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Police standoff near Wilmington is over following incident at Cincinnati FBI office, suspect dead

An LMPD cruiser sits outside the LMPD Downtown Area Patrol building.
An LMPD cruiser sits outside the LMPD Downtown Area Patrol building.

This story was updated at 6:37 p.m.

An armed individual wearing body armor attempted to get inside the Cincinnati FBI office Thursday, prompting a police chase that led officers to a standoff with the suspect in Clinton County. The Ohio State Highway Patrol says the suspect was shot and killed by law enforcement around 3:42 p.m.

The incident remains under investigation. Authorities did not release the man's name or any information about a potential motive.

The incident began around 9:15 a.m. Thursday when the FBI reported "an armed subject attempted to breach the Visitor Screening Facility" at the FBI Cincinnati Field Office. The agency says armed FBI agencies responded to an alarm. The suspect then fled northbound on I-71.

Once in Clinton County, officials issued a lockdown for residents and businesses within a one-mile radius of the intersection of Smith and Center roads.

"Law enforcement has traded shots with a male suspect who is wearing a gray shirt and body armor," reported Clinton County EMA in a Facebook post around 11:30 a.m.

During an update at about 1:30 p.m., Lt. Nathan Dennis told media at a staging area near Caesar Creek Flea Market that "the situation is contained to a certain area" and "right now there is no public risk to anything outside of that area."

Later that evening, Dennis elaborated that during the hours-long standoff, officers attempted to negotiate with the suspect. After some time, they moved forward to attempt to take the suspect into custody using "less than lethal" munition rounds. The suspect reportedly raised a firearm toward the officers, who then shot and killed him.

No officers were injured at any point during the situation, Dennis said.

Police shut down I-71 and multiple roadways in Clinton County outside Wilmington. I-71 reopened at about 2:18 p.m. Thursday, but the Clinton County EMA said State Route 73 (between SR 380 and Mitchell Road) remained closed until after the standoff ended.

While law enforcement didn't immediately comment on motive, the episode at the Cincinnati FBI office comes one day after the FBI director raised concerns about online threats against agents and the Justice Department following the agency’s search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.

The president of the FBI Agents Association, the organization representing more than 14,000 active and former special agents, released a statement Thursday condemning threats against law enforcement.

“FBI Special Agents are dedicated members of the law enforcement community who put their lives on the line every day to protect the public from criminals and terrorists," said Brian O’Hare. "Special Agents and their families should never be threatened with violence, including for doing their jobs. The threats made recently contribute to an atmosphere where some have, or will, accept violence against law enforcement as appropriate. It is not. This is not a partisan or political issue. It is a matter of public safety and basic decency. Calls for violence against law enforcement are unacceptable, and should be condemned by all leaders.”

Amina Elahi is LPM's City Editor. Email Amina at aelahi@lpm.org.