A North Carolina man surrendered to police Thursday afternoon hours after telling them he had parked a bomb in his truck in front of the Library of Congress on Capitol Hill.
This threat from suspect Floyd Ray Roseberry resulted in the evacuation of the library, the Supreme Court, the Cannon House office building and the Republican National Committee offices.
It also sparked a massive police reaction in an area where the Capitol complex was forcibly raided by supporters of then-President Donald Trump seven months earlier.
“He got out of the vehicle and surrendered, and the tactical units that were nearby took him into custody without incident,” said US Capitol police chief Tom Manger of 49-year-old Roseberry.
“He gave up and didn’t fight back,” said Manger. “As far as we could tell, it was just his decision to surrender at this point.”
A person is arrested after parking in a pickup truck parked on the sidewalk outside the Library of Congress’s Thomas Jefferson Building seen from a window of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Thursday, August 19, 2021.
Alex Brandon | AP
Manger said there was a propane canister in his black pickup.
But the boss added: “At the moment we think that’s safe.”
Manger also said, “At the moment we have no evidence that he traded with anyone else, but that is part of the ongoing investigation.”
A bomb was not found in a search of Roseberry’s vehicle, but possible bomb-making materials were found from his truck, according to a US Capitol Police statement.
Roseberry, who last lived in Grover, North Carolina, posted several videos of his truck on Facebook in the hours before his surrender and addressed himself directly to President Joe Biden, whose resignation he demanded. He also called for US air strikes on the Taliban in Afghanistan.
A man named Floyd Ray Roseberry, who claims to be in his truck with explosives, speaks during a Facebook livestream in a still from a video that was captured in Washington on August 19, 2021.
Social media | via Reuters
Roseberry claimed in the video that he had a 7-pound barrel of gunpowder and 2.5 pounds of the explosive tannerite in the truck, and suggested that there were four more bombs in the DC area.
He also said that his wife had cancer and that health insurance would not cover some of the treatments for her.
“I promised my wife that I would be home on Sunday no matter what home it is. I’ve cleared my conscience with God, ”said Roseberry.
The White House received updates from law enforcement during the stalemate.
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Facebook removed Roseberry’s videos and page after reporters found the news.
Manger said Roseberry suffered some family losses, including his mother, who “recently passed away”.
“There were other issues that he was dealing with,” said the boss.
Manger said the Capitol Police will work with the District of Columbia District Attorney’s office to determine what criminal charges will be brought against Roseberry.
The chief said Roseberry had a North Carolina criminal record but nothing that seemed “serious”.
Manger had previously told reporters that Roseberry pulled his truck onto the sidewalk in front of the Library of Congress at around 9:15 a.m.
A pickup truck is parked on the sidewalk in front of the Library of Congress’s Thomas Jefferson Building seen from a window of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Thursday, August 19, 2021.
Alex Brandon | AP
When Capitol Police responded to a call regarding the truck, “The truck driver told the responding officer that he had a bomb and what the officer said appeared to be a detonator in the man’s hand,” said Manger.
“So we immediately evacuated the surrounding buildings,” said Manger.
Congress and the Supreme Court were not currently in session, which reduced the number of people who would normally work near the Capitol Hill complex.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority said subways bypass the Capitol South station because of the incident.
On Thursday, August 19, 2021, people are being evacuated from the James Madison Memorial Building, a building belonging to the Library of Congress in Washington, as law enforcement officers investigate a report on a pickup truck with an explosive device near the U.S. Capitol.
Alex Brandon | AP
The area was quickly swarming with officers from a number of law enforcement agencies: Capitol Police, FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Washington, DC, Police.
Police negotiators began communicating with Roseberry, and snipers took up positions around the truck.
A police sniper team remains in position near the Library of Congress on Capitol Hill on August 19, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee | Getty Images
Sydney Bobb, a student at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, told CNBC that she was taking a class in the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill when she saw Roseberry in his truck outside the Library of Congress.
“I look up and see a guy throwing up [$1 bills] from his truck, “said Bobb, who took a photo of the bizarre scene that she posted on Twitter.
“I heard him say he had a bomb on him.”
During the standoff, Roseberry communicated with authorities by writing on a dry-erase board he had in the vehicle.
According to Manger, he refused to use a phone that was sent to him on a police robot.
One of the explosives Roseberry claimed in his videos, tannerite, is popular with target shooting.
Tannerite is a binary explosive. Each part is not an explosive element individually, but in combination they are flammable.
The overuse of tannerite has been responsible for several gender reveal parties that went wrong in recent years, and was also made famous by the Netflix show “Tiger King”.
– Additional coverage from CNBC’s Amanda Macias, Bradley Howard and Brian Schwartz.
Correction: Sydney Bobb is a student at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. In a previous version, your gender was incorrectly stated.