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'Very scary': DeWine issues first public statement on FBI attack in Cincinnati

Authorities say Ricky Shiffer was armed with a nail gun and an AR-15-style rifle when he tried to breach the visitor screening area at the FBI office Thursday.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine made his first public statements on Monday regarding the armed man who attempted to get inside the FBI’s Cincinnati office before he was killed by law enforcement to end an hourslong standoff.

DeWine was visiting the Whitehall Police Department to announce changes to his Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program when 10TV's Kevin Landers asked him about the attack involving 42-year-old Ricky Shiffer of Columbus. 

"Anytime there is an attack on law enforcement whether it's local law enforcement, federal law enforcement, the FBI, DEA, this is something that is very scary," DeWine said.

Shiffer was armed with a nail gun and an AR-15-style rifle when he tried to breach the visitor screening area at the FBI office Thursday. Shiffer fled when agents confronted him.

He was later spotted by a state trooper along a highway and got into an exchange of gunfire that ended with police killing him.

The governor’s comments come four days after the incident and many questioned why there was not an immediate response from his office. DeWine didn't offer an explanation when asked.

"It's just a horrible, horrible thing we certainly denounce that kind of activity," he said.

DeWine added that law enforcement from the federal level to the state level is under potential attack all the time.

Federal investigators are examining social media accounts they believe are tied to Shiffer.

At least one of the messages on Trump’s Truth Social media platform appeared to have been posted after Shiffer tried to breach the FBI office. It read: "If you don’t hear from me, it is true I tried attacking the F.B.I.”

Another message posted on the same site this week from @rickywshifferjr included a “call to arms” and urged people to “be ready for combat” after the FBI search at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

A now-suspended Twitter account, @rickyshiffer, shared the same profile picture as the Truth Social account and similar opinions, including a call for armed conflict in the U.S. this past spring.

It included posts saying that “elections are rigged” against conservatives and that the country faces “tyranny.”

The FBI is investigating what happened in Cincinnati as an act of domestic extremism. Authorities also are looking into whether Shiffer, a Navy veteran, had ties to far-right extremist groups such as the Proud Boys.

Shiffer is believed to have been in Washington in the days leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and may have been at the Capitol that day but was not charged with any crimes in connection with the riot.

Officials have warned of a rise in right-wing threats against federal agents since the FBI entered Trump's estate in what authorities said was part of an investigation into whether he took classified documents with him after leaving the White House. Supporters of the former president have railed against the search, accusing the FBI and the Justice Department of using the legal system as a political weapon.

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