Man who tried to break into FBI office killed after standoff

WILMINGTON, Ohio (AP) — An armed man dressed in body armor who tried to break into the FBI’s Cincinnati office on Thursday was shot and killed by police after fleeing the crime scene and engaging in an hours-long standoff in a rural part of the state, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The confrontation 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 man is believed to have been in Washington in the days leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021 uprising and may have been present in the Capitol on the day of the attack, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the matter. The official was unable to publicly discuss the details of the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The suspect was identified as Ricky Shiffer, 42, according to the law enforcement officer. He was not charged with crimes related to the Jan. 6 attack, the official said. Federal investigators are investigating whether Shiffer may have had ties to far-right extremist groups, including the Proud Boys, the official said.

According to the federal authorities’ report on the incident, Shiffer “attempted to break through the visitor’s screening area at the FBI office” around 9:15 a.m. and fled when agents confronted him. After fleeing on Interstate 71, he was spotted by a trooper and fired shots as the trooper chased him, Lt. Nathan Dennis, a spokesman for the Ohio State Highway Patrol, at a news conference.

Shiffer exited the highway north of Cincinnati and left his car on country roads, where he exchanged gunshots with police and sustained injuries, though no one else was injured, Dennis said.

Shiffer was shot after pointing a gun at police around 3:45 p.m. Thursday, Dennis said. The fatal encounter with police came after negotiations failed and police tried unsuccessfully to use “less lethal tactics,” Dennis said, without providing details.

State road workers blocked roads leading to the accident site when a helicopter flew over the area. Officials closed a one-mile radius near the highway and urged residents and business owners to lock doors and stay indoors. The highway has been reopened.

There have been increasing threats against FBI agents and offices across the country in recent days since federal agents issued a search warrant in Mar-a-Lago. On Gab, a social media site popular with white supremacists and anti-Semites, users have warned that they are preparing for an armed revolution.

Federal officials have also followed a series of other rumors on Gab and other platforms threatening violence against federal agents. FBI Director Christopher Wray denounced the threats when he visited another FBI office in Nebraska on Wednesday.

“Violence against law enforcement is not the answer, no matter who you are mad at,” Wray said in Omaha on Wednesday.

The FBI also warned its agents on Wednesday to avoid protesters and make sure their security key cards “are not visible outside of FBI space,” citing an increase in social media threats to desk staff and facilities. It also warned officers to be aware of their surroundings and potential protesters.

The alert did not specifically mention this week’s search for Mar-a-Lago, but attributed the online threats to “recent media outlets reporting on FBI investigative activity.”


Welsh-Huggins reported from Columbus, Ohio. Associated Press writers Michael Balsamo in Washington and Jim Mustian in New York contributed to this report.

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