In the summer of 1992, federal agents surrounded a few acres of land isolated in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, where Randy Weaver, his wife Vicki, his 14-year-old son Samuel, and his three young daughters were staying. Weaver was a former Green Beret who had come to the attention of the ATF and other federal agencies for a number of reasons, including associations with white supremacist groups and the possession of illegal shotguns. After being arrested and released on bail in 1991, Weaver failed to appear in court when necessary and was thus treated as a fugitive, bringing in the involvement of US Marshals. For the rest of that year, attempts to bring in Weaver were rebuffed, and Weaver threatened to shoot anyone who came to his cabin to bring him in. After a number of reconnaissance efforts and operations to arrest Weaver took place in 1992, federal agents from the US Marshal Service and FBI surrounded the area on August 21 and wound up engaging in a firefight that ended in the deaths of 14-year-old Samuel, one of the family dogs, and Marshal Bill Degan, who was shot by Weaver's friend Kevin Harris. In the aftermath of the shooting, Randy and Vicki brought Samuel's body to a shed near their main cabin, and they remained inside with Harris for the rest of the day.
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