Two bullet casings from rounds fired by an FBI agent at a leader of the armed occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge apparently disappeared from the site where a state police officer fatally shot the protester, an Oregon newspaper reported.
In an article on its website late on Tuesday, The Oregonian cited unnamed law enforcement sources as saying video footage taken after the Jan. 26 shooting showed agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation searching the ground and huddling, before one agent bent over twice to pick up something.
The newspaper report comes a week after the U.S. Department of Justice said its inspector general's office was investigating the actions of the FBI's hostage rescue team in the deadly confrontation with Robert "LaVoy" Finicum.
Finicum, who had taken part in an occupation by armed land rights protesters at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, was shot dead by Oregon State Police after leaving his pickup truck at a roadblock along a snow-covered road in eastern Oregon.
Last week, Malheur County District Attorney Dan Norris said eight shots had been fired at Finicum, six by Oregon State Police and two by at least one FBI agent.
An autopsy found three bullets fired from behind Finicum by Oregon State Police officers had struck and killed him, Norris said.
Norris said the investigation found the fatal shooting was justified.
Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson, whose office is involved in the probe, also said a bullet fired by at least one FBI agent struck Finicum's truck and that the agents did not disclose their gunfire or "specific actions" they later took.
The Oregonian report said a state trooper described to state investigators seeing two rifle casings in the area where the FBI agents were positioned. But police detectives later did not find any casings there, according to the newspaper.
Greg Bretzing, special agent in charge for the FBI in Oregon, declined to comment on the newspaper report, citing the U.S. Department of Justice's ongoing investigation into the "alleged actions of the FBI agents on the scene."
Norris and a spokesman for the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office could not be reached and a spokesman for Oregon State Police also declined to comment.
Relatives of Finicum, 54, who was a spokesman for the group that seized buildings at the refuge, have said he posed no threat during the confrontation.
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