police identify suspect Arlington Va house explosion know
Arlington, VA police confirm James Yoo was the man in the home explosion. No injuries reported. Bomb-sniffing dogs are on the scene.
An explosion that rocked the Bluemont neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia on Monday night has been confirmed to have been caused by James Yoo, the owner of the two-story duplex that was leveled in the blast. Police Chief Andy Penn announced during a press conference that Yoo, 56, was the only person present in the building at the time and is presumed to be dead.
The Arlington County Police were initially called to the scene following reports of a shots-fired incident. Upon arrival, they discovered that Yoo had shot more than 30 rounds from a flare gun into the surrounding neighborhood. Officers attempted to engage with Yoo, but he refused to communicate with them. A search warrant was obtained, and when the officers breached the front door, they were met with gunshots from within the building.
Efforts to compel Yoo to surrender were unsuccessful, and the Emergency Response Team deployed non-flammable, less lethal chemical munitions to no avail. The exact circumstances of the explosion are still under investigation, with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisting in the investigation.
The explosion, which was captured on video and shared on social media, resulted in the house disappearing under a ball of fire and debris being scattered into the night air. The blast was heard and felt for miles around the neighborhood.
Yoo had communicated with the FBI over the years, primarily making complaints about alleged frauds he believed were perpetrated against him. However, these communications did not lead to any FBI investigations. A public records search shows that Yoo had owned the house since 1992.
Residents in the area described Yoo as a bit of a recluse, who lived alone and seldom left the property. The explosion knocked down wall hangings in neighboring homes and caused rattling intense enough to be compared to a sonic boom.
The incident, which resulted in more than 160 power outages initially, was deemed an isolated event by officials, and there is no ongoing threat to the community. The cause of the explosion is still under investigation, and the Arlington County Fire Department continues to extinguish smaller spot fires. The community is still reeling from the aftermath of the explosion and is grateful for the first responders who worked to contain the situation.