Man believed to have fired shots at officers before Virginia house explosion presumed dead

The man believed to have fired shots at officers from a duplex in Arlington, Va., that later exploded is presumed dead, local authorities confirmed Tuesday.

Arlington County Police Chief Andy Penn on Tuesday identified the suspect as James Yoo, 56, the owner of the duplex that exploded .

Penn told reporters authorities were called to the duplex around 4:45 p.m. on Monday for reports of shots fired. Yoo is believed to have fired a “flare-type gun” from inside of the home over 30 times, Penn said.

Authorities tried to engage with the suspect, but were unsuccessful, prompting a search warrant to secure weapons at the residence, according to Penn.

When authorities tried to enter the home and execute the warrant later on Monday, multiple gunshots were fired from inside the home and shortly after around 8:30 p.m., the duplex exploded, Penn said.

Penn confirmed Yoo was inside the home at the time of the explosion and is presumed to be deceased. Human remains were found at the scene and the Medical Examiner’s Office is working to identify the individual and determine the cause of death.

Three officers reported minor injuries but no one was taken to the hospital and no other serious injuries were reported, police said.

Penn noted there is no ongoing threat to the community and no outstanding suspects related to the incident, adding the other residents of Yoo’s duplex were evacuated before the explosion.

Arlington County police spokesperson Ashley Savage noted police do not have evidence anyone else was in the duplex at the time of the explosion, but cannot rule out the possibility, according to The Associated Press (AP).

Aaron Miller, Arlington’s deputy county manager of public safety, said Tuesday about 10 households were impacted by the incident and are receiving support, shelter and necessities.

White House principal deputy press secretary Olivia Dalton on Tuesday told reporters the White House is tracking developments in the incident.

“And I would also just like to say, you know, our thoughts are with the police officers that were injured in that explosion, and we’re grateful to law enforcement that handled that situation very swiftly,” Dalton said.

Dalton confirmed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is assisting local law enforcement in the matter and referred reporters to Arlington police for further information.

Penn emphasized the investigation is going to be “extensive and time-consuming.” A spokesperson for the Arlington County Fire Department added that while the fire is completely extinguished, there is no timeline on when the investigation will be completed.

The AP reported officers wearing ATF jackets could be seen looking through the debris field near the explosion on Tuesday. Junk mail with the name and address of Yoo’s duplex was also seen on the street, the news wire said.

Brett Samuels contributed.

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