The chase began on Thursday when Ohio State Highway Patrol responded to Interstate 71, where the subject was traveling after fleeing from the FBI field office. Officers located the man in his vehicle at around 9:30 a.m., according to the State Patrol, in what turned into a car chase once troopers pulled up behind him. A suspected gun shot was fired within the subject’s car while officers trailed it.
The man then exited at state Route 73 before turning onto a side road. He exited his vehicle around 10 a.m., exchanging gunfire with officers, the statement said. The man used his car as cover.
“Throughout the afternoon troopers and our law enforcement partners attempted to negotiate with the suspect to bring the standoff to a peaceful end,” the statement said. “Once negotiations failed, officers attempted to take the suspect into custody by utilizing less lethal tactics. At approximately 3:42 p.m., the suspect raised a firearm and shots were fired by law enforcement officers. The suspect succumbed to fatal injuries on scene.”
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.
Before leading FBI officials on a car chase, the subject was allegedly brandishing multiple weapons at the scene of the attempted attack.
“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.”
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.
State highway patrol earlier Thursday declined to say whether or not they knew the identity of the suspect or any potential injuries. Dennis said no officers had been injured at the time.
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 on 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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