Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Randy Weaver: Siege at Ruby Ridge

Revised Rules

The following morning, "HRT" Commander Richard Rogers submitted an amended proposal of the FBI's standard rules of engagement. The standard policy only authorizes deadly force when an agent or another is in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm, however Rogers felt that the situation at hand dictated a serious enough threat to amend temporarily these rules. The proposal submitted to the FBI field office read:

  1. If any adult male is observed with a weapon prior to the announcement, deadly force can and should be employed, if the shot can be taken without endangering any children.
  2. If any adult in the compound is observed with a weapon after the surrender announcement is made, and is not attempting to surrender, deadly force can and should be employed to neutralize the individual.
  3. If compromised by any animal, particularly the dogs, that animal should be eliminated.
  4. Any subjects other than Randall Weaver, Vicki Weaver, Kevin Harris, presenting threats of death or grievous bodily harm, the FBI rules of deadly force are in effect. Deadly force can be utilized to prevent the death or grievous bodily injury to oneself or that of another.

FBI's Larry Potts (AP/Wide World)
FBI's Larry Potts (AP/Wide

FBI headquarters did not approve the amended rules because a negotiation plan was not included. Nonetheless, Larry Potts, assistant director of the FBI's criminal division, informed Eugene Glenn, special agent-in-charge and Ruby Ridge field commander, that they had been approved and could be put into effect. It remains unknown why Larry Potts falsely submitted the rules to Eugene Glenn. Regardless, Glenn saw no reason to doubt his orders and immediately briefed his men on the amended rules.

As word of the Ruby Ridge firefight reached the media, it did not take long for small crowds to begin gathering at the base of the mountain. Many of those present were awestruck as they watched police cars; military vehicles and armored personnel carriers continually make their way through a roadblock to the staging area on the opposite side. Even though little information was available, it was known that some sort of confrontation between Randy Weaver and federal officials had taken place. Some of the onlookers began shouting at the vehicles as they made their way through, demanding information. The mood amongst the group was quickly becoming angry.


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