An armed man wearing body armor who tried to breach security at the Cincinnati FBI office Thursday was shot and killed by law enforcement during a more than six-hour standoff in Clinton County that closed major roads.
Officials attempted to negotiate first, then tried to use less-lethal means to detain the suspect, which also failed.
“The suspect then did raise a firearm toward law enforcement and shots were fired by law enforcement officers on the scene,” Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Nathan Dennis said during a 6 p.m. media briefing. “At that point the suspect was deceased, he succumbed to his injures at the scene and everything remains under investigation at this time.”
The FBI’s Inspection Division is reviewing the shooting, in accordance with FBI policy, agency spokesman Todd Lindgren stated Thursday night.
The identity of the man shot and killed around 3:45 p.m. had not yet been confirmed, Dennis said.
However, he was believed to have been present at the Capitol on the day of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack, a law enforcement official briefed on the matter told the Associated Press. The official, who could not discuss details of the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, identified him as 42-year-old Ricky Shiffer. Also, federal investigators are examining whether Shiffer had ties to far-right extremist groups, including the Proud Boys, the official said.
The Clinton County Emergency Management Agency announced at 4:30 p.m. that the standoff was over, a lockdown lifted and most roads back open.
The unidentified man tried to get past the visitor screening area around 9:15 a.m. at the Cincinnati FBI Field Office, according to an earlier statement from Lindgren.
“Upon the activation of an alarm and a response by armed FBI special agents, the subject fled northbound onto Interstate 71,” the statement read.
The man was driving a white Ford Crown Victoria and headed north on I-71. A trooper in Warren County spotted it in Turtlecreek Twp. and at 9:37 a.m. attempted to initiate a traffic stop, Dennis said during an afternoon media briefing a few hours before the standoff ended.
“A pursuit ensued out of that,” the lieutenant said. “Throughout the pursuit that continued northbound on 71, the suspect vehicle did fire shots.”
The Crown Victoria got off the interstate at state Route 73, headed east to Smith Road, where he went north almost overtop I-71. The car stopped at 9:53 a.m. on Smith Road near Van Tress Road in Chester Twp., Clinton County.
“Once the vehicle came to a stop, gunfire was exchanged between officers on scene and the suspect,” Dennis said.
The man took cover behind his car for hours near a cornfield.
Multiple federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the Dayton Bomb Squad, responded to Clinton County. Houses and businesses within a one-mile radius of the intersection of Smith and Center roads were locked down.
“Residents and businesses in this area should lock their doors and remain vigilant,” the Clinton County EMA posted on Facebook.
The confrontation at the FBI’s Cincinnati field office came as officials warned of an increase in threats against federal agents in the days following a search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, the Associated Press reported.
Federal officials said they have been tracking concerning chatter on Gab, a social media site popular with white supremacists and antisemites, and other platforms threatening violence against federal agents. FBI Director Christopher Wray denounced the threats Wednesday during a visit to an FBI office in Nebraska.
“Violence against law enforcement is not the answer, no matter who you’re upset with,” Wray said Wednesday in Omaha.
This report contains information from The Associated Press