An armed man was shot dead by the police after he tried to breach the FBI's Ohio field office and carry out an attack that he boasted about on former President Donald Trump's social media platform Truth Social hours beforehand. Ricky Walter Shiffer, 42, was shot dead by the police on Thursday afternoon after he raised a gun toward officers around 3 pm.
Shiffer first warned on Truth social on Tuesday that he was "proposing a war" following the FBI's raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago property on Monday. Police have identified Shiffer as a Trump supporter who was also allegedly at the US Capitol on January 6.
In the Mood to Avenge
Shiffer tried to storm the FBI's Ohio field office on Thursday afternoon. He raised a gun at the officers around 3 pm, which alerted others of a possible attack, said an Ohio Highway State Patrol spokesperson.
According to federal authorities, the suspect, who was wearing body armor, first "attempted to breach" the FBI office's visitor screening area before being confronted by authorities before he fled the area. Police started pursuing him on an Ohio highway, before he abandoned his car on surrounding rural roads according to police.
The incident began after the FBI reported that a suspect with a weapon attempted to enter the agency's visitor screening facility at its Cincinnati headquarters. He was carrying an AR-15-style weapon, according to sources who spoke to NBC News, and was firing a nail gun at people.
The agency claimed that once agents arrived on the site amid blaring alarms, the man fled by automobile north onto I-71, where police were pursuing him.
According to the Clinton County Emergency Management Agency, the suspect and police officers engaged in a gunfight close to a field of corn near Smith and Center Road in Wilmington, Ohio.
The FBI is now investigating Shiffer's social media presence and whether he had ties to right-wing extremism, one of the sources said.
It is not known what Shiffer exactly wanted to do. However, a Truth Social account using Shiffer's name made reference to his plan to storm an FBI office and urged people online to get ready for a revolutionary-type war.
Shiffer first warned on the site Tuesday that he was "proposing a war" in response to the FBI's Monday raid of Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort. In his post, Shiffer called his followers to "kill the FBI on sight" and "be ready for war."
He finally tried to execute his plans on Thursday by attempting to storm the FBI's Ohio office and carry out an attack. Hours before the attempted attack, he once again took to Truth Social and wrote about his plans.
"If you don't hear from me, it is true I tried attacking the F.B.I., and it'll mean either I was taken off the internet, the F.B.I. got me, or they sent the regular cops while," he wrote. Ohio police confirmed he was killed later in the day.
Luckily, Shiffer's plans didn't work and he was shot dead after he raised a gun at the officers.
The confrontation came as authorities issued a warning that threats against federal investigators would increase following the FBI raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
According to reports, Shiffer was also one of the thousands who was present at the US Capitol on Jan 6, when Trump's supporters stormed the building in a bid to seize control.
According to the New York Times, in May, a user going by the name of Ricky Shiffer commented on a photo of protesters scaling the Capitol's walls on Jan 6 and claimed to be there. Additionally, according to reports, he said that non-Trump supporters were responsible for the assault.
"I was there," the message read, according to the Times. "We watched as your goons did that."
However, he didn't face any charge in connection to the Capitol riot.
Authorities haven't confirmed yet if the account actually belongs to Shiffer. However, a law enforcement source told CNN that the suspect's government ID photo matched one on the account.
Shiffer, an electrician in the construction industry, was also being looked at for 'links to extremist groups,' including the Proud Boys, according to NBC News, which cited two anonymous law enforcement officials.