Oregon law-enforcement officials ruled the shooting of LaVoy Finicum by Oregon State Police officers was justified, releasing the results of their investigation this morning in a dramatic press conference that featured video and audio of Finicum's death in Eastern Oregon.
But the investigation also found that at least one FBI agent may have lied about firing two shots during the confrontation with Finicum, a 54-year-old Arizona rancher who helped take over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
The United States Department of Justice's Office of Inspector General is investigating the FBI agent for possible misconduct.
The press conference revealed several new pieces of information, including that one or more FBI agents shot two of the eight bullets fired at Finicum and his fellow anti-government militants fleeing along Highway 395 after a traffic stop on Jan. 26.
Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson said in the course of investigating the shooting, his office discovered an FBI agent did not disclose he had fired shots.
FBI Special Agent Gary Bretzling confirmed the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating.
"The county's investigation also indicated that, in between the two series of shots fired by OSP troopers, one, and possibly two, additional shots were fired by law enforcement as Mr. Finicum was exiting the vehicle after hitting the snow bank," Bretzling said. "As autopsy results confirm, neither of these shots struck Mr. Finicum. The question of who fired these shots has not been resolved."
At the press conference, officials revealed for the first time that officers fired three shots at the truck Finicum was driving north to meet Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer. Investigators also concluded Finicum reaching for his gun, a 9 mm Ruger, in his coat pocket when he was shot and killed.
But perhaps the most remarkable part of the press conference was video and audio footage taken by militant Shawna Cox from inside the pickup truck Finicum was driving—including the moments after he stepped out of the truck and was killed.
"You're gonna have to shoot me," Finicum yells, seconds before the Oregon State Police fire.
The video footage also showed Finicum earlier yelling threats out the window of the truck. "Shoot me!" he yells. "Go ahead! Put the bullet through me. I'm going to meet the sheriff. You do as you damn well please."
Cox's audio reveals panicked conversations among the militants, who couldn't get cellphone service, regretted having pulled over, and agreed to flee the traffic stop. The song "Hold Each Other" by A Great Big World can be heard playing on the truck stereo as the militants argue.
Officials said Finicum then drove away at 70 miles an hour, not slowing down when he saw a police roadblock.
Nelson told assembled media today that all state police shots were justified because Finicum was using the truck as a deadly weapon.
"The six shots fired by the Oregon State Police were justified and, indeed, necessary," Nelson said.
UPDATE, 11:40 am: Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has issued a statement, describing questions about the FBI's actions as "troubling."
"Any loss of life is regrettable and I appreciate that the independent investigation into the actions of Oregon State Police was completed swiftly and thoroughly," Brown said. "Additional questions the investigation raised about the actions of federal agents who were also involved are troubling and properly the subject of an ongoing investigation."