Authorities Confirm Suspect Identified In Virginia House Explosion Is ‘Presumed’ To Be Deceased


Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
Font Size:

A suspect has been identified and is “presumed” to be deceased after a Virginia house exploded as police were attempting to serve a search warrant, authorities said Tuesday.

Arlington County Police Chief Andy Penn held a press conference in which he identified the suspect as 56-year-old James Yoo, whom authorities now presume to be deceased after human remains were found inside the home. Medical examiners are still working to positively identify the body, however, authorities noted that they do believe Yoo was “inside the residence.”  (RELATED: Video Shows House Explosion Reportedly Triggered By Suspect Firing Flare Gun At Police)

“Based on the preliminary investigation of the incident, we believe that the resident of the home, James Yoo, 56, of Arlington, is the involved suspect,” Penn stated.

“The suspect was inside the residence at the time of the explosion and he is presumed, at this point, to be deceased. Human remains have been located at the scene.”

Police were called to Yoo’s residence Monday night after he allegedly shot a flare gun 30-40 times into the surrounding neighborhood, a preliminary press statement reported. Authorities attempted to verbally “make contact” with Yoo, however, after unsuccessful attempts through loudspeakers and phone calls, police decided to execute the search warrant they had obtained.

Yoo then allegedly discharged “several rounds” from a reported firearm inside his home, and shortly after the house exploded, according to the press statement. (RELATED: ‘No Sign Of Terrorist Activity’: Kathy Hochul Dismisses Early Reports On Car Explosion At US-Canada Border)

Yoo had reportedly been communicating “with the FBI via phone calls, online tips and letters” for “over a number of years,” according to FBI’s Washington field office Assistant Director Dave Sundberg.

“I would characterize these communications as primarily complaints about alleged frauds he believed were perpetrated against him,” Sundberg stated at the press briefing. “The information contained therein and the nature of those communications did not lead to the FBI opening any investigations.”   

Penn additionally noted that investigators were aware of “concerning social media posts allegedly made by the suspect,” stating that they will be “reviewed” by investigators.

The investigation is still ongoing.