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What Happened At Ruby Ridge

Federal authorities surrounded Randy Weaver’s mountaintop cabin (below) near Naples, Idaho, for 11 days following the shooting of a federal marshal. Here’s a look at the events leading up to the standoff.



A federal informant buys two sawed-off shotguns from Randy Weaver at his remote cabin near Naples, Idaho. He is indicted a year later on federal weapons charges.


Jan. 17

Weaver is arrested by Boundary County Sheriff Bruce Whittaker and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for possessing a sawed-off shotgun. He is taken to Coeur d’Alene where, the next day, he is released because he has no prior criminal record.

Feb. 22

Weaver fails to show up for his trial in Moscow, Idaho, and a bench warrant is issued. Federal authorities say he and his family are heavily armed and holed up in his cabin, so surveillance is begun but no arrest is attempted.


The Siege: Aug. 21 - 31

Day 1: Aug. 21

Six federal marshals conducting surveillance on Randy Weaver’s cabin encounter the fugitive, his 14-year-old son Samuel and Kevin Harris. A gunbattle ensues and U.S. Deputy Marshal William Degan of Boston and Samuel Weaver are killed.

In the cabin are Weaver, his wife, Vicki, three daughters and Harris Samuel’s body is cleaned and moved to an outbuilding.

Day 2: Aug. 22

More than 100 state and federal authorities, equipped with helicopters and armored personnel carriers, pour into the woods, putting a perimeter around the cabin. More personnel arrive later.

A protest line is set up near the roadblock by Weaver supporters.

Late in the day, Vicki Weaver is killed and Randy Weaver and Harris are wounded by an FBI sniper.

Day 3: Aug. 23

As FBI agents move closer to the Weaver cabin during the night, they discover Samuel Weaver’s body in an outbuilding.

Day 4: Aug. 24

Weaver and others in the house refuse to answer an FBI phone dropped near the house. The agents tighten the security perimeter around the cabin.

Day 5: Aug. 25

Five skinheads are arrested on a nearby road, apparently while attempting to reach Weaver’s cabin. The vehicle is loaded with weapons.

Day 6: Aug. 26

Deputy U.S. Marshal Degan is buried after one of the largest funerals in the history of Quincy, Mass. More than 2,000 attend.

Weaver makes his first contact with authorities, shouting when a robot drops a phone on his porch.

By evening, former Green Beret Bo Gritz offers to talk down his fellow veteran.

Day 7: Aug. 27

The biggest break so far in the standoff comes when Weaver shouts answers to his older sister, Marnis Joy, who talks to him through a bullhorn.

Day 8: Aug. 28

By nightfall, authorities accept Gritz’s offer to talk with Weaver. He is driven in an armored vehicle to an area near the cabin, where he uses a bullhorn to talk with Weaver.

Day 9: Aug. 29

Weaver and Griz continue to talk, but little progress is made. Weaver says he want to pray with his daughters before deciding whether to leave the cabin.

Day 10: Aug. 30

Weaver allows Gritz and others to remove Vicki Weaver’s body and to evacuate Harris, who is arrested and flown to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.

Day 11: Aug. 31

Weaver and his daughters leave the cabin with Gritz. Weaver is arrested airlifted to Boise, treated at St. Luke’s Hospital and taken to the Ada County Jai.

Sept. 1992

A review led by E. Michael Kahoe, an agent who supervised the siege, exonerates the FBI.

Dec. 1992

Prosecutors preparing to try Weaver complain when the FBI refuses to supply crucial documents 1993 July Weaver and Harris are acquitted of murder and conspiracy. At the trial, an FBI agent says then Assistant Director Larry Potts approved shooton-sight orders for Ruby Ridge.



Weaver and Harris are acquitted of murder and conspiracy. At the trial, an FBI agent says then Assistant Director Larry Potts approved shoot-on-sight orders for Ruby Ridge.



FBI Director Louis Freeh disciplines 12 agents for misconduct after reading a 542-page report on the siege. Despite a letter of censure, Potts is promoted to FBI’s No. 2 spot in May.

July 11-14

Freeh suspends Kahoe, who admits he shredded a key report, and demotes Potts.

Aug. 15

The government settles with Weaver family for 3.1 million.


Aug. 21

Lon Horiuchi, the sharpshooter who killed Vicki Weaver, is charged with manslaughter in Boundary Count.

Kevin Harris is charged Thursday with murder for Degan’s death in Boundary County.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Graphic: What happened at Ruby Ridge Map of Ruby Ridge area

Tags: chronology