The suspect who exchanged gunfire with FBI agents at a Cincinnati field office this week was known to the bureau, according to reports on Saturday.
Ricky Walter Shiffer, 42, a former U.S. Navy member with top-secret clearance, was shot and killed by police after attempting to break into the field office, allegedly in an act of revenge for the bureau’s raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate on Monday.
As is so often the case with ‘lone-wolf attackers,’ Shiffer had been under investigation by the FBI, The Wall Street Journal reports.
“The information did not contain a specific and credible threat,” the FBI noted in a statement. “However, multiple field offices made attempts to locate and interview Shiffer which were unsuccessful.”
The American Wire notes:
As an enlisted sailor, Shiffer served aboard the USS Columbia, a nuclear submarine — a post that requires every sailor to be eligible for a TS/SCI clearance, meaning Shiffer would have had to undergo an extensive background check, according to a Naval Personnel Command spokesperson. Once given, a service member typically only loses the clearance when they leave the position that required it, and the eligibility for such a clearance stays with them for years after they leave the military.
According to the Navy, Schiffer signed up in 1998 and attended the Navy’s submarine school in Groton, Conn. For nearly four years, he was assigned to the attack submarine.
After his naval enlistment expired, Shiffer went on to join the Florida Army National Guard and became an infantryman.
“Investigators believe a Truth Social account under his name belonged to him, according to a law-enforcement official. The social-media platform was launched earlier this year by former President Donald Trump. Mr. Shiffer expressed support for the former president in social-media posts, according to the official,” the WSJ reported.
After the raid on Trump’s estate, Shiffer took to his account and posted: “People, this is it. I hope a call to arms comes from someone better qualified, but if not, this is your call to arms from me. Leave work tomorrow as soon as the gun shop/Army-Navy store/pawn shop opens, get whatever you need to be ready for combat.”
“We must not tolerate this one,” Shiffer allegedly noted further. “They have been conditioning us to accept tyranny and think we can’t do anything for 2 years. This time we must respond with force. If you know of any protests or attacks, please post here.”
“I expect Donald Trump to call for peace,” he stated. “Donald Trump was my hero just a year ago, but we must not continue to lay down and take this. If he does call for peace, it is probably because he fears for the lives of his grandchildren and young children.”
“It is a dark situation for that family, but millions of others[‘] kids are in danger until we show the enemy how Americans do it.”
According to law enforcement officials, Shiffer donned body armor and tried to use a nail gun to break through the Cincinnati office’s bulletproof glass, posting an update on Truth Social: “Well, I thought I had a way through bulletproof glass, and I didn’t.”
Afterward, he fled the scene and was pursued down Interstate 71 with Ohio State Police in pursuit. After pulling off the highway, he briefly exchanged gunfire with them before engaging in an hours-long standoff. Officers said they attempted to use nonlethal methods to take him into custody but shot and killed Shiffer after he reportedly raised a gun at them.
“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,” he posted before being killed.