Update, 5:30 p.m. Aug. 11: Clinton County's emergency management department says it has been advised that "law enforcement operations and response has ended. Some operations will continue on-scene." The Ohio Department of Transportation says that all roads in the area have reopened to traffic. Cincinnati's FBI office has not yet issued a statement.
CityBeat's previous story:
Greater Cincinnati has had a hectic day – and it's not over yet.
Residents in Clinton County – about 45 miles northeast of downtown Cincinnati – are under lockdown on Aug. 11 after the Federal Bureau of Investigation chased an armed man who they say had tried to break into the agency's Cincinnati office. The suspect fled north on I-71, and a variety of law enforcement partners have followed him to Wilmington, the FBI said around noon.
"On August 11, 2022, at approximately 9:15 EST, the FBI Cincinnati Field Office had an armed subject attempt to breach the Visitor Screening Facility (VSF). Upon the activation of an alarm and a response by armed FBI special agents, the subject fled northbound onto Interstate 71. The FBI, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and local law enforcement partners are on scene near Wilmington, Ohio, trying to resolve this critical incident," the FBI's statement says.
Clinton County's emergency management department has been posting updates to its Facebook account, noting around 10 a.m. that the suspect had "traded shots" with law enforcement and multiple roads were closed due to police activity. At around 11 a.m., the county went into lockdown for all buildings within a mile of the intersection at Smith Road and Center Road in Chester Township. The intersection is in a rural area surrounded by farmland and fields, but there are facilities within the vicinity.
FBI Cincinnati Statement: On August 11, 2022, at approximately 9:15 EST, the FBI Cincinnati Field Office had an armed subject attempt to breach the Visitor Screening Facility (VSF). https://t.co/r6D125zMLI— FBI Cincinnati (@FBICincinnati) August 11, 2022
At around 2:30 p.m., the emergency management department said that the suspect had been "contained" but had not yet been taken into custody. As of press time, the lockdown remains in effect. According to emergency management, law enforcement is looking for a "male suspect who is wearing a gray shirt and body armor."
"LOCKDOWN still in effect for 1 mile radius of Center & Smith Roads. Please remain indoors and keep your doors locked. Suspect has not yet been taking into custody, but is contained. He is wearing a gray shirt and body armor, and is armed," the department says. "Remain vigilant and if you are in the area, report anything suspicious to 911."
State and local authorities had closed down multiple highways and roads as law enforcement pursued the suspect. Interstate 71, which runs north to Columbus and beyond, had been closed for much of the pursuit, but the Ohio Department of Transportation reopened it around 2:30 p.m. Many roads near Wilmington remain off limits.
Clinton County residents within the lockdown area can register for emergency alerts about police activity.
CityBeat will report more information about this story as it becomes available.