Idaho siege ends as gunman surrenders

Click to follow
The Independent Online
NAPLES, Idaho (AP) - A fugitive who held off a small army of police officers for 11 days at his remote mountaintop cabin surrendered yesterday, an intermediary said. The fugitive's son and wife and a US marshal died in shootouts during the siege.

Randy Weaver came out of the cabin with his three surviving children, said the go-between, Lt-Col James 'Bo' Gritz. Col Gritz said he walked out of the cabin with Mr Weaver, who was holding his baby daughter.

Col Gritz, a retired army special forces officer and Populist Party candidate for president, said Mr Weaver was being flown to Boise aboard a military helicopter. He said federal authorities had agreed to let Weaver's three girls stay with a family that lives in the area. The authorities at the scene did not immediately confirm Col Gritz's account.

Mr Weaver, 44, a devotee of the Christian Identity Movement that combines Old Testament, right-wing and white-supremacist beliefs, and his family had been holed up in the cabin since February 1991, when he failed to appear in court on a federal weapons charge. He allegedly sold shotguns to an undercover agent.

Authorities traced the family to the cabin and conducted periodic surveillance, saying they hesitated to risk a confrontation because of the children.

On 21 August, six deputy US marshals ran into Mr Weaver, his son and Mr Weaver's friend, Kevin Harris, during a reconnaissance patrol. A shootout ensued, and Deputy Marshal William Degan and Mr Weaver's teenage son, Samuel, were killed. Mr Weaver's wife, Vicki, was killed and Mr Harris was wounded in a gun battle the next night.