Armed man killed after trying to breach FBI office, standoff

The Associated Press

CINCINNATI – An armed man who tried to breach the FBI’s Cincinnati office was shot and killed by police after he fled the scene, leading to an hourlong standoff Thursday afternoon, the Ohio Highway State Patrol said.

The man, who has not been identified, was shot after he raised a gun toward police at around 3 p.m., said Lt. Nathan Dennis, a patrol spokesperson.

Officials said the man was wearing body armor and was chased onto a highway, then had abandoned his car on nearby country roads bordered by woods and farm fields just off I-71, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) northeast of Cincinnati.

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.

More:Three major takeaways from the FBI search on Trump’s home

More:Justice Dept. seeks to unseal search warrant of Trump home

More:Scott Perry says he's 'not a target' amid reports of more Pa. GOP subpoenas

Federal officials said the man “attempted to breach” the visitor’s screening area at the FBI office and fled when agents confronted him. After fleeing onto Interstate 71, he was spotted by a trooper and fired shots as the trooper pursued him, said Lt. Nathan Dennis, a Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesperson.

The suspect left the interstate north of Cincinnati and abandoned his car on rural roads, where he exchanged gunfire with police. The man has “unknown injuries,” but no one else was hurt, the patrol said.

State highway workers blocked off roads leading to the scene as a helicopter flew over the area. Officials locked down a mile radius near the interstate and urged residents and business owners to lock doors and stay inside. The interstate has been reopened.

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

Federal officials have also been tracking an array of other concerning chatter on Gab and other platforms threatening violence against federal agents. FBI Director Christopher Wray denounced the threats as he visited another FBI office in Nebraska on Wednesday.

“Violence against law enforcement is not the answer, no matter who you’re upset with,” Wray said Wednesday in Omaha.

The Caesar Creek Flea Market in Wilmington, Ohio, stands near the place where law enforcement officers exchanged gunfire with a suspect who earlier attempted to breach the FBI's Cincinnati office before fleeing up Interstate 71 toward Wilmington on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022. (Sam Greene/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)

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

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