Massive Explosion Rocks Virginia Residence During Police Search

As indicated by officials on Tuesday, a large explosion occurred at a residence in Arlington, Virginia, when law enforcement tried to execute a search warrant. Within an hour after reports of gunshots were made on Monday around 5 p.m, The Arlington County Police Department quickly sprung into action.

A swift investigation indicated that a flare gun had been fired nearly 40 times in the suspect’s home, without resulting in any damage or injuries. Officers thereafter obtained a search warrant to the suspect’s house and tried to contact the suspect by phone and loudspeakers. However, the suspect did not reply and barricaded himself inside a locked room.

From what appeared like a gun, the suspect fired several rounds in the residence. Around 8:30 p.m., a huge explosion took place, which was caught on video by a bystander who posted it on social media. The Arlington County Fire Department promptly responded, and by approximately 10:30 p.m. the fire was under control, with crews responding to small spot fires.

The officers were reported to have had minor injuries that did not necessitate their admission into the hospital. James Yoo, a 56-year-old suspect discharged a flare-type gun more than 30 times from the duplex thus leading to the police and firefighter intervention.

Arlington County Police Chief Andy Penn announced at a press conference on Tuesday named Yoo as the occupant of the duplex and presumed him dead after the explosion. According to Penn, officers responded to reports of shots fired around 4:45 p.m., with the resident of the house opening fire shortly before the house exploded.

While there is no evidence of others in the duplex, authorities cannot definitively rule out the possibility. On Tuesday, officers in ATF jackets searched for evidence on a street next to where the house had once stood. The White House expressed concern for the injured officers and acknowledged the swift response of law enforcement officers.

Olivia Dalton, the White House principal deputy press secretary, confirmed that ATF is assisting local law enforcement with the investigation. People living nearby were startled by the explosion, with some of them initially mistaking it for a plane crash.

The cause of the explosion has not been established, with federal authorities, including the ATF, actively involved in the ongoing investigation. However, according to recent reports, authorities will also look into the disturbing social media posts that were made by the suspect.

Yoo disclosed his address in a couple of LinkedIn posts that become incomprehensible at times — typically involving his hatred of government officials, law enforcement, and media outlets, and in one post on Friday, about his “white” neighbors who he accused of spying on him.

According to David Sundberg, the assistant director of the FBI’s Washington, DC, field office, the FBI is working with other agencies to investigate the explosion and the suspect. Sundberg stated that Yoo had dealt with the FBI over the years through telephone calls, online tips, and letters.

He added, “I would characterize these communications as chiefly complaints about alleged frauds that he thought were perpetrated against him.” Sundberg noted that the communication that the suspect provided, as well as his contacts with the agency, did not trigger any investigations.