Horrific Body Cam Footage Captures Moment Man Blows Up House

(Photo by ANDRI TAMBUNAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Max Keating Contributor
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Body cam footage recently published by Arlington County shows the shocking moment when 56-year-old James Yoo blew up his home.

Police arrived on scene on Dec. 4, after Yoo reportedly fired 41 flares out of his duplex home window into the surrounding neighbourhood.

Yoo continued to shoot flares outside his home after police commanded him to stop, a nine-minute video that the Arlington County Government posted to YouTube on Friday shows. He then remained barricaded in his home while police evacuated the neighbouring duplex unit and confirmed that Yoo was the only person on the property. (RELATED: Video Shows House Explosion Reportedly Triggered By Suspect Firing Flare Gun At Police)

Neighbours told police that Yoo was reclusive and had strewn toilet paper on trees outside the home, the video’s narrator says. The duplex windows were covered by black trash bags, and neighbours reported that Yoo had begun to throw trash into the backyard from a window.

The final flare was fired at 5:09 p.m., according to the video’s narration.

Police, citing Yoo’s bizarre behavior, obtained a search warrant to recover any weapons inside the duplex, the video reports.

Police repeatedly commanded Yoo to exit his home via loudspeaker, with no response. At 8:10 p.m. officers announced they would breach the property, and used an armored vehicle to breach the front door. Several gunshots are then heard from inside the home, the video shows.

Officers deployed non-flammable less lethal chemical irritants in an attempt to force Yoo to surrender. Yoo can then be heard screaming inside the home, the video shows. Officers repositioned their armored vehicle near the window of the residence before the duplex exploded at 8:24 p.m., damaging the armored vehicle and knocking one officer off his feet, body camera footage shows.

Human remains found inside the home were identified as James Yoo, authorities confirmed. His cause of death was reported as thermal injuries and blunt force trauma, video narration notes. Inside the home, officers found, gasoline, two shotguns, two flare guns, shotgun magazines and unfired flares, among other items. The fire involved gasoline, which Yoo intentionally ignited, the video notes.


Yoo had a history of erratic behaviour, including repeatedly contacting the FBI over a several years, said Dave Sundberg, the assistant director of the bureau’s Washington field office. Yoo’s correspondence with the FBI were “primarily complaints about alleged frauds he believed were perpetrated against him,” Sundberg stated during a press conference aired on FOX 5.