WILMINGTON, OHIO (AP) – Authorities are investigating the motives of an armed man who they say tried to breach the FBI’s Cincinnati office, fled and died hours later in a rural stand-off with law enforcement, a case unfolding as the FBI warns agents to take extra precautions amid increased social media threats to its employees and facilities.
Officials have warned of a rise in threats against federal agents in the days following a search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
In the Cincinnati case, officials said a man tried to breach the visitor’s screening area at the FBI office on Thursday morning and fled when agents confronted him. He was later spotted by a state trooper along Interstate 71 and fired shots as the trooper chased him, said Lieutenant Nathan Dennis, an Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesperson.
The suspect eventually got out of his car on a rural road, exchanged gunfire with police and was injured, Dennis said. No one else was hurt.
Attempted negotiations failed, and police tried unsuccessfully to use unspecified “less lethal tactics”, but the suspect was shot when he raised a gun toward officers, Dennis said.
The man died at the scene.
Dennis said he could not comment on Thursday on whether the suspect said anything to officers during the standoff.
The man is believed to have been in Washington in the days leading up to the January 6, 2021, insurrection and may have been present at the Capitol on the day of the attack, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the matter. The official could not discuss details of the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The suspect was identified as Ricky Shiffer, 42, according to the law enforcement official. He was not charged with any crimes in connection with the January 6 attack, the official said.
Federal investigators are examining whether Shiffer may have had ties to far-right extremist groups, including the Proud Boys, the official said.