FBI agents under investigation for possible misconduct in LaVoy Finicum shooting
BEND – An FBI agent is suspected of lying about firing twice at Robert “LaVoy” Finicum and may have gotten help from four other FBI agents in covering up afterward, authorities revealed Tuesday.
The bullets didn’t hit Finicum and didn’t contribute to his death, but now all five unnamed agents, part of an elite national unit, are under criminal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department. Inspector General Michael Horowitz is leading the independent inquiry.
The remarkable disclosure came as a team of local investigators released findings that two state troopers shot Finicum three times in the back during the chaotic scene at a police roadblock Jan. 26. One bullet pierced his heart, an autopsy showed.
A prosecutor ruled the fatal shooting was legally justified, saying state law allows use of deadly force when officers believe a person is about to seriously injure or kill someone. Finicum kept moving his hands toward a pocket that contained a loaded handgun. Although he was shot from behind, Finicum had a trooper in front of him armed with a Taser who was thought to be in danger.
Robert ‘LaVoy’ Finicum’s death is investigated Robert “LaVoy” Finicum was a leader in the 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife refuge. He was shot and killed Jan. 26, 2016. FBI said he was reaching for a gun when he was shot. Others call his death a murder.
Finicum, 54, an Arizona rancher, was one of the leaders of the Jan. 2 takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns.
Investigators gave no details to explain why the one FBI agent, a member of the Hostage Rescue Team, wouldn’t report the two shots**.** They also didn’t indicate what his four colleagues did to warrant investigation other than saying it was related to conduct after the shooting.