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FBI building attacked in Cincinnati

POLITICO logo POLITICO 8/11/2022 By Lamar Johnson
The motivations behind an attack on an FBI building in Cincinnati by an armed suspect are currently unknown. © Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo The motivations behind an attack on an FBI building in Cincinnati by an armed suspect are currently unknown.

An armed suspect attempted an attack on an FBI building in Cincinnati on Thursday morning, allegedly brandishing multiple weapons before leading FBI officials on a car chase.

"On August 11, 2022, at approximately 9:15 EST, the FBI Cincinnati Field Office had an armed subject attempt to breach the Visitor Screening Facility," an FBI spokesperson told POLITICO. "Upon the activation of an alarm and a response by armed FBI special agents, the subject fled northbound onto Interstate 71."

The situation was active until after 4:15 p.m. Eastern, when the county's emergency management office announced that the law enforcement response and operations had ended.

According to an Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesperson, the chase ended in a corn field near Interstate 71 and State Route 73. Multiple reports say the subject of the chase exchanged fire with police in the field.

Interstate-71 was closed between State Routes 73 and 68 in Wilmington, Ohio, according to the local NBC affiliate. Portions of State Routes 73 and 380 were also closed. Traffic started moving on Interstate 71 again around 2 p.m., according to the Ohio Department of Transportation. Clinton County Emergency Management said State Route 73 was reopening "shortly" and announced that the lockdown had ended.

The FBI said it is working with Ohio State Highway Patrol and local law enforcement to resolve the issue.


Video: Armed suspect in Cincinnati FBI attack who was at Capitol on Jan. 6 dies in standoff (MSNBC)

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"The situation is contained to a certain area," state highway patrol spokesperson Lt. Nathan Dennis said in a press conference Thursday. "There is a perimeter set up within that area. So ... there's no public risk to anything outside of that area."

State highway patrol declined to say whether or not they know the identity of the suspect or any potential injuries. Dennis said no officers have been injured at the time.

"As of right now, I can't positively identify the suspect or his injuries — if there are any — at this time," Dennis said.

The motivations behind the attack are currently unknown, but the attack comes just a day after FBI Director Christopher Wray warned of violent threats against law enforcement. Wray called threats of violence against law enforcement “dangerous” and “deplorable” at a news conference in Omaha, Neb., on Wednesday.

“Violence against law enforcement is not the answer, no matter who you’re upset with,” Wray said.

Brian O'Hare, president of the FBI Agents Association, called it an issue of "public safety and decency," in a statement to POLITICO Thursday.

"The threats made recently contribute to an atmosphere where some have, or will, accept violence against law enforcement as appropriate. It is not," O'Hare said. "This is not a partisan or political issue. ... Calls for violence against law enforcement are unacceptable, and should be condemned by all leaders.”

Nicholas Wu and Kyle Cheney contributed to this report.

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