLM burning brush, ranch house and cattle alive, and indanger other ranchers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aeeclad8G3E&feature=em-share_video_user Various training manual info for BLM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rX8guPi0oU A view of REAL America!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gx04MkFEnQ The two cars… Read more »


Big government, corrupt government.

cowboy danny

youall yankees gave up all your rights to fascist government
the only solution is a revolution


This is a case where the feds were being ridiculed for not doing something so they just pulled a Waco and killed to make themselves look good. With the blessing of the white house and the useless AG. They don’t care if they violate rights, just like at Waco.


Whats up with this Ammoland…I never get any of my comments posted except questionairs like this one…this has to be a dead site.


This could very well be a situation where the incompetence of panicked LEOs is to blame.

Let’s not let the standoff distract us from the very real problems caused by federal control of so much land in many western states. The feds need to give up that land & shut doen the BLM.