A gunman tried to enter the FBI’s Cincinnati headquarters Thursday morning and then fled onto a nearly highway, leading authorities to closed off a stretch of Interstate 71. An hours-long standoff ensued, culminating late Thursday afternoon when law enforcement shot and killed the suspect, according to officials.
The New York Times reported that authorities are investigating whether suspect, identified by officials who spoke to multiple outlets as 42-year-old Ricky Shiffer, was connected to an extremist group that participated in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The Times notes that Shiffer seems to have appeared in a video of a pro-Trump rally in Washington, D.C., the night before the attack. He also appears to have to praise the Proud Boys, an extremist militia present during the riot, in a tweet. Shiffer also appears to have tweeted that he was “there” on Jan. 6 as rioters stormed the Capitol. NBC News later reported that Shiffer was indeed at the Capitol.
A Truth Social user name Ricky Shiffer posted earlier on Thursday about having attacked the FBI. “If you don’t hear from me, it is true I tried attacking the F.B.I., and it’ll mean either I was taken off the internet, the F.B.I. got me, or they sent the regular cops while,” the account wrote. The account earlier this week posted about a “call to arms” and how “this time we must respond with force.”
“Kill the F.B.I.onsight,” read a subsequent post.
More violent rhetoric from the Ricky Shiffer account on Truth Social. pic.twitter.com/nTgbX6FFXX
— Travis View (@travis_view) August 11, 2022
The bureau’s Cincinnati office wrote on Twitter earlier on Thursday that “at approximately 9 AM this morning an armed subject attempted to breach the Visitor Screening Facility” and then “fled north onto Interstate 71” after special agents responded. “The FBI, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and local law enforcement partners are on scene near Wilmington, OH trying to resolve this critical incident,” the office wrote in a subsequent statement. Clinton County Emergency Management added that a lockdown was in place and several roads were closed after law enforcement “traded shots with a male suspect who is wearing a gray shirt and body armor.”
NBC News reported that the suspect fired a nail gun at law enforcement when trying to breach the FBI office, then showed an AR-15-style rifle before leaving the scene in a vehicle. Authorities later said they trapped the suspect in a cornfield, leading to the standoff.
Officials said in a press conference Thursday afternoon that they tried to use “less-than-lethal tactics” to apprehend the suspect, but were unsuccessful. They said they shot him fatally after he raised a gun.