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Suspect Who Shot at Police From House That Exploded is Dead, US Police Say

The suspect who fired at officers from a duplex in an Arlington, Virginia, neighborhood before the home exploded on Monday night is presumed dead, according to authorities.

James Yoo, 56, was identified by the Arlington county police chief, Andy Penn, at a press conference on Tuesday as the the owner of the duplex and the individual whose actions brought them to the home after firing a “flare-type gun” from inside the house more than 30 times.

Penn said police responded to the house at about 4.45pm on Monday after reports of shots fired. After attempts to communicate with Yoo were unsuccessful, police obtained a search warrant. As officers tried to enter the home, multiple gunshots were fired from within the house, Penn said. Soon after, the house exploded, Penn said.

The officers escaped serious injury but it was unclear what happened to the suspect who was inside when the building was leveled, an Arlington county police spokesperson, Ashley Savage, said.

Three officers reported minor injuries in the house explosion, but no one was taken to the hospital. Savage said police did not have any evidence that others were in the duplex but could not rule out the possibility.

The fire was under control around 10.30pm, but Arlington county fire department crews continued to battle small spot fires, police said early on Tuesday. Three officers reported minor injuries, but no one was taken to the hospital.

Carla Rodriguez of South Arlington said she could hear the explosion more than two miles away and came to the scene but police kept onlookers blocks away.

“I actually thought a plane exploded,” she said.

Bob Maynes thought maybe a tree had fallen on his house when he heard the explosion.

“I was sitting in my living room watching television and the whole house shook,” Maynes said. “It wasn’t an earthquake kind of tremor, but the whole house shook.”

Arlington is located across the Potomac River from Washington. The explosion occurred in Bluemont, a neighborhood in north Arlington where many of the homes are duplexes.

Fire officials do not know the cause of the explosion, said Nate Hiner, a spokesperson for the Arlington fire department.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said federal agents and federal fire investigators were at the scene and assisting in the investigation.

Source: The Guardian