NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Thursday, January 28, 2016, 10:56 PM
The dramatic aerial video shows a wild scene on a frozen highway that ends with gun-slinging activist rancher Robert “LaVoy” Finicum lying motionless in the snow.
Finicum, 55, is depicted racing away from the scene of a four-minute traffic stop in southeastern Oregon and nearly mowing down an officer with his truck as he swerves to avoid a spike strip.
Footage shot from an FBI plane shows him crashing into a snow bank, exiting his vehicle during a verbal exchange with armed officers and reaching his right hand toward a pocket on the left inside portion of his jacket.
He had a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic handgun in that pocket, the FBI said Thursday.
Officers followed policy when they shot and killed the Mormon rancher from Nevada, FBI Special Agent Greg Bretzing confirmed at a packed press conference.
The FBI has released aerial video of officers shooting Oregon occupation spokesman LaVoy Finicum on Tuesday.
Federal officials released the video Thursday to counteract “inaccurate” and “inflammatory” versions of the incident circulated by supporters of Finicum and his militia group, Bretzing told reporters not far from the federal wildlife refuge the militants seized Jan. 2.
Bretzing said officers showed “great restraint” during the initial stop that started at 4:25 pm on Tuesday on Highway 395.
State troopers and federal agents only resorted to lethal force after Finicum “refused to comply” with a series of clear verbal commands given over four minutes, tried to flee at high speed, nearly injured an officer on the ground and then appeared to reach for a weapon, he said.
“We did everything we could to bring this situation to a peaceful resolution,” Bretzing said after releasing the video.
A 26-minute video shows federal agents and state police stopping two trucks traveling from the occupied Malheur National Wildlife Refuge before Finicum takes off and leaves his vehicle after crashing into a roadblock (above).
“You know, actions have consequences,” he said. “It was a reckless action that resulted in the consequences that you’ve seen here today.”
He said three men in a separate car – including militia ringleader Ammon Bundy – were detained without force on the desolate highway.
Militia member Ryan Payne, who had been riding in Finicum’s truck, exited the vehicle early on and also was detained without incident, he said.
Seconds after the shooting, officers used flash bangs to disorient three other occupants still in Finicum’s truck, including Bundy’s brother Ryan Bundy.
Troopers and agents also deployed sponge projectiles with pepper-spray capsules, Bretzing said.
Shawna Cox was then arrested at the scene and another unidentified woman was allowed to leave, he said.
As soon as the agents and troopers were confident the situation posed no further threat, they provided medical assistance to Finicum about 10 minutes after he was shot, the FBI said.
Authorities found three other loaded weapons inside the truck, including two loaded .223 caliber semi-automatic rifles and a loaded .38 special revolver, officials said.
Some protesters had said Finicum (center) had been shot after surrendering which the FBI said was inaccurate.
Breitzing said contrary to some reports Thursday, the armed standoff at the nearby Malheur Wildlife Refuge was not over.
A ragtag group of four wannabe patriots remained dug in at the bird sanctuary, marking the 27th day of the armed siege meant to protest federal regulation of land.
The holdouts said they would leave only if officials agreed not to prosecute them.
“We’re asking them just to drop the charges and we’re just willing to go. And nobody dies,” gun-toting militant David Fry, 27, said in grainy video showing a flickering campfire posted on YouTube before sunrise Thursday.
A vigil for Finicum marched through the town of Burns, near the occupied refuge, on Wednesday.
“If they’re not willing to do that, we’re all just kind of willing to stay here and see what happens,” he said.
The Ohio activist said his group of anti-government occupiers dwindled from five to four by the time he posted another video after 9 a.m.
He expressed concern that even if allowed to leave, he might face a follow-up felony charge that would strip him of his right to own guns.
“They’re telling us it’s safe to leave, but it’s not,” he said.
Five protesters including occupation leader Ammon Bundy (top left) were arrested during the incident where Finicum was shot. Seven occupiers in total were arrested in Oregon on Tuesday, with another taken into custody in Arizona.
The group specifically demanded the government drop a pending felony warrant against one occupier believed to be Idaho militiaman Sean Anderson.
“Are they really gonna kill five people for refusing to drop a charge on a man?” Fry asked.
“We want to go home peacefully,” Anderson said in one video Thursday. “We’re camping out here. Who are we hurting?”
It was a stark contrast to his comments Wednesday, when he urged others to join the group and “kill” any law enforcement in the way.
Authorities have said up checkpoints around the refuge, and have allowed some occupiers to leave.
“Turn yourselves in and do not use physical force,” Ammon Bundy said from behind bars Thursday, according to a statement released by his lawyer.
Bundy, the son of notorious Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, said the group’s fight was now in the courts.
“I am committed to freedom, not force,” his rambling statement said. “We never wanted bloodshed.”
Georgia roofer Jason Patrick, 43, was among three men taken into custody at checkpoints Wednesday.
Speaking to the Daily News before his arrest, Patrick said he was worried about surrender.
“A cage or a bullet sounds like the definition of terrorism,” he said.