The armed man killed on Thursday after attacking an FBI office appears to have been a Donald Trump supporter raged by the federal raid on Mar-a-Lago, who documented his attack on Trump's social media platform, Truth Social.
He may have been present at the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.
When the FBI executed a search warrant on Trump's Florida property on Monday, reportedly in search of classified White House documents, Trump told supporters his house was under siege, raided and occupied, leading some extreme Trump supporters online to speak of civil war.
Three days later, Ricky Shiffer, 42, attacked an FBI office in Cincinnati with an AR-15 style rifle and a nailgun. After his attempt to break into the building was unsuccessful, he fled to a rural area where police shot and killed him during an armed standoff.
Earlier in a discussion about the Mar-a-Lago raid on Truth Social, someone by the name Ricky Shiffer said: I recommend going, and being in Florida, I think the feds won't break it up. Shiffer said if they do, kill them and that Trump supporters should obtain weapons and be ready for combat. The poster, who said he was a mechanic in Columbus, Ohio, said that he must not tolerate this one. They have been conditioning us to accept tyranny and think we can't do anything for two years. We must respond with force this time. Later in the attack on the FBI office, the same person wrote: Well, I thought I had a way through bulletproof glass, and I didn't. If you don't hear from me, it is true that I tried attacking the FBI. On Twitter, someone who appears to be Shiffer claimed to have been present at the Capitol, though no one by that name has been charged with crimes that day.
Law enforcement officials told the New York Times that Shiffer had links to extremist groups such as the Proud Boys.
The far right reacted with fury to the raid on Mar-a-Lago, with diehard Trump supporters framing the FBI operation as an act of authoritarianism and some vowing retribution. The federal judge who approved the warrant, Bruce Reinhart, has been subject to death threats.
This is the piece of a shit judge who approved the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, a user wrote on a pro-Trump message board. I see a rope around his neck. Another person wrote, Let s find out if he has children. Where they go to school, where they live. Political violence is a 365 day phenomenon, according to the director of the FBI, Christopher Wray, during a Senate hearing last week. I feel like every day I am getting briefed on someone throwing a molotov cocktail at someone. In a press conference on Thursday, the US attorney general, Merrick Garland, said he was moving to unload the search warrant and inventory from the raid on Mar-a-Lago in order to prevent further tumult and potential violence. Garland said he had personally approved the FBI operation.
Trump also supported the idea of removing the search warrant.