A man who was shot and killed by police on Thursday after he tried to break into the FBI's office in Cincinnati appeared to post about his plans on Donald Trump's Truth Social app.
According to authorities, the man tried to break into the FBI field office in Cincinnati Thursday morning, prompting an alarm and response from armed agents, then fled when he wasn't successful. Officers caught up with him in a rural area and began an hourslong standoff, during which the Ohio State Highway Patrol said they tried a peaceful negotiation. When that failed, officers tried to use "less lethal tactics" to take him into custody. The man raised a firearm, according to a highway patrol statement, and then officers shot and killed him.
Multiple news outlets, including the Associated Press and the New York Times, identified him as Ricky Shiffer, and social media accounts using that name regularly posted violent rhetoric. According to the Times, a Facebook video from Jan. 5, 2021, showed him attending a pro-Trump rally in Washington, DC, and a Twitter account that appeared to belong to him claimed he had been at the insurrection on Jan. 6.
On Thursday, a post to Truth Social — the social media platform founded by Trump — from an account under his name said he would attack the FBI.
"Well, I thought I had a way through bullet proof glass, and I didn't," the post said. "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."
The Truth Social and Twitter posts were taken down Thursday evening as news of his identity spread. Posts reviewed by BuzzFeed News show references to being at war, fixed elections, and a desire to get Trump back in office. On May 7, the account tweeted a reply to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene that "they" are "fixing elections in plain sight" and the "next step is the one we used in 1775." Other posts used anti-trans language and voiced opposition to COVID-related restrictions.
The account also tweeted for Americans to "remember your history," along with several other tweets about defending against terrorists to "get in touch with the Proud Boys" to learn how they did it "because submitting to tyranny while lawfully protesting was never the American way."
Thursday's attempted attack on the FBI comes as the agency has faced backlash from right-wing media and some Republicans over the search warrant its agents served at Trump's Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday spoke out about the raid for the first time, defending agents' integrity and their investigation into whether Trump had improperly brought classified documents to the property.
The Truth Social account that appeared to belong to Shiffer, who described himself as a construction electrician from Columbus, Ohio, posted that he heard about "patriots" going to Mar-a-Lago in response to the FBI's search.
"I recommend going, and being Florida, I think the feds won't break it up," the post sad. "IF they do, kill them." He continued to post that people should "be ready for combat."
"We must not tolerate this one," the post said. "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."
In a statement Thursday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said violence and threats against the FBI or other law enforcement should concern all Americans.
"Every day I see the men and women of the FBI doing their jobs professionally and with rigor, objectivity, and a fierce commitment to our mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution," he said. "I am proud to serve alongside them."
Shiffer was in the Navy from 1998 to 2003, where he served on USS Columbia, a Navy spokesperson confirmed with BuzzFeed News.