The man who was killed in a shootout Thursday after trying to break into an FBI building in Cincinnati appeared to have shared online his desire to kill FBI agents following the agency’s search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home on Monday.
The gunman, identified as 42-year-old Ricky Shiffer, fired a nail gun at law enforcement agents as he attempted to breach the building’s Visitor Screening Facility shortly after 9 a.m. EDT.
He was killed in a shootout Thursday afternoon, federal authorities confirmed.
A law enforcement official briefed on the matter told The Associated Press that investigators are looking to see if Shiffer — who’s believed to have been in Washington, D.C., in the days leading up to Jan. 6, 2021 — had any connections with far-right extremist groups such as the Proud Boys.
Two law enforcement officials told NBC News that Shiffer was at the Capitol riot that day — which he frequently wrote about on social media — though it’s unclear if he went into the building.
On Thursday, shortly after authorities said that a shooting had taken place at the FBI Cincinnati Field Office, Shiffer appeared to have posted about the incident on the Trump-owned social media platform Truth Social.
“Well, I thought I had a way through bullet proof glass, and I didn’t. 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,” an account by user @RickyWShifferJr posted at 9:29 a.m. ET.
In this image taken from FOX19 Cincinnati video, FBI officials gather outside the FBI building in Cincinnati, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022. (AP)
That wasn’t the only time @RickyWShifferJr — Shiffer’s handle, according to NBC News — posted about his feelings about the bureau, after FBI agents searched the former president’s Palm Beach residence.
In one of his many posts about the subject, Shiffer urged people to arm themselves and be ready for “combat.”
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“We must not tolerate this one,” he wrote in the now-unavailable Truth Social account.
In this still image taken from WKEF/WRGT video, members of the FBI Evidence Response Team work outside the FBI building in Kenwood, Ohio, on Thursday. (AP)
Shiffer was a registered Republican who voted in the 2020 primary from Columbus, Ohio, and in the 2020 general election from Tulsa, Okla.
Federal authorities are also looking into Gab — another social media platform popular among far-right extremists and white supremacists — where some users have warned about an armed revolution and posted threats against federal agents.
Earlier this week, the director of the FBI denounced recent threats made to agents in the wake of the Mar-a-Lago search.
“I’m always concerned about threats to law enforcement,” Christopher Wray said. “Violence against law enforcement is not the answer, no matter who you’re upset with.”
Wray, who was appointed by Trump in 2017, called the threats “deplorable and dangerous.”
With News Wire Services