In Ohio, a man wearing body armor and armed with an AR-15-style assault rifle fired a nail gun into an FBI field office in Cincinnati on Thursday, prompting a gun battle, chase and armed standoff that ended hours later when the gunman was shot dead by police in a cornfield. Officials identified the man as 42-year-old Ricky Shiffer, a supporter of Donald Trump and the far-right Proud Boys movement. Two days before Thursday’s attack on the FBI, Shiffer posted on Trump’s “Truth Social” online forum, calling on allies to “kill the F.B.I. on sight.” Shiffer also appears in a video posted to Facebook on January 5, 2021, showing him at a pro-Trump rally in Washington, D.C., the night before the assault on the Capitol, and he boasted online that he was at the insurrection.
The FBI’s execution of a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago this week has spawned extremely violent rhetoric among Trump’s supporters. The pro-trump Gateway Pundit website declared, “This. Means. War.” — a message echoed by Trump’s former top political adviser, Steve Bannon, who declared, “The FBI is the Gestapo.”
Today is the fifth anniversary of the deadly 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a self-described neo-Nazi slammed his car into a crowd of antiracist counterprotesters, killing Heather Heyer and injuring dozens of others.