A man armed with an AR-15 style rifle approached the visitor screening area at the FBI’s Cincinnati office and fired a nail gun into the building when confronted by agents, leading to a police pursuit on an interstate, authorities said Thursday.
After fleeing the FBI office, the man was chased onto Interstate 71, which was then closed in both directions. The man, wearing body armor, exchanged gunfire with police, according to the Clinton County Emergency Management Agency.
“At approximately 9 AM this morning an armed subject attempted to breach the Visitor Screening Facility at #FBI Cincinnati,” the agency’s Cincinnati field office wrote in a tweet just before noon. “After an alarm and a response by FBI special agents, the subject fled north onto Interstate 71.”
Two law enforcement sources told NBC News that the man had fired a nail gun toward personnel before fleeing in a car.
“Law enforcement has traded shots with a male suspect who is wearing a gray shirt and body armor,” the agency said in a statement, warning people nearby to stay inside and lock their doors.
The episode 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.
“Violence against law enforcement is not the answer, no matter who you’re upset with,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said Wednesday in Omaha.
Officials locked down a mile radius near the interstate and urged residents and business owners to lock doors and stay inside.
An FBI evidence team has arrived at the office to investigate, according to multiple media reports.
This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.