An armed man who was fatally shot Thursday by Ohio law enforcement after he attempted to break into the FBI’s suburban Cincinnati’s office and exchanged gunfire with police said on a social media account that he was an electrician living in Columbus.
The man, identified by law enforcement authorities as 42-year-old Ricky Walter Shiffer, appears to have most recently lived in Omaha, Nebraska, and the St. Petersburg and Tampa areas in Florida, records indicate. However, he has had several Columbus addresses in the past and was a registered voter in Franklin County from at least as far back as 2013 and last voted here in the November 2020 election. Records show he began voting in Florida in the April 2021 primary.
Cincinnati FBI breach:Suspect may have posted on Trump’s Truth Social during incident
Law enforcement said Shiffer was armed with an AR-15 rifle and a nail gun when he attempted to enter the FBI Cincinnati field office. He fled the scene and led them on a chase that ended when police fatally shot him in a standoff in a cornfield in Clinton County.
Screenshots of a personal account on Donald Trump’s Truth Social media app that appears to have been since taken down shows the name Ricky Fisher with the handle @rickywshifferjr. In the bio, Shiffer stated he was an electrician in Columbus.
Shiffer does not appear to be a licensed electrician contractor in Ohio, according to the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board database.
Ricky Walter Shiffer lived in Columbus’ Weinland Park neighborhood until 2020
His most recent Ohio address was an apartment on the 1200 block of Summit Street in Columbus’ Weinland Park neighborhood. He is believed to have stopped living there sometime in April 2020, according to public records.
Public records also show Shiffer has lived at addresses in multiple other states, including Omaha, Nebraska, and in residential addresses in Florida, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania, where he has family near Harrisburg.
He served aboard the USS Missouri, but it is not clear for how long he was there or that he lived at any of the addresses.
He also had at least registered as a student Zane State College in Zanesville and at the University of South Florida, records show.
Law enforcement official: Ricky Walter Shiffer may been present at Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol
A law enforcement official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation, told the Associated Press that Shiffer was believed to be in Washington in the days leading up to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, and may have been present at the insurrection.
However, Shiffer was not charged with any crimes in connection with the Jan. 6 attack, the official said and a Dispatch check of the PACER federal court database confirmed.
A representative for the FBI could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday.
Shiffer had an active case in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, where he was sued on June 17 for a tax lien judgement valued at $553.53 by the Ohio Department of Taxation, a court docket shows.
Shiffer’s listed address in the court docket is an address in St. Petersburg, Florida, and his 2021 Florida voter registration lists a Tampa address.
Ricky Walter Shiffer was issued two citations in Franklin County
In 2013, Shiffer was issued two citations in Franklin County for traffic violations, one for a stop sign violation and another for speeding. The citations list him at an address in the 700 block of Sullivant Ave. in Franklinton and the 500 block of Chilcote Ave in the University District.
Shiffer was killed Thursday after trying to break into the FBI field office in Kenwood, a suburb of Cincinnati, and after an hourslong standoff followed, where he was at one point “contained,” according to the Clinton County Emergency Management Agency.
During the standoff, the suspect raised a gun toward police, said Lt. Nathan Dennis of the Ohio Highway Patrol. Law enforcement officers shot and killed him at about 3:45 p.m., he said.
“He succumbed to his injuries at the scene and everything remains under investigation at this time,” Dennis said at a press conference.
Shiffer allegedly attempted to breach the visitor screening facility at around 9 a.m. at the FBI’s field office in suburban Cincinnati, the FBI said in a tweet. Officials said he was wearing body armor and carrying an AR-15 and a nail gun.
After an alarm went off and special agents responded, the man fled, driving north onto Interstate 71, a nail gun and AR-15, law enforcement sources told NBC and CNN.
Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers pursued the man, who drove a Ford Crown Victoria, said Thomas Breckle, director of rgw Clinton County Emergency Management Agency. Officers traded gunfire with him as he drove away, Breckle said.
The suspect left the interstate and abandoned his car near Center and Smith roads, where he exchanged gunfire with police. The area was closed for hours during the standoff.
Clinton County Emergency Management issued a lockdown for all buildings within a one-mile radius of the area and instructed residents and business workers to lock their doors and remain inside.
The incident came a day after the FBI director warned against threats circulating online against agents and the Justice Department in the wake of the agency’s search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. On Wednesday, the FBI cited increased social media threats when warning agents to avoid protesters and ensure their security key cards are not visible outside FBI spaces.
FBI Director Christopher Wray reiterated his defense of the bureau after the attempted breach in Cincinnati.
“Unfounded attacks on the integrity of the FBI erode respect for the rule of law and are a grave disservice to the men and women who sacrifice so much to protect others,” Wray said in a statement.
“Violence and threats against law enforcement, including the FBI, are dangerous and should be deeply concerning to 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. I am proud to serve alongside them.”
Dispatch reporter Bethany Bruner and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism