Man claiming to have explosives near Capitol surrenders to police

Washington — A man who claimed to have explosives in his pickup truck parked near the U.S. Capitol has surrendered to law enforcement, bringing an end to a standoff on Thursday with police that prompted the evacuation of several buildings in the area.

U.S. Capitol Police chief Thomas Manger told reporters the suspect, identified as Floyd Ray Roseberry, 49, of Grover, North Carolina, got out of his vehicle and was taken into custody “without incident.”

Manger said police still do not know if there are explosives in the vehicle, and the scene remains active. But the chief said he is not aware of other explosives elsewhere around Washington, D.C.

The situation began around 9:15 a.m., when Roseberry drove his vehicle onto the sidewalk outside the Library of Congress, located across from the Capitol building and Supreme Court, and was holding what appeared to be a detonator, Manger told reporters.

Police communicated with Roseberry via a white board and used a robot to deliver him a telephone, though he did not use it, Manger said. Shortly after the phone was delivered, Roseberry got out of the vehicle and surrendered.

The suspect’s motives remain unknown, but Manger said Roseberry had losses in his family, including the recent death of his mother, as well as “other issues that he was dealing with.”

Suspicious Truck
A pickup truck is parked on the sidewalk in front of the Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson Building, as seen from a window of the U.S. Capitol, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, in Washington. Alex Brandon / AP

A livestreamed video that was posted on a Facebook account purporting to belong to Roseberry was later taken down by the platform. The video was filmed from the perspective of the driver and shows him parking outside the Library of Congress and claiming to have an explosive device. The man in the video addresses President Biden directly and makes references to the situation in Afghanistan as well as personal issues.

Chief Deputy Philip Todd of the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina told CBS News that police there are have deployed to Roseberry’s home and are working in coordination with federal law enforcement. Law enforcement has made contact with his family, and officers are interviewing his wife. While the suspect was not on law enforcement’s radar, he has a minor criminal record, the sheriff’s office said.

Several buildings in the Capitol complex were evacuated in response to the bomb threat, including the Supreme Court, though it had already been closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department said it was asking residents in the area to evacuate. 

A White House official said it was monitoring the situation and receiving updates from law enforcement.

The House Sergeant at Arms said in a message that “due to the nature of the incident, this will likely be a prolonged law enforcement response.” The House has been out of session since the end of July for its August recess.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is aware of the threat and responding. The FBI said its Washington Field Office’s National Capital Response Squad is also responding to reports of a suspicious vehicle.

The situation on Capitol Hill comes more than seven months after a mob of former President Trump’s supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6. One officer died after confronting the rioters and another died by suicide following the attack. Dozens of Capitol Police officers have left the department in the months after the insurrection.

Pipe bombs were also placed at the headquarters of the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee on Capitol Hill on January 5. While the FBI determined they were “viable” explosive devices, they did not detonate, and explosives technicians rendered them safe. The person suspected of placing those devices has not yet been identified.

Jeff Pegues, Pat Milton, Len Tepper, Nicole Sganga and Jack Turman contributed to this report