The four holdouts in the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon surrendered on Thursday, with the last protester repeatedly threatening suicide in a dramatic final phone call with mediators before he gave up, ending the 41-day standoff.
David Fry, 27, stayed behind for more than an hour and told supporters by phone he had not agreed with the other three to leave the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon. The call was broadcast live on an audio feed posted on the Internet.
“I’m actually pointing a gun at my head. I’m tired of living,” Fry said during the phone call. He later added: “Until you address my grievances, you’re probably going to have to watch me be killed, or kill myself.” Fry sounded alternately defiant and tormented during the rambling final call, veering from rants about the federal government to his thoughts on UFOs. He surrendered after taking a final cigarette and cookie and asking his mediators to shout “Hallelujah.”
Authorities could be heard over the phone line telling him to put his hands up before the call disconnected. Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward called him a “very troubled young man” at a news conference several hours later.