An armed man in body armor was injured in an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement after he attempted to break into the FBI’s Cincinnati office Thursday, authorities said.
An hourslong standoff followed, where the man was at one point “contained,” according to the Clinton County Emergency Management Agency. The agency later said the standoff had ended but provided no other information about the person’s status.
The man attempted to breach the visitor screening facility at around 9 a.m. at the bureau’s field office in Cincinnati, the FBI said in a tweet. After an alarm went off and special agents responded, the man fled north onto Interstate 71.
Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers pursued the man, who was wearing body armor and a gray shirt as he fled in a Crown Victoria, said Thomas Breckle, director of 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 on nearby roads, where he exchanged gunfire with police. The man has “unknown injuries,” but no one else was hurt, the patrol said.
Parts of the interstate that were shut down during the standoff with police have begun to reopen, officials said.
Clinton County Emergency Management issued a lockdown for all buildings within a one-mile radius of the area and instructed residents and business-owners 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.
Brian O’Hare, president of the FBI Agents Association, called the threats against law enforcement “unacceptable” in a press release Thursday.
“The threats made recently contribute to an atmosphere where some have, or will, accept violence against law enforcement as appropriate,” he said. “It is not. This is not a partisan or political issue. It is a matter of public safety and basic decency.”
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.
In a press conference Thursday afternoon, Attorney General Merrick Garland addressed the recent attacks on the professionalism of federal agents.
“I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked,” Garland said. “The men and women of the FBI and Justice Department are dedicated, patriotic public servants.”
Contributing: The Associated Press