A duplex in Arlington, V.A., exploded on Monday after police responded to a call to the residence involving a man shooting off a flare gun in the surrounding neighborhood.
According to local Police Chief Andy Penn, James Yoo, 56, shot a “flare-type gun” from inside his Bluemount home into the neighborhood more than 30 times around 4:45 p.m. on Monday.
To get Yoo to surrender, Penn said that officers deployed “nonflammable, less-lethal chemical munitions” where Yoo appeared to be hiding. Those attempts also failed to draw him out.
“As officers were attempting to execute the search warrant, the suspect discharged several rounds, from what is believed to be a firearm, inside the home,” police said in a statement. “Subsequently, at approximately 8:25 p.m., an explosion occurred at the residence. The investigation into the circumstances of the explosion are ongoing.”
Assistant Fire Chief Jason Jenkins noted that the fire department turned off the gas line to the house before the explosion occurred, and bomb-sniffing dogs were on the scene.
Three officers received minor injuries in the blast, but none required hospitalization, authorities said. None of the residents in the neighborhood were injured.
Firefighters had the scene under control around 10:30 p.m. but continued to douse spotfires into the late night hours.
Aaron Miller, Arlington’s deputy county manager, reported that ten houses in the neighborhood were impacted by the explosion, with more than 160 power outages initially reported in the area, but had decreased to 19 as of Tuesday morning.
The cause of the blast remains under investigation, Assistant Fire Chief Jason Jenkins said.
“I’m not going to speculate on cause or origin,” he said of the explosion, adding that “the fire department personnel absolutely saved lives” by evacuating neighbors.
Police confirmed Yoo’s identity at a news briefing on Tuesday afternoon and reported that human remains were recovered at the scene. They presumingly belong to Yoo, but an autopsy is pending.
🚨 #BREAKING: Police Confirm Discovery of Human Remains Belonging to 56 Year Old James Yoo in yesterday’s House Explosion
Arlington Police have announced that the identified suspect in the house explosion is 56-year-old James Yoo, presumed dead with… pic.twitter.com/qjbaOC8R3R
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) December 5, 2023
As the investigation continues, more information has been revealed about Yoo’s disturbing past and the weeks leading to the incident.
Last Friday, Yoo posted a rant about a neighbor’s “activity” on social media, stating that “this is how White people operate and have the luxury of outnumbering all other ‘races’ by almost 7 to 1 in ‘Merica.’”
Information on most of Yoo’s social media accounts was removed, but some users managed to take screenshots of some of his disturbing posts.
I managed to photograph allot of his material from his YouTube. He says he did believe they would “assassinate” him on or before December 7th. pic.twitter.com/O6FW8dwTaD
— Tami Myers (@TamiRowellMyers) December 5, 2023
One user posted statements from Yoo’s YouTube account implying that the neighbors were spies.
posts from James Yoo LinkedIn account as well his YouTube channel. He believed his neighbours were conspiring to murder him on December 7 2023 which he said was anniversary of Pearl Harbour #Arlington pic.twitter.com/erioOq5Ahb
— Richard B. Long (@richblong) December 5, 2023