Man killed after standoff on I-71 appeared to threaten FBI after Trump search

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

An armed man decked in body armor who died Thursday in a shootout in Clinton County after he tried to breach the FBI Cincinnati Field Office appeared to threaten the FBI on social media following a search of former President Donald Trump’s home.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol on Friday morning confirmed the man’s identity as 42-year-old Ricky W. Shiffer of Columbus. Shiffer’s name had been reported Thursday evening by the Associated Press and other media.

Law enforcement shot and killed Shiffer during a standoff that lasted more than six hours in Chester Twp. after negotiations and less-lethal measures 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 Thursday evening media briefing. “At that point the suspect was deceased, he succumbed to his injures at the scene.”

The shooting happened around 3:45 p.m. The FBI’s Inspection Division is reviewing the agent-involved shooting, in accordance with FBI policy, agency spokesman Todd Lindgren stated Thursday night.

It is not clear how many times Shiffer was shot, the type of firearms involved nor which law enforcement officers fired their weapons.

Federal investigators are examining social media accounts they believe are tied to Shiffer as the FBI warns agents to take extra precautions amid increased threats to its employees and facilities in the days following a search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

The FBI is investigating what happened in Cincinnati as an act of domestic extremism, according to the law enforcement official, according to a law enforcement official, who was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

A post on Truth Social included a “call to arms” and encouraged people to arm themselves and “be ready for combat.” One post appeared to have been made after Shiffer tried to get inside the FBI office said, “If you don’t hear from me, it is true I tried attacking the F.B.I.,” according to the official.

Shiffer was believed to have been present at the U.S. Capitol the day of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack and authorities are looking into whether the Navy veteran had ties to far-right extremist groups such as the Proud Boys, the official said.

Schiffer was armed with a rifle and nail gun when around 9:15 a.m. Thursday he attempted to breach the visitor screening facility at the Cincinnati FBI office, Lindgren stated.

“Upon the activation of an alarm and a response by armed FBI special agents, the subject fled northbound onto Interstate 71,” the statement read.

A trooper in Warren County spotted a white Ford Crown Victoria driven by Shiffer at 9:37 a.m. by a rest area in Turtlecreek Twp., the highway patrol said. An attempted traffic stop led to a chase up I-71.

Shiffer got off the interstate at state Route 73 in Clinton County and turned onto Smith Road. The pursuit ended around 9:53 a.m. on Smith Road near Van Tress Road.

“Once the vehicle came to a stop, gunfire was exchanged between officers on scene and the suspect,” Dennis said during a Thursday afternoon media briefing before the standoff ended.

Shiffer took cover behind the full-size sedan 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, and I-71 and other roads in the area were closed for hours.

Shiffer worked as an electrician, according to one of his social media profiles. He was a registered Republican who voted in the 2020 primary from Columbus and in the 2020 general election from Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to public records, the AP reported.

Court records show the Ohio Department of Taxation filed suit against him in June, seeking a $553 tax lien judgment, according to court records listing him at an address in St. Petersburg, Florida. He also previously lived at several addresses in Columbus and in Omaha, Nebraska.

He enlisted in the Navy in 1998 and served on the USS Columbia submarine from 1999 to 2003, according to military records. He later was an infantry soldier in the Florida Army National Guard from 2008 to 2011, when he was honorably discharged.

This report contains information from The Associated Press

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