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(WABNEWS) — A police confrontation with a man who tried to break into the FBI field office in Cincinnati on Thursday ended with the suspect dead, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Lt. Nathan Dennis said that after negotiations failed, law enforcement officers tried to take the suspect into custody, but he pointed a gun at authorities and was fatally shot.RELATED
The man was identified as Ricky Shiffer, according to three federal law enforcement sources.
The FBI is investigating Shiffer’s presence on social media and whether he had ties to right-wing extremism, one of the sources said.
A separate federal law enforcement source tells WABNEWS that authorities are investigating whether the suspect had ties to any group that was involved in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol or was involved himself.
A Truth Social account under Shiffer’s name referenced his attempt to raid an FBI office, and also encouraged others online to prepare for a revolutionary-type war, WABNEWS has learned.
“Well I thought I had a way through bulletproof glass, and I didn’t,” the user posted on Donald Trump’s social media site at 9:29 a.m. Authorities say the attack took place at 9:15. “If you don’t know anything about me, it’s true that I tried to attack the FBI, and that will mean that they took me off the Internet, the FBI caught me, or they sent the regular police while.”
It’s not clear if the user was trying to type more, since the post stops after the word “while”. Authorities said the suspect fled in a car after trying to get into the FBI office.
Authorities have yet to confirm that the account belongs to the suspect. However, a law enforcement source told WABNEWS that a photo on the account matched a government ID photo of the suspect.
The FBI declined to comment on the account and its posts, citing its ongoing investigation.
State police chased the suspect and shot him
The hour-long standoff followed a car chase with the suspect.
Earlier, Dennis said a gunman tried to break into the FBI office in Cincinnati on Thursday morning. However, the suspect was unsuccessful and fled the area.
An Ohio State Trooper spotted the suspect’s vehicle at a northbound rest stop along Interstate 71 about 20 minutes after the attempted break-in, Dennis said, and attempted to initiate a traffic stop before the suspect fled. .
“The suspect vehicle fired shots during that chase,” Dennis said at the earlier news conference. The suspect then exited onto State Route 73 and traveled east to Smith Road, where he headed north before finally coming to a stop.
“Gunshots were exchanged between officers on scene and the suspect,” Dennis said. A news release expanded on the shooting and said the suspect got out of his car and used the vehicle for cover.
No officers were injured, Dennis said.
The FBI said “an armed subject attempted to breach” the facility’s visitor screening facility.
“Following the activation of an alarm and a response from armed FBI special agents, the subject fled north toward Interstate 71,” the statement said. “The FBI, Ohio State Highway Patrol and local authorities are on the scene near Wilmington, OH trying to resolve this critical incident.”
A federal law enforcement source told WABNEWS the suspect was believed to be armed with a nail gun and an AR-15. Another federal law enforcement source with knowledge of the incident told WABNEWS that FBI facilities across the country are reviewing their security posture in the wake of the incident.
The FBI has deployed a shooting incident review team from Washington, which is standard practice when an FBI agent or task force agent fires a gun, a law enforcement source said. The team will gather evidence, interview witnesses and ultimately determine whether the use of deadly force was justified, the source said.
The FBI announced in a statement that it was launching an internal investigation into the fatal shooting.
FBI director condemns violence and threats
The incident follows violent rhetoric posted online after the FBI went to former President Donald Trump’s home in Florida to serve a search warrant.
In a message reviewed by WABNEWS on Thursday, FBI Director Chris Wray told bureau employees that their “safety and safety” was his “primary concern at this time.”
“There have been a lot of comments about the FBI this week questioning our work and motives,” Wray said. “Much of it comes from critics and outside experts who don’t know what we know and don’t see what we see. What I know, and what I see, is an organization made up of men and women who are committed to doing their jobs professionally and honestly. lyrics every day; this week is no exception.
He made a public statement Thursday night after the incident in Cincinnati.
“Unfounded attacks on the integrity of the FBI erode respect for the rule of law and are a serious disservice to the men and women who sacrifice so much to protect others,” he said. “Violence and threats against law enforcement, including the FBI, are dangerous and should be of deep concern to all Americans.
Speaking Thursday to announce that the US Justice Department has filed a motion to disclose the search warrant served on Trump’s Florida home, Attorney General Merrick Garland said he could not “remain silent.” when their integrity is unfairly attacked. The men and women of the FBI and Department of Justice are dedicated and patriotic public servants.”
WABNEWS’s Evan Perez, Chuck Johnston, Steve Almasy and Caroll Alvarado contributed to this report.