By Peter Henderson
The family of a protester killed by police during the ongoing protest at a US wildlife reserve said he seemed to have been shot in the back with his hands up, although authorities said he was reaching for a gun.
Relatives of Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, 54, a spokesmen for the group that seized buildings at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, said he posed no threat and they were not accepting the authorities' assertion that he was armed.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation released video on Thursday (local time) of state police fatally shooting Finicum, and contended it showed him making a move for a gun in his coat pocket.
"LaVoy was not 'charging' anyone. He appears to have been shot in the back, with his hands in the air," the family of the Arizona rancher said in a statement through their attorney.
"At this point we will await the outcome of any investigation, but based on the information currently available to us, we do not believe that LaVoy's shooting death was justified."
Four armed protesters were still holed up on Friday at the remote refuge, outside of Burns, a small ranching community in the state's rural southeast.
The FBI says it is working "around the clock" to negotiate with the holdouts.
Ammon Bundy, who led the occupation that began on Jan. 2, was arrested on Tuesday along with other protesters including his brother, Ryan.
Bundy has issued messages through his attorney urging those who remain at the refuge to stand down, and saying they would continue to fight federal land policy through the courts.
The Bundy brothers appeared in court today and were ordered held without bail pending trial on felony conspiracy charges.
The occupation began when Bundy and at least a dozen followers seized buildings at the refuge in the latest flare-up of the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion, a decades-old conflict over federal control of millions of acres of land in the West.