BURNS, Ore. -- Despite the release of an FBI video of the final moments of the life of Malheur occupier Lavoy Finicum, disputes remain within the movement over the manner in which he was killed.
In the latest development, witness to the shooting Shawna Cox contends LaVoy Finicum was gunned down in cold blood by police snipers in a remote traffic stop, set up with police by the man driving the Jeep holding Ammon Bundy.
Cox was arrested last week on a remote stretch of U.S. 395, along with refuge occupiers Ryan Bundy, Ryan Payne and 5 others. Rancher Lavoy Finicum was shot and killed by police after driving into a snowbank at a blockade. They were on their way to a publicly announced meeting in John Day, Ore.
Mark McConnell, who was driving a Jeep holding Ammon Bundy, was not arrested.
Timeline: Armed occupation in Eastern Oregon
Cox was released from the Multnomah County jail late Friday night and was expected to leave for Utah Monday. She must wear a GPS bracelet and cannot leave home except for work, religious service, school or health care. She may not contact the other defendants.
She spoke Saturday with Rick Koerber, who describes himself as a "liberty minded advocate for peace and prosperity" with a website called freecapitalist.com.
Cox said she believes without a doubt that McConnell set them up for the arrests by working with the police. Few people knew that the core leadership of the group would be in two specific vehicles headed to John Day for a meeting with the Grant County sheriff, she said.
The police stop was along a section of the remote highway where they lost cellular service, she said - the perfect ambush. She has seen the FBI video of the incident, but claims it does not reveal the truth of what happened.
"Mark set us up. How come he's out and no one else is?" she said. "He was pushing us to all get together at the same time. They [the police] knew. They knew."
She questioned why McConnell was never arrested and refuted a version of events he posted on Facebook soon after he was released. In it, he said Finicum rushed the police. A few days later, he posted a video again, apologizing for reaching his own conclusion based on the accounts of others.
McConnell has not commented directly on Cox's accusations, but posted this on his Facebook page Sunday:
"Folks here's something simple. Google the route from the Malhuer Wildlife Refuge to John Day, Oregon. There is one way there and one way back. The meeting was at 6pm and was public knowledge. Doesn't take a rock star to figure out when we would have been coming through."
Recalling the moments before the arrest, Cox said everyone noticed an unusual number of vehicles along the stretch of highway. And shortly thereafter, flashing lights appeared behind them.
Ryan Payne talked Finicum into slowing down and and he eventually stopped, according to Cox.
She said Finicum tried to tell the police that they were on the way to see the Grant County sheriff.
Ryan Payne stuck both his hands out the window and gunfire broke the mirror. He was hit in the wrist, Cox said, and pulled his arms back in the vehicle and said, of the police, "they mean business."
"Lavoy was gonna take off and Ryan says 'No, no, no' and he jumps out," Cox said.
Finicum asked the women if they wanted to get out. Cox noticed the doors were locked and then an 18-year-old woman in the truck said she wanted to stay inside, so Cox stayed with her.
"I'm not about to leave her," Cox said. "My mother instincts kicking in."
The 18-year-old also provided an account shortly after her release that mirrors how Cox described the incident.
The women tried to hunker down as low as they could in the truck. Cox said at that point, she asked Finicum how far he thinks he can get before police shoot out the tires.
Then they reached the roadblock, where Finicum hit the brakes and slid into a snowbank. Cox said she could not tell if Finicum was trying to go around the blockade or avoid hitting the police vehicles.
Next, Finicum jumped out of the truck, she said. He tried to tell police they were on the way to see the sheriff of Grant County and also said, "Go ahead and shoot me."
He had his hands up, Cox said, and was shot in the leg. He was then hit by a sniper about 50 feet away with a rifle. He was hit with gunfire after he was down and dead.
Cox said he never reached for an inside pocket in his jacket, which appears to happen on the video.
"He had a pistol on his hip, why in the hell would he reach inside a pocket?" she said of Finicum.
Cox said she does not know what might have been going through Finicum's mind.
"He was yelling at them, 'Shoot me, shoot me, shoot me.' That's all he said," Cox said.
After Finicum went down, the pickup was peppered with gunfire and tear gas, she said. Scopes with lasers were targeting all of them. She felt that the police wished to kill all of them.
The FBI later said police used non-lethal rounds in addition to tear gas rounds.
Later, all those arrested were placed in a van. They were singing hymns and praying and McConnell was unkind to the 18-year-old woman, Cox said. He seemed most concerned about his Jeep, which he earlier had said cost him $60,000.
They were there for hours, she said. They asked if they were under arrest and the only reply was that they were being detained.
Eventually, all were placed in separate vehicles for what she described as an 80 mph convoy from Eastern Oregon to the Multnomah County jail in Portland.
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