Authorities are looking into the motivations of an armed man who they claim attempted to break into the FBI office in Cincinnati, fled, and later died in a rural standoff with law enforcement. As this case develops, the FBI is cautioning agents to take extra security measures in light of increased social media threats against its personnel and facilities.
In the days following a search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, officials have issued a warning about an increase in threats made against federal investigators.
In the Cincinnati instance, authorities claim that a guy attempted to enter the visitor screening area at the FBI headquarters on Thursday morning but left when approached by officers. He was subsequently discovered by a state trooper driving along Interstate 71, and as the policeman pursued him, he fired bullets, according to Lt. Nathan Dennis of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
On a country road, the suspect ultimately exited his vehicle, engaged the police in gunfire, and was wounded, according to Dennis. Nobody else suffered harm.
After fruitless attempts at discussion and the deployment of unnamed “less lethal measures,” the man was shot when he lifted his pistol toward the cops, according to Dennis. Man passed away there and then.
Regarding whether the suspect communicated with police throughout the standoff, Dennis said he was unable to say on Thursday.
According to a law enforcement officer briefed on the situation, the guy is thought to have been in Washington in the days preceding the January 6, 2021 uprising and may have been present at the Capitol on the day of the attack. The official talked on the condition of anonymity because he could not publicly reveal investigative specifics.
The law enforcement officer said that the suspect’s name was Ricky Shiffer, 42. According to the source, he was not charged with any offences in relation to the incident on January 6. According to the person, federal authorities are looking into Shiffer’s potential connections to far-right extremist organizations like the Proud Boys.
After federal investigators carried out a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, threats against FBI employees and offices around the nation have increased recently. On the social media platform Gab, which is favored by white nationalists and antisemites, members have warned that they are getting ready for an armed uprising.
Federal investigators have also been monitoring a wide range of other troubling online speech that threatens violence against federal officers on platforms like Gab. On Wednesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray visited a different FBI office in Nebraska and condemned the threats.
No matter who you are angry with, violence against police officers is not the solution, Wray stated on Wednesday in Omaha.
In light of a spike in social media threats against bureau employees and facilities, the FBI issued further warnings to its agents on Wednesday, advising them to stay clear of prospective demonstrators and to make sure their security key cards are “not visible outside FBI space.”
The notice made reference to “recent media news about FBI investigation action” but did not directly identify this week’s search of Mar-a-Lago.
Reporting from Columbus, Ohio, Welsh-Huggins This report was written by AP journalists Jim Mustian in New York and Michael Balsamo in Washington.