A police standoff with an armed man who hid for hours in a corn field after brandishing weapons at the FBI’s office in Cincinnati ended Thursday afternoon, but it’s still unclear who the suspect is or what his motivations were.
The situation began around 9:15 a.m. when a person with a gun “attempted to breach the Visitor Screening Facility” in Cincinnati, the FBI 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.”
The FBI said agents, along with state and local police officers, remain at the scene near Wilmington, Ohio, “trying to resolve this critical incident.”
A spokesperson for the FBI in Cincinnati told VICE News the agency is not releasing additional information at this time. The suspect was reportedly wearing body armor and armed with an AR-15-style rifle, according to multiple media reports citing law enforcement officials.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol said the suspect was found around 9:40 am driving a Ford Crown Victoria, near a rest area on northbound Interstate 71 in Clinton County. Photos from the scene showed a large cornfield, and flight trackers indicate police aircraft have been circling the area.
“Once troopers got behind the vehicle, the suspect fled and a pursuit ensued,” the Highway Patrol said. “While behind the vehicle, a suspected gun shot was fired from inside the suspect’s vehicle.”
A few minutes before 10 a.m., the gunman exited his care and, according to the Highway Patrol, “engaged officers” with an exchange of gunfire.
“The suspect has unknown injuries and no officers or bystanders were injured,” the Highway Patrol said.
The Clinton County Emergency Management Agency posted a message on Facebook at 4:25 p.m. saying, “law enforcement operations and response has ended,” but “some operations will continue on-scene.” The highways closed in the standoff were expected to be reopened.
The man reportedly fired a nail gun in the FBI office and held up an AR-15 style rifle before fleeing, according to NBC News, which cited two law enforcement sources.
The gunman has been described as a bald white male wearing a gray shirt and sunglasses.
An emergency services helicopter and a police armored vehicle were called in to respond to the incident, along with FBI negotiators, according to police radio communications from the scene.
The incident comes two days after FBI agents searched former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, seizing several boxes of evidence and documents. The FBI raid has triggered an angry backlash from Trump’s supporters on the far right, with some threatening the judge who authorized the warrant, and conservative leaders and pundits calling for “civil war.”