A man who claimed to have a bomb in his truck outside the Library of Congress on Capitol Hill Thursday has surrendered to authorities, ending an hourslong standoff which prompted multiple buildings near the Capitol to be evacuated.
Capitol Police confirmed on Twitter that the suspect, Floyd Ray Roseberry, 49, of Grover, North Carolina, is in custody.
Police did not immediately know whether there were explosives in the vehicle, but authorities were searching the truck in an effort to understand what led the suspect to drive onto the sidewalk outside the Library of Congress and make bomb threats to officers.
“Moments ago, Floyd Ray Roseberry from Grover, North Carolina, was taken into custody without incident,” U.S. Capitol Police chief Tom Manger said after the suspect’s surrender.
Manger told reporters that he did not know if there were still explosives in the vehicle, and that law enforcement would “still have to search the vehicle” in order to “render” it safe.
Authorities did not give a possible motive, but Manger noted that Roseberry recently incurred losses in his family.
The standoff was resolved peacefully after roughly five hours of negotiations, ending when Roseberry crawled out of the truck and was taken into law enforcement custody. But the incident brought the area surrounding the Capitol to a virtual standstill as police emptied buildings and cordoned off streets as a precaution. Congress is in recess this week, but staffers were seen calmly walking out of the area at the direction of authorities.
The episode unfolded during a tense period in Washington, coming eight months after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and and one month before a planned rally in Washington that law enforcement officials have been preparing for.
Following the standoff, Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike sent messages of support to law enforcement, particularly the U.S. Capitol Police, who have faced an incredibly difficult year.
“Thank you so much to the US Capitol Police and all other law enforcement who responded to this domestic terrorism threat,” Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, wrote. “They’ve been through hell in 2021 and deserve our gratitude and support.”
“In the face of yet another scary situation, US Capitol Police acted quickly to keep us all safe,” Rep. Susan Wild, D-Penn., wrote. “I can’t say thank you enough for your work today and every day.”
“Today is another reminder of the selfless heroism of @CapitolPolice and all law enforcement who keep us safe,” Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., wrote. “Thank you for your service.”
“The U.S. Capitol Police have been through so much and they’re still here, risking their lives to keep us safe,” Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., wrote. “Thank you @CapitolPolice.”
“The @CapitolPolice have been through a taxing year, and continue to serve with extraordinary bravery and dedication,” Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux, D-Ga., wrote. “Thank you for your service.”
“Great work by our United States @CapitolPolice today,” Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., wrote. “Thank you for keeping everyone safe.”
(Rep. Biggs was one of 21 GOP lawmakers who earlier this year voted against a bill awarding Congressional Gold Medals to police officers who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6.)
Police negotiators spent hours communicating with Roseberry as he wrote notes and showed them to authorities from inside the truck, according to the two people and a third person also briefed on the matter, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.
“My negotiators are hard at work trying to have a peaceful resolution to this incident,” U.S. Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said earlier in the day. “We’re trying to get as much information as we can to find a way to peacefully resolve this.”
While police continued negotiations, video surfaced of Roseberry on Facebook Live inside the truck, which was stuffed with coins and boxes. He was threatening explosions, making anti-government threats and talking about what he believes are the ills of the country, including the U.S. position on Afghanistan, health care and the military.
He said Democrats needed to step down, then also said he loved the president, Democrat Joe Biden. Facebook removed the videos a few hours after they were apparently filmed. Roseberry did not appear to have a specific demand for law enforcement other than to speak with Biden.
Videos posted to his Facebook before the page was taken down appears to show Roseberry at the Nov. 14 rally attended by thousands of Trump supporters to protest what they claimed was a stolen election. One video appears to be filmed by Roseberry as he’s marching with a crowd of hundreds of people carrying American flags and Trump flags and shouting “stop the steal.”
Roseberry’s ex-wife, Crystal Roseberry, said she had seen images of the man in the standoff at the Capitol and confirmed to The Associated Press that it was her ex-husband. She said had never known him to have explosives, but that he was an avid collector of firearms.
The nation’s capital has been tense since the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump.
Fencing that had been installed around the Capitol grounds had been up for months but was taken down this summer. A day before thousands of pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol, pipe bombs were left at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee in Washington. No one has been arrested yet for placing the bombs.
The RNC, not far away from where the truck was parked Thursday, was also evacuated over the threat. Officials are also jittery over a planned rally in September in D.C.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.