You can watch the videos throughout this article. One video also shows a flare shooting out of the house before it exploded on December 4, 2023.
James Yoo, a resident of the home, wrote rambling social media posts targeting neighbors just days before the explosion. However, authorities have not yet named the man in the house. “We believe the resident of the home, James Yoo, 56, of Arlington, is the involved suspect,” Arlington County Police Chief Andy Penn said in the December 5 news conference.
According to Arl Now, the explosion “rocked the Bluemont neighborhood after a police standoff.”
Arlington County Police Department wrote on X, “As officers were attempting to execute a search warrant at the residence, the suspect discharged several rounds inside the home. Subsequently, an explosion occurred at the residence and officers continue to investigate the circumstances of the explosion.”
Here’s what you need to know:
The Arlington House Explosion Occurred as Police Tried to Execute a Search Warrant, Reports Say
Arl Now reported that the explosion took place at a duplex as police “moved in,” with a “SWAT armored vehicle” and after the suspect repeatedly fired a flare gun “over nearby Fields Park.”
Police also said the suspect, who was not named, “fired shots as officers tried to enter the home” right before the residence exploded.
Video showed law enforcement at the home before the explosion, with an officer ordered the suspect to come out with his hands up. The house then exploded into a huge fireball, the video shows.
According to Arl Now, a man named James Yoo is listed in public records as the resident of the house. The site reported that, according to Arlington police, they were trying to execute a search warrant at the home when the explosion occurred.
Yoo “has been repeatedly posting paranoid screeds on his Linkedin account,” the site reported.
A man named Jim Mathews wrote on X, when asked what he saw, “Looked like flares being fired off. Large red fire ball (with “tail”) just above tree line heading west. Would last 15-20 secs. Several in a mater of 5 mins or so. About 5 mins before I posted.”
In a press release, Arlington County Police wrote:
At approximately 4:45 p.m. on December 4, the Arlington County Police Department was dispatched to the 800 block of N. Burlington Street for the report of possible shots heard. The preliminary investigation indicated a suspect discharged a flare gun approximately 30 – 40 times from inside his residence into the surrounding neighborhood. No property damage or injuries were reported related to the discharge of the flare gun.
During the course of the investigation, officers obtained a search warrant for the suspect’s residence and attempted to make contact with the suspect over the telephone and through loudspeakers. The suspect did not respond and remained barricaded inside the residence. 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. Subsequently, at approximately 8:25 p.m., an explosion occurred at the residence. The investigation into the circumstances of the explosion are ongoing.
The Arlington County Fire Department responded to the scene to extinguish the fire. As of approximately 10:30 p.m., the fire is under control and crews continue to battle small spot fires.
Three officers reported minor injuries and there were no transports to the hospital related to this incident. The investigation is ongoing.
The ATF Wrote That It Is Responding to the Scene
The ATF wrote on X, “Certified Fire Investigators are ready and on scene to support our law enforcement partners @ArlingtonVaFD and @ArlingtonVaPD during this active fire scene. #WeAreATF #ATF ATF on fire scene.”
Arlington County Police also wrote on X, “UPDATE: @ArlingtonVaFD is on scene working to extinguish the fire at the home. Media staging is in the 800 block of N. Edison Street.”
They added: “Officers on scene reported minor injuries with no one transported to the hospital. @ArlingtonVaFD continues to work to extinguish the fire.” Arlington Fire and EMS wrote on X, “Update: Fire is under control, crews continue to battle small spot fires. Units remaining on scene for an undetermined amount of time.”
That agency earlier wrote, “#Breaking: Units are on scene of a structure fire on the 800 block of N Burlington St. Expect a large fire dept and police response. Avoid the area if possible.”
Authorities have not confirmed the name of the suspect. They also did not immediately release what specific accusation led them to the man’s house in the first place. The motive is also not clear. Whether any deaths resulted from the explosion has also not been announced.