Ohio gunman appeared to threaten FBI after Trump search
WILMINGTON, Ohio (WXIX/Gray News) - A gunman who died in a shootout after trying to get inside the FBI’s Cincinnati office appeared to have posted calls on social media for FBI agents to be killed and for people to take up arms and “be ready for combat” in the wake of the search at Donald Trump’s home, a law enforcement official said.
Federal investigators are examining social media accounts they believe are tied to the gunman, 42-year-old Ricky Shiffer, and posts that urged violence after the FBI entered Mar-a-Lago in Florida, according to the official, who was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
At least one of the social media messages appeared to have been posted after Shiffer tried to breach the FBI office. It said: “If you don’t hear from me, it is true I tried attacking the F.B.I.,” according to the official.
An autopsy will be performed on the suspect Friday. Officials said he fled from the FBI office to a farm field several miles away then used his car for cover as he exchanged gunfire with law enforcement.
He was killed following an hours-long standoff.
The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office said Shiffer’s body arrived at their morgue at about 10 p.m. Thursday. Clinton County has a contract with Montgomery County to handle its autopsies, according to Clinton County’s Emergency Management Agency director.
Law enforcement officials also are investigating whether Shiffer, who is from Columbus, had ties to far-right extremist groups including the Proud Boys, the Associated Press reports, citing an unnamed official.
Shiffer is believed to have been in Washington in the days leading up to Jan. 6, 2021, and may have been present at the U.S. Capitol building on the day of the attack, the AP reports.
He was armed with a nail gun and AR-15 rifle when he went to the FBI office and tried to breach the visitor screening facility around 9:15 a.m. Thursday, officials said.
An FBI Cincinnati statement late Thursday night called the incident an “agent-involved shooting,” though the jurisdiction of the officer or officers who killed the man remains unclear.
No law enforcement officers or bystanders were hurt.
“Unfounded attacks on the integrity of the FBI erode respect for the rule of law and are a grave disservice to the men and women who sacrifice so much to protect others,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement Thursday night.
“Violence and threats against law enforcement, including the FBI, are dangerous and should be deeply concerning to all Americans. Every day I see the men and women of the FBI doing their jobs professionally and with rigor, objectivity, and a fierce commitment to our mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution. I am proud to serve alongside them.”
The FBI is investigating the attack as an act of domestic extremism, according to the law enforcement official.
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