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FBI building attacked in Cincinnati

The suspect allegedly brandished multiple weapons in the attack before leading FBI officials on a car chase.

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

A spokesperson for the FBI told POLITICO that on August 11, 2022, around 9:15 EST, an armed subject attempted to breach the Visitor Screening Facility at the FBI’s Cincinnati Field Office. The subject “ran northbound on Interstate 71 after an alarm was activated and armed FBI special agents responded.”

Up until after 4:15 p.m. Eastern, when the emergency management office of the county declared the situation over, law enforcement response and operations were ongoing.

A spokesperson for the Ohio State Highway Patrol stated that the chase culminated in a corn field close to the intersection of Interstate 71 and State Route 73. According to several sources, the person being chased fired at police during the incident.

According to the Wilmington, Ohio, NBC affiliate, I-71 was shut down between State Routes 73 and 68. Separate sections of state routes 73 and 380 were also shut down. According to the Ohio Department of Transportation, the free flow of traffic resumed on Interstate 71 at around 2 p.m. The lockdown has ended, and State Route 73 will reopen “shortly,” according to the Clinton County Emergency Management.

The FBI has stated that it is coordinating with the Ohio State Highway Patrol and local authorities to find a solution.

Lt. Nathan Dennis, a spokesman for the state highway patrol, said Thursday that “the situation is contained to a certain area.” Within that designated area, a boundary has been established. Therefore… nothing outside of that area poses any kind of threat to the general public.

The state highway patrol wouldn’t confirm or deny whether they have any information about the suspect or any injuries. Dennis stated that at this time, no police officers have been hurt.

Neither the suspect nor the extent of his injuries (if any) can be positively identified at this time, Dennis said.

Although the reasons for the attack are currently unknown, it occurred just one day after FBI Director Christopher Wray warned of violent threats against law enforcement. At a press conference on Wednesday in Omaha, Nebraska, Wray called threats of violence against law enforcement “dangerous” and “deplorable.”

Wray emphasized that violence against police officers was never justified, regardless of the source of the aggravation.

In a statement to POLITICO on Thursday, Brian O’Hare, president of the FBI Agents Association, called it a matter of “public safety and decency.”

Recent threats have helped foster an environment where some people view violence against police as acceptable. Not at all,” O’Hare emphasized. “This is not a matter of political or partisan affiliation. All political leaders should denounce calls for violence against law enforcement.

This report was written with help from Nicholas Wu and Kyle Cheney.