The takeover at Malheur that started Jan. 2 was a flare-up in the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion, a decades-old conflict over the U.S. government's control of millions of acres of territory in the west. Protesters say they are defending the Constitution.
Patrick told Reuters by phone they would stay until a “redress of grievances.”
“I've heard ‘peaceful resolution’ for weeks now and now there’s a cowboy who is my friend who is dead — so prepare for the peaceful resolution,” Patrick said.
The FBI said gunshots rang out after officers stopped a car carrying protest leader Ammon Bundy and others near the refuge. Activists said Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, an Arizona rancher who acted as a spokesman for the occupiers, was killed.
Federal officials said they had probable cause to arrest Finicum, who told NBC News earlier this month that he would rather die than be detained.
In a statement posted on Facebook on Wednesday, the Finicum family appeared to forgive officials for LaVoy’s death, but urged the occupiers to “press forward.”
"This fight against tyranny is not over. Press forward,” the statement said. “Forgiveness is what we can extend and understanding is what we want. Christ was and is LaVoy’s exemplar. Though there are evil and conspiring men at work, Christ still forgave the executioners for they knew not what they did."
Protest leader Ammon Bundy and four other senior members were taken into custody following the confrontation along Highway 395, near the reserve in northeast Oregon around 4:25 p.m. local time, the FBI said.
A sixth person was arrested by Oregon State Police in Burns, Oregon, about 90 minutes later. The FBI said a seventh person was later arrested, 50-year-old Peter Santilli, a journalist who livestreamed events at the refuge.
The FBI said they also arrested an eighth person in Peoria, Arizona, in relation to the occupation. The man, Jon Eric Ritzheimer, 32, was arrested without incident when he surrendered himself to police.
All of those arrested face federal charges of conspiracy to use force, intimidation or threats to impede federal officers from discharging their duties, the FBI said.