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‘We are in the Rotunda:’ Sanford firefighter’s video shows him in Capitol during siege, FBI says

FBI learned of image of Sanford firefighter inside Capitol from local law enforcement

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – FBI agents investigating the Jan. 6 raid on the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. were able to identify and arrest a Sanford firefighter after he admitted to being inside the Capitol during his videos recorded during the siege and was quickly recognized by Sanford-area law enforcement in social media photos, federal court documents show.

Andrew Williams was pictured inside the Capitol building during the large-scale riot of President Donald Trump supporters and arrested on federal charges, records show. Williams was taken into custody Tuesday on charges of disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and knowingly entering the temporary residence of the president without authority to do so.

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Five people, including a U.S. Capitol police officer, died when Trump supporters rushed the building. At least 40 people have been arrested and face federal charges, according the Department of Justice.

The criminal complaint documents, obtained by News 6 from the Federal Court in Washington, D.C., show FBI agents were able to identify Williams inside the building using the image of him standing underneath Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s placard and using at least two videos showing Williams on the Capitol grounds.

Sanford firefighter Andrew Williams is seen inside the Capitol building during riots on Jan. 6, 2021.
Sanford firefighter Andrew Williams is seen inside the Capitol building during riots on Jan. 6, 2021. (Anonymous)

In one video, people are seen climbing up the Capitol scaffolding and someone says, “We are storming the Capitol! Yeah baby!” Investigators said Williams made the recording and allegedly made the statement.

During the second video, also recorded by Williams, he turned the camera around to show his face during the recording, according to the complaint. In that video, the narrator can be heard saying, “taking it back, baby” and “we are inside the Capitol,” court records show. Investigators said Williams and others inside the Capitol can be heard encouraging each other and commenting that it will be hard to make arrests with hundreds of people in the building.

“How are they going to arrest every single person?” the narrator asks, and later says, “We are in the Rotunda.”

According to the complaint, the special agent in charge of William’s case was previously an intern at the U.S. Capitol building in 2003, noting “your affiant is aware that the individual recording the video footage is actually underneath the Rotunda in the area that is commonly known as ‘Capitol crypt.’”

Agents were able to identify Williams by comparing the photo and videos of him to Florida Department of Motor Vehicle records, the arrest warrant shows.

The Sanford Fire Department said last week that an investigation had been launched and Williams was on leave with pay but now that he has been arrested, Williams has been placed on administrative leave without pay.

Williams appeared in court on Tuesday and a judge set his bond at $25,000. Now that he has been released from custody, he will need to surrender any firearms and his passport, restrict his travel and submit to mental health evaluations and drug tests.

If convicted, Williams could receive a fine or up to six months in prison.

The Department of Justice released a list Thursday of all the individuals facing charges related to the Capitol riots, including Williams and at least four other people from Florida.

All cases are being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C.

Adrienne Cutway contributed to this report.


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