WILMINGTON, Ohio (AP) — An armed man in body armor who tried to break into the FBI’s Cincinnati offices on Thursday fled the scene and engaged in an hour-long standoff in rural parts of the state. was shot dead by the police. Ohio Highway Patrol said.
The confrontation came when officials warned of increased threats to federal investigators following a raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
According to law enforcement officials briefed on the matter, the man is believed to have been in Washington in the days leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021 riots and may have been in the Capitol on the day of the attack. I have. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity and could not discuss details of the investigation publicly.
Law enforcement officials said the suspect was identified as Ricky Schiffer, 42. He has not been charged with any crimes related to the Jan. 6 attacks, officials said.Federal investigators are investigating whether Schiffer had ties to far-right extremist groups, including the Proud Boys. said the official.
According to a federal account of the incident, Schiffer “attempted to break into” the visitor screening area of the FBI office around 9:15 a.m. and fled when agents confronted him. After fleeing onto Interstate 71, he was spotted by police officers who opened fire as they pursued him, said Lieutenant Nathan Dennis, a spokesman for his patrol on the Ohio Highway, at a press conference. said.
Schiffer left an interstate north of Cincinnati and left the car on a country road where he exchanged gunfire with police and sustained injuries, but no one else, Dennis said. Said.
Dennis said Schiffer was shot around 3 p.m. on Thursday after he opened fire on police. The deadly clash with police occurred after negotiations fell through and police failed to use “non-lethal tactics,” Dennis said, without giving details.
State highway workers blocked the road leading to the scene as helicopters flew over the area. Authorities have cordoned off a one-mile radius near the interstate, urging residents and business owners to lock their doors and stay indoors.
Recent threats to FBI agents and offices nationwide have increased since federal agents executed a search warrant in Mar-a-Lago. Gab, a social media site popular with white supremacists and anti-Semites, warns users are preparing for an armed revolution.
Federal officials are also tracking a series of related chatter on other platforms threatening violence against Gab and federal agents. FBI Director Christopher Wray visited another FBI office in Nebraska on Wednesday to condemn the threats.
“Violence against law enforcement is not the answer, no matter who you’re angry with,” Ray said in Omaha on Wednesday.
The FBI on Wednesday warned agents to avoid protesters and keep their security keycards “out of sight outside FBI space,” citing increased social media threats to agents and facilities. Agents were warned to be aware of the situation and potential protesters.
The alert did not specifically mention this week’s Mar-a-Lago raid, but attributed the online threat to “recent media coverage of FBI investigative activity.”
Welsh-Huggins reported from Columbus, Ohio. Washington-based Associated Press writer Michael Balsamo contributed to this report.
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