Man shoots into FBI Cincinnati building with a nail gun and flees, leading to interstate standoff

An armed man flashing an AR-15 style rifle fired a nail gun into an FBI Cincinnati building Thursday morning leading to a police pursuit and shots fired on an interstate, authorities said.

Two law enforcement sources told NBC News that a man got inside and fired a nail gun toward personnel before fleeing in a car.

“At approximately 9:15 EST, the FBI Cincinnati Field Office had an armed subject attempt to breach the Visitor Screening Facility (VSF),” FBI Cincinnati 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.”

FBI field office in Cincinnati, Ohio.Google

Clinton County Emergency Management Agency alerted that Interstate 71 was closed in both directions in the area of the standoff at 1 p.m. The agency issued an update around 5 p.m. saying “law enforcement operations and response has ended.”

The agency did not immediately provide additional information on if the suspect was in custody.

“Law enforcement has traded shots with a male suspect who is wearing a gray shirt and body armor,” the agency said in an initial statement, warning people nearby to stay inside and lock their doors. Ohio State Highway Patrol said the suspect had fired shots from a Ford Crown Victoria while he was being pursued by police.

The suspect had unknown injuries, according to Ohio State Highway Patrol. No officers or bystanders have been injured.

The FBI Cincinnati said in a statement that law enforcement was near Wilmington “trying to resolve this critical incident.” Wilmington is about 50 miles northeast of Cincinnati.

After announcing the law enforcement response had ended, Clinton County Emergency Management Agency added some operations will continue on scene, so portions of Smith Road will remain closed. State Route 73 near the scene was expected to reopen, the agency said.

Brian Murphy, a former official at the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI who’s now an executive at the open source intelligence firm Logically, told The Associate Press Wednesday that his company has observed a large uptick in threats against FBI personnel and facilities on social media platforms since the FBI’s search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Largo home.

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday decried Trump supporters who have been using violent rhetoric against law enforcement in the wake of the search.

“I’m always concerned about threats to law enforcement,” Wray said. “Violence against law enforcement is not the answer, no matter who you’re upset with.”

The suspect’s motive in Thursday’s incident is unclear.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

The Associated Press and Antonio Planas contributed.

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