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Randy Weaver, patriarch of a family that was involved 30 years ago in an 11-day standoff with federal agents in Idaho that left three people dead, has died aged 74.
His death was announced Thursday in a Facebook post by his daughter Sara Weaver, who lives near Kalispell, Montana.
“I still love you Dad” was written on Sara Weaver’s Facebook page, posted with a photo of an older Randy and a smiling Sara, along with the dates January 3, 1948 and May 11, 2022.
A cause of death has not been released, according to the Associated Press.
On August 21, 1992, Randy Weaver, a self-proclaimed white separatist, was involved in a shootout with six federal agents at Ruby Ridge. The altercation left Weaver’s wife, Vicki, and 14-year-old son, Samuel, dead by an FBI sniper during the 11-day standoff.
The standoff was located in the Idaho Panhandle about 40 miles south of the Canadian border.
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The incident shocked the nation in 1992.
Randy Weaver moved his family to northern Idaho in the 1980s to escape what he saw as a corrupt world. Over time, federal agents began investigating the Army veteran for possible ties to white supremacist and anti-government groups. Weaver was eventually suspected of selling a government informant two illegal sawed-off shotguns.
The standoff began when the U.S. Marshall Service attempted to arrest Weaver for failing to appear on a firearms charge.
To avoid arrest, Weaver holed up on his land for a year and a half with his family near Naples, Idaho.
On August 21, 1992, a team of marshals showed up at the property to find suitable places to ambush and arrest Weaver met his friend, Kevin Harris, and Weaver’s 14-year-old son, Samuel, in the woods . A shootout broke out. Deputy U.S. Marshal William Degan was also killed.
The next day, an FBI sniper shot Randy Weaver. As Weaver, Harris and Sara ran home, the sniper fired a second bullet, which went through Vicki Weaver’s head as she was holding a baby and injured Harris in the chest.
During the siege, Sara Weaver crawled around her mother’s blanket-covered body to bring food and water to the survivors until the family surrendered on August 31, 1992.
Harris and Randy Weaver were arrested, and Weaver’s three daughters went to live with their mother’s family in Iowa.
Randy Weaver was sentenced to 18 months in prison for the initial firearms charge, but was released after 16 months for good behavior. Harris was acquitted of all charges.
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The surviving members of the Weaver family filed a wrongful death lawsuit. The federal government awarded Randy Weaver a $100,000 settlement and his three daughters $1 million each in 1995.
After Ruby Ridge, federal agents besiege the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. It ended violently after 51 days on April 19, 1993, when a fire destroyed the compound after an assault was launched, killing 76 people.
Timothy McVeigh cited both Ruby Ridge and Waco as motivations when he bombed the Oklahoma City Federal Building in 1995. Since then, Ruby Ridge has often been cited by militias and patriot groups.
Sara Weaver lives near Kalispell, Montana, a town in the northwest of the state that is the gateway to Glacier National Park and more than 100 miles east of Ruby Ridge.
Sara Weaver said she is devastated every time someone commits a violent act in Ruby Ridge’s name. “It killed me inside,” she told The Associated Press in 2012, of the Oklahoma City bombing. “I knew what it was like to lose a family member to violence. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.”
After graduating from high school in Iowa, Sara Weaver moved to the Kalispell area in 1996. Her sisters and father followed soon after.
She returned to Ruby Ridge, to the land her family still owns. All that remains of the family’s modest home is the foundation, she said.
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Randy Weaver is survived by his wife Linda Gross, whom he married in 1999, and his daughters Sara, Rachel and Elisheba.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.