Politics

North Carolina man surrenders after Capitol Hill bomb threat that forced evacuation of surrounding area

Key Points
  • A North Carolina man surrendered to police after telling them he had a bomb in his truck parked outside the Library of Congress on Capitol Hill.
  • That threat by Floyd Ray Roseberry led to the evacuation of the library, the Supreme Court, a House office building and the offices of the Republican National Committee.
  • Roseberry directly addressed President Joe Biden in a Facebook video, and also called for airstrikes on the Taliban in Afghanistan.
  • The incident came more than seven months after supporters of then-President Donald Trump invaded the U.S. Capitol.
VIDEO1:0601:06
Bomb threat suspect's family says he has a history of mental problems

A North Carolina man surrendered Thursday afternoon to police, hours after telling them he had a bomb in his truck parked outside the Library of Congress on Capitol Hill.

That threat by the suspect, Floyd Ray Roseberry, led to the evacuation of the library, the Supreme Court, the Cannon House Office Building and the offices of the Republican National Committee.

It also sparked a massive police response to an area that seven months earlier saw the Capitol complex violently invaded by supporters of then-President Donald Trump.

"He got out of the vehicle and surrendered, and the tactical units that were close by took him into custody without incident," U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said of the 49-year-old Roseberry.

"He gave up and did not resist," Manger said. "As far as we could tell it was just his decision to surrender at that point."

A man named Floyd Ray Roseberry who claims to be sitting in his truck with explosives speaks during a Facebook livestream in a still image from video taken in Washington, U.S. August 19, 2021.
Social Media | via Reuters

Manger said there was a propane gas container in his black pickup truck.

But, the chief added, "At this point we think that's safe."

Manger also said, "Right now we have no indication that he was acting with anyone else, but that is part of the ongoing investigation."

A bomb was not found after a search of Roseberry's vehicle but possible bomb making materials were secured from his truck, according to a statement from U.S. Capitol Police.

Roseberry, who most recently lived in Grover, North Carolina, posted several videos on Facebook from his truck in the hours before he surrendered, directly addressed remarks to President Joe Biden, whose resignation he demanded. He also called for U.S. airstrikes on the Taliban in Afghanistan.

VIDEO1:1201:12
Capitol bomb threat suspect surrenders

Roseberry claimed on the video that he had a 7-pound keg of gunpowder and 2.5 pounds of the explosive tannerite in the truck, and suggested there were four other bombs in the D.C. area.

He also said his wife has cancer and that health insurance would not cover some treatment for her.

"I promised my wife I'd be home Sunday, whichever home it is. I've cleared my conscience with God," Roseberry said.

The White House received updates from law enforcement during the standoff.

Facebook removed Roseberry's videos and his page after reporters found the messages.

Manger said that Roseberry has had some losses of family, including his mother, who "recently passed away."

"There were other issues that he was dealing with," the chief said.

Manger said the Capitol Police would work with the office of the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia to determine what criminal charges Roseberry will face.

The chief said that Roseberry has a criminal record in North Carolina, but nothing that appeared "serious."

Manger earlier had told reporters that Roseberry drove his truck onto the sidewalk in front of the Library of Congress at about 9:15 a.m.

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

When Capitol Police responded to a call about the truck, "The driver of the truck told the responding officer on the scene that he had a bomb and what appeared, the officer said, appeared to be a detonator in the man's hand," Manger said.

"So we immediately evacuated the nearby buildings," Manger said.

Congress and the Supreme Court are not currently in session, which reduced the number of people who normally would be working around the Capitol Hill complex.

Subways were bypassing the Capitol South station because of the incident, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority said.

People are evacuated from the James Madison Memorial Building, a Library of Congress building, in Washington on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, as law enforcement investigate a report of a pickup truck containing an explosive device near the U.S. Capitol.
Alex Brandon | AP

The area quickly was swarming with officers from a slew of law enforcement agencies: Capitol Police, FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Washington, D.C., police.

Police negotiators began communicating with Roseberry, and sharpshooters took up positions in the area surrounding the truck.

A police sniper team remains in position near the Library of Congress on Capitol Hill August 19, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee | Getty Images

Sydney Bobb, a student at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, told CNBC that she had been walking to a class at 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 [$1 bills] out of his truck," said Bobb, who snapped a photo of the bizarre scene, which she posted on Twitter.

"I heard him say, like, he had a bomb on him."

During the standoff, Roseberry communicated with authorities by writing on a dry-erase board that he had in the vehicle.

He refused to use a telephone that was sent to him with a police robot, according to Manger.

One of the explosives Roseberry claimed on his videos to have, tannerite, is popular in target shooting.

Tannerite is a binary explosive. Each part separately is not an explosive element, but when combined they are combustible.

Overuse of tannerite has been responsible for several gender reveal parties gone wrong in recent years, and was also popularized by the Netflix show "Tiger King."

-- Additional reporting by CNBC's Amanda Macias, Bradley Howard and Brian Schwartz.

Correction: Sydney Bobb is a female student at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. An earlier version misstated her gender.