A gunman who died in a shooting after trying to break into the FBI office in Cincinnati on Thursday 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 type rifle when he tried to enter the visitor control area of the FBI office, authorities said. Shiffer fled when officers confronted him.
A state trooper then spotted Shiffer along a highway and engaged in a shootout that ended in Shiffer being killed by police, authorities said.
Shiffer has lived at multiple Tampa Bay addresses over the years, beginning in 2005, according to Hillsborough County court records.
He faced five different minor traffic-related charges from 2005 to 2009, records show.
Shiffer’s first address listed in Hillsborough County Courts was in 2005 in New Port Richey. From 2006 to 2009, court records show he lived in several Tampa apartment complexes. Shiffer was registered to vote in Hillsborough County in 2021 as a Republican in Tampa. His voter status is active.
As a registered Republican, he voted in the 2020 primaries in Columbus, Ohio, and the 2020 general election in Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to public records.
Court records show the Ohio Department of Taxation filed suit against him in June, seeking a $553 tax lien judgment, according to court records listing him at an address in St. Petersburg. He also previously lived at several addresses in Columbus and Omaha, Nebraska.
Shiffer enlisted in the Navy in 1998 and served on the USS Columbia submarine 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 in Operation Iraqi Freedom from January 2010 to January 2011, McFadden wrote. He left the Florida National Guard in May 2011 as a corporal.
Federal investigators are reviewing social media accounts they believe are linked to Shiffer, according to a law enforcement official who was not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation and spoke to The Associated Press undercover of anonymity. The official said Shiffer apparently took to social media and called for federal agents to be killed ‘on sight’ following the search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home, an official said. law enforcement.
At least one of the posts on Trump’s Truth social media platform appears to have been posted after Shiffer attempted to break into the FBI office. He said: “If you haven’t heard from me, it’s true that I tried to attack the FBI”
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Another post on the same site this week by @rickywshifferjr included a “call to arms” and urged people to “be ready to fight” after the FBI raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate 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 are also believed to have ties to the extremist group, including a Tampa man and a Seminole man, both charged with involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the United States Capitol.
Shiffer was reportedly in Washington, DC, in the days leading up to the uprising and may have been at the Capitol that day, but was not charged with any crimes 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.