On Thursday, a man identified as 49-year-old Floyd Ray Roseberry of Grover, North Carolina, parked his pickup truck on a sidewalk near the Library of Congress at about 9 a.m. and threatened to set off an explosive device that he claimed was in the vehicle. Shortly after 2 p.m., he crawled out of his vehicle and surrendered. He is now in custody.
U.S. Capitol Police responded to the threat with assistance from D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department. Negotiators and bomb technicians from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were also at the scene, as were snipers. Police evacuated federal buildings in the area, including the Supreme Court and Congress’ Cannon and Longworth office buildings. (Congress is currently on recess, however, so most lawmakers and their staffs are not on Capitol Hill.)
Roseberry was communicating with negotiators using a dry-erase board and told them that he was holding a detonator. Police also tried to send him a phone using a robot, but he refused to use it. According to NBC, he made anti-government statements while communicating with police. Law enforcement officials were reportedly unsure whether there actually was a bomb in the truck and whether it was set up to explode. A witness at the scene said that Roseberry was throwing dollar bills out of the truck. The truck reportedly had no license plate.
Roseberry was livestreaming the standoff on Facebook until the platform cut off the feed and removed his profile. Politico reports that he began streaming at 7:30 a.m. while he was driving to D.C. and had been live on Facebook for several hours by the time moderators stepped in. In the stream, Roseberry spoke of a “revolution,” identified himself as a “patriot,” and demanded to speak with President Joe Biden on the phone. He threatened to blow up 2½ city blocks, claiming that there was ammonium nitrate in his truck and that he’d placed bombs in other cars in the area. Roseberry’s ex-wife told the AP that he was a firearms enthusiast, but she was unaware that he owned explosives.
According to Heavy, which reviewed Roseberry’s Facebook profile before it was taken down, his account appeared to show that he supports former President Donald Trump and resents Biden, climate activist Greta Thunberg, and Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. In his livestream, he charged that Biden had given weapons to the Taliban, accused Facebook of shadow-banning him, and complained of being unable to get medical treatment for his back.
A recent AP-NORC poll found that more Americans are worried about extremists based in the U.S. than are worried about extremists from abroad.