Law enforcement officers on Thursday fatally shot a gunman in body armor who tried to breach a Federal Bureau of Investigation office in Ohio and then led police on a chase that ended in nearby farmland.
Officers tried to negotiate with the suspect, then tried to take him into custody with “less-than-lethal tactics,” said Lt. Nathan Dennis of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, according to The New York Times. Officers fired at the suspect when he raised a gun.
The authorities have not made the suspect’s identity and potential motivations for the attack public. However, the attack comes amid fears of right-wing retaliation after the FBI on Monday executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, former U.S. President Donald Trump’s Florida residence.
“At approximately 9:15 EST, the FBI Cincinnati Field Office had an armed subject attempt to breach the visitor screening facility,” the bureau said in a statement. “Upon the activation of an alarm and a response by armed FBI special agents, the subject fled northbound onto Interstate 71.”
“The FBI, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and local law enforcement partners are on scene near Wilmington, Ohio, trying to resolve this critical incident,” the bureau added.
Citing an unnamed federal law enforcement source, CNN revealed that the suspect was believed to be armed with a nail gun and AR-15.
Dennis of Ohio State Highway Patrol said a trooper spotted the gunman at a rest stop, which led to a chase in Clinton County that shut down roads.
The patrol also said that the suspect abandoned his vehicle on rural roads. He faced injury during an initial exchange of gunfire with police, according to The Associated Press.
Reporting for the Times from Wilmington, Kevin Williams said that helicopters and drones were “circling the cornfield” where law enforcement cornered the suspect, and “additional armored police vehicles” headed in that direction.
Rob Thompson, whose family has farmed 4,000 acres in the area for three generations, told Williams during the standoff that “he could be in the cornfield or a thicket of trees nearby, but they have him contained.”
While law enforcement agents in Ohio were pursuing the suspect Thursday afternoon, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced in Washington, D.C. that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) was moving to unseal the search warrant for Mar-a-Lago.
Garland also defended the DOJ and FBI against right-wing attacks that have stacked up since the Monday search—echoing FBI Director Christopher Wray, a Trump appointee who said Wednesday that threats against federal agents and the Justice Department are “deplorable and dangerous.”
Originally published at Commondreams.org.