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The group had strict orders that they were to avoid all contact with the Weaver family. According to a Department of Justice report on the incident, the Marshals were detected by the Weavers' dogs and began to retreat. Randy Weaver, his 14-year-old son Sammy and his house guest, family friend Kevin Harris, left the house to investigate, all carrying firearms. The Department of Justice report corroborates this with a statement dictated by Randy Weaver to his daughter, in which he says that "Approximately 11:30 Friday morning....the dogs started barking like they always do when strangers walk up the driveway. Randy, Kevin, and Sam ran out to the rock with their weapons." The labrador, Striker, chased the marshals through the woods, and Sammy and Harris followed the dog. Eventually the marshals stopped retreating and took up defensive positions in the woods.
The sequence of events during the ensuing shootout is disputed, with Harris saying that the camouflaged Marshals did not identify themselves and were the first to fire at Sammy's dog, which was approaching their position with Sammy close behind him. Sammy then fired at Marshal Roderick, who had shot the dog. The marshals' version of events is that they were fired upon first and only then returned fire.According to Randy Weaver, after splitting up from Harris and Sammy Weaver, a man in full camo, leaped out in front of him and shouted: "Freeze Weaver!". Weaver responded to this with the words, "# you!" and then turned around and began to run back to the house. As he ran he called out to Harris and Sammy that it was an ambush and to get back to the house. Randy said he heard Sam reply "I'm coming Dad" and then heard shots being fired.Sammy and Harris had followed the dog through the woods when they confronted the Marshals. Sammy, according to Harris, then yelled "You shot Striker, you son of a bitch!", and fired twice at Marshal Roderick, the leader of the Special Operations Group. One or more Marshals returned fire, shooting Sam in the arm and spraying him in the back with automatic weapon fire, killing him, as he ran back up the hill. Harris then shot and killed Marshal William Degan, and retreated up the hill himself where he found Sammy. It is also possible that Marshal Degan was killed by friendly fire as his autopsy showed he had been shot in the back with the bullet exiting through his chestAccording to evidence entered at the trial by prosecution witnesses (ballistics experts Martin Fackler and Lucien Haag), Art Roderick fired one shot, which killed the dog; Sammy Weaver fired three shots, to no effect; Marshal Bill Degan fired seven shots, one hitting Sammy Weaver's arm; Kevin Harris fired two shots, one killing Degan; and Larry Cooper fired six shots, one killing Sammy Weaver. Marshals Cooper and Roderick were not aware of Degan firing, and believed those shots came from the Weavers. There were nineteen shots fired in total.The next day, the FBI was called onto the scene with their Hostage Rescue Team (HRT). After the first day's events, the FBI HRT changed its usual rules of engagement, stating specifically that "deadly force can and should be used against any armed adult male if the shot could be taken without a child being injured." Deadly force could be used even before an announcement that the Weavers were surrounded and requesting their surrender. This was "unprecedented" and later found unconstitutional by a Justice Department task force
A FBI sniper, Lon Horiuchi, shot and wounded Weaver in the right arm, while he was lifting the latch on a shed to visit the dead body of Sammy Weaver with others. Then as Randy, his 16-year-old daughter Sara and Harris ran back to the house, Horiuchi shot Vicki Weaver. Vicki Weaver was standing behind a door, unarmed and holding her 10-month-old baby Elishiba in her arms, when the bullet struck her in the face, killing her. The round then carried on, striking Harris in the left arm/chest. A Justice Department review later found the second shot was unconstitutional and the lack of a request to surrender was "inexcusable", since Harris and the two Weavers were running for cover and could not pose an imminent threat. The task force also specifically blamed Horiuchi for firing at the door, not knowing whether someone was on the other side of it, along with those who had decided on the special rules of engagement allowing shots to be fired with no request for surrender.The sniper's two shots were fired at 6:00pm 22 Aug1992; the Weavers did not return fire but retreated to the cabin. At 6:30pm, an armored personnel carrier came to the cabin and announced the presence of law enforcement. According to the Weavers, this was the first formal announcement of the presence of law enforcement.
Originally posted by Valhall
I personally feel that Ruby Ridge and Waco were instances of the intolerance of those who are different. For both cases there is little evidence to support the extreme measures that were taken. And for both cases it appears that the different in society were singled out and persecuted for their lifestyles.
Many FBI employees' reputations were ruined over the incident, most notably Deputy Director Larry Potts. E. Michael Kahoe, chief of the Bureau's Violent Crimes and Major Offenders section, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for attempting to destroy all copies of the FBI's internal report on Ruby Ridge. Six officers were suspended for allegedly attempting to cover up their roles in the Ruby Ridge incident, and overall 12 officers were disciplined for their roles in the siege.The US Senate in September 1995 held hearings on the Ruby Ridge incident and, in December, released a report detailing the handling of the incident. The Senate offered harsh criticism to the federal agencies involved, calling their handling of the incident a "chain of mistakes" that led to the three deaths. The committee alleged that through its conduct, the FBI had weakened trust between government and its citizens. The specific agencies at fault included the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the FBI, the US Marshals Service and the office of the US attorney in Idaho.FBI Director Louis Freeh told the Senate committee, "At Ruby Ridge, the F.B.I. did not perform at the level which the American people expect or deserve from the F.B.I. Indeed, for the F.B.I., Ruby Ridge was a series of terribly flawed law-enforcement operations with tragic consequences."The surviving members of the Weaver family filed a wrongful death suit and Randy Weaver received a $100,000 settlement while his daughters received $1 million each. Weaver wrote a 1998 paperback book, The Federal Siege At Ruby Ridge, about the incident.In 1997, the Boundary County, Idaho district attorney charged Horiuchi with involuntary manslaughter, but the indictment was removed to federal jurisdiction based on the Supremacy Clause. The indictment was dismissed first by the Federal District Court, and the dismissal was reversed by an en banc panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Shortly after the 9th Circuit issued its decision, the prosecutor moved to dismiss the case, and the U.S. District Court granted the motion on June 26, 2001
You jump out and shoot my dog and then what? Am I expected to just stop and put my gun on the ground? Then you shoot my family member and I finally figure out who you are well guess what the gears are already set in motion. When those Feds moved in what were they supecting was going to happen? I guess they could tell them "sorry you all didn't get the memo we were coming today".
Originally posted by DeltaNine
You're using some particularly emotive language there. Take a breath and a step back for a moment.
We don't know 100% what happened. There are disputed facts. We shouldn't second guess anyone, especially the FBI guys who were just there to take a bad guy off the streets.
Originally posted by DeltaNine
What I meant was, you've got the benefit of hindsight (which as we all know is 20/20). As far as HRT knew he was a guy who had shot a Federal agent, not the entire backstory.
Originally posted by Clearskies
I've got a signed copy of Mr. Weaver's and his daughter's book.
It opened my eyes as a new christian.
Apparently the authorities were in the woods and when noticed by the dog, they shot it and since the Boy had a gun and 'supposedly' brought it up to fire it, they shot him.
One of the saddest parts after they shot Mrs. Weaver and her son, was when they sent a robot with a shotgun taped facing the phone it carried, asking for them to answer. The voice on the speaker told them as they were holed up, fearing for thier lives, "We're having pancakes, what's your mother fixing?" Or something like that, knowing her dead body was near her daughter!!!
I sent a note thanking Mr.Arlon Spector for his help that he gave the family. I believe if it wasn't for the friend's that were camped at the end of the driveway, I think Texx Mars was one of them, they would have all been killed.
What courage to take them to court and he came out with pretty good results. [edit on 21-9-2007 by Clearskies]
Originally posted by Valhall
I personally feel that Ruby Ridge and Waco were instances of the intolerance of those who are different.