Gunman armed in FBI raid in Cincinnati has ties to Tampa Bay

A gunman who died in a shootout Thursday after trying to breach the FBI office in Cincinnati has ties to Tampa Bay and was registered to vote in Hillsborough County as recently as 2021, records show.

Ricky Walter Shiffer, 42, was armed with a nail gun and an AR-15-style rifle when he tried to break into the visitor screening area at the FBI office, authorities said. Shiffer fled when officers confronted him.

A state trooper later spotted Shiffer along a road and engaged in a shootout that ended with the police being killed, authorities said.

Shiffer has lived at several Tampa Bay addresses over the years, starting in 2005, according to Hillsborough County court records.

He faced five different minor traffic-related charges between 2005 and 2009, records show.

Shiffer’s first address listed in Hillsborough County courts is from 2005 in New Port Richey. From 2006 to 2009, court records show he lived in a few different apartment complexes in Tampa. Shiffer registered to vote in Hillsborough County in 2021 as a Republican in Tampa. Your voter status is active.

A registered Republican, he voted in the 2020 primary in Columbus, Ohio, and the 2020 general election in Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to public records.

Court records show the Ohio Department of Taxation filed a lawsuit against him in June, seeking a $553 tax lien judgment, according to court records that list him at a St. Petersburg address. He also previously lived at various addresses in Columbus and Omaha, Nebraska.

Shiffer enlisted in the Navy in 1998 and served on the submarine USS Columbia from 1999 to 2003, according to military records.

He served as an infantryman in 2008 for the 2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, Nahaku McFadden, a National Guard Bureau spokesman wrote in an email to the Tampa Bay Times on Saturday. The battalion is located in Orlando, according to an article written by the US military. Shiffer was deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom from January 2010 to January 2011, McFadden wrote. He left the Florida Army National Guard in May 2011 as a corporal.

Federal investigators are examining social media accounts they believe are linked to Shiffer, according to a law enforcement official who was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The official said Shiffer apparently took to social media and called for federal agents to be killed “on sight” after the search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home, a U.S. official said. order

At least one of the messages on Trump’s social media platform Truth appeared to have been posted after Shiffer attempted to breach the FBI office. It read, “If you don’t know me, it’s true that I tried to attack the FBI.”

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Another message posted on the same site this week by @rickywshifferjr included a “call to arms” and urged people to “be ready for combat” following the FBI search of Trump’s estate in Mar- a-Lago in Florida.

Authorities are also investigating whether Shiffer had ties to far-right extremist groups such as the Proud Boys, the official said. Other Tampa Bay residents have also been alleged to have ties to the extremist group, including a Tampa man and a Seminole man, both accused of participating in the January 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Shiffer is believed to have been in Washington, D.C., in the days leading up to the uprising and may have been at the Capitol that day, but was not charged with any crime related to the riot, the official said.

The FBI is investigating what happened in Cincinnati as an act of domestic extremism, according to the law enforcement official.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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