Investigation Into Massive Virginia Home Explosion Intensifies
Authorities continue to pore through charred evidence in the aftermath of a massive house explosion Monday night in Arlington, Virginia. Police were attempting to search the premises when the blast rocked the quiet neighborhood, and now they want answers.
Calls came in just before 5 p.m. of a man shooting a flare gun among the houses. When police arrived they were reportedly met with gunfire.
A search warrant was issued to inspect the residence for firearms, but the homeowner, identified as James Yoo, refused to follow police instructions. It was then that a chemical was used to force him out of his home, and it was also then when the house exploded.
No officers were seriously injured.
Remains discovered after the fire have not been positively identified, but police are certain they are Yoo’s.
There are multiple reports of a pattern of bizarre social media posts from the suspect. What is believed to be his LinkedIn page accused the U.S. of being “the world’s biggest terrorist.”
— New York Post (@nypost) December 5, 2023
Some posts referred to Yoo’s ex-wife as a “witch” and contained several anti-American slogans. He posted quotes from noted leftist Noam Chomsky and described himself as a “former Head of Information and Physical Security for [an] international telecommunication company.”
Arlington Assistant Fire Chief Jason R. Jenkins told reporters that the cause of the blast is under investigation. He confirmed that natural gas flowing into the home was cut off by firefighters before the 8:30 p.m. explosion.
A neighbor described the standoff between officers and Yoo. She said police kept telling the resident to “come out” but a voice from inside the home asked them to “let me go.”
One woman who was more than two miles away told the media that she heard the explosion. Carla Rodriguez of South Arlington went to the scene but was turned back by law enforcement.
She thought a plane had gone down.
A neighbor, Bob Maynes, said he thought a tree had fallen on his home when the explosion rocked the area. “I was sitting in my living room watching television and the whole house shook. It wasn’t an earthquake kind of tremor, but the whole house shook.”
Residents reported that Yoo’s windows were covered with aluminum foil.
Neighbors were evacuated during the hours-long incident and none suffered injuries.