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WHY DID JAMES YOO'S HOUSE 🏠💥 GO BOOM?!?
Remember that house that just blew up in Arlington? Well things are not exactly as they seem.
Hang on, here we go… Let’s go step by step. The house is owned by a man named James Woo.
What we’re looking at is a hit. Murder. Assassination. A very public hit and the second to strike members of Global Crossing within a month.
ARLINGTON, Va. (7News) — After an earth-shaking blast in an Arlington neighborhood Monday night, police officials are giving a clearer picture of the sequence of events leading to the explosion that happened hours after officers first made contact with the suspect.
Officers were first called to the home on N. Burlington Street around 4:45 p.m. after being made aware of flares being fired into the sky.
The suspect has since been identified as 56-year-old James Yoo.
"A male suspect discharged a flare-type gun from the residence more than 30 times. Officers attempted to engage with the suspect without success. A search warrant was ultimately obtained to allow our officers to secure any weapons to ensure there would be no ongoing threat to the community," said Arlington County Police Chief Andy Penn.
7News obtained video of those late afternoon flares from Sarah Wilhoite, who saw this happen with her roommate.
"We were talking about how odd that was, and how unsafe it was," Wilhoite said.
Officers agreed. They left and returned with body armor and a warrant to seize weapons Yoo may have had. Other neighbors heard the commotion from officers trying to bring Yoo into custody.
"You can just hear the police say, 'We're not leaving until you come out, James,'" said Sam Kim, who lives near the explosion.
In the hours after that initial 4:45 p.m. call, officers worked on getting Yoo out of the house.
However, the situation quickly escalated.
"At this point, officers experienced what is believed to be multiple gunshots from a firearm coming from within the dwelling," Penn said. "As the suspect began discharging several rounds from a suspected firearm inside the house, officers could not locate the source of the suspected gunfire or its intended target. Officers began to deploy non-flammable, less-lethal chemical munitions to multiple areas within the residence where the suspect was believed to be hiding."
At some point, fire officials said the gas to the home was cut off and the situation reached a point when fire crews evacuated neighboring homes around 7 p.m.
"The fire department personnel absolutely saved lives. In anticipation of what could happen and, unfortunately, what did happen, the fire department personnel evacuated neighboring residents. The evacuation of the neighbors saved lives," said Arlington County Fire Assistant Chief Jason Jenkins.
And for those not close enough to warrant an evacuation, they were asked to shelter in place.
"When we tried walking a little closer, the officer on duty asked us to go back inside," said Brendan With, who lives near the explosion.
Just moments later, around 8:25 p.m., the explosion leveled the home, damaging ten other homes.
Police officials said Yoo was inside the home at the time of the explosion, and they have found human remains. They are still waiting for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to identify the body they found, but they are presuming Yoo died in the blast.
For neighbors nearby, the explosion physically and emotionally shook them to their core.
"I'm just thinking I heard a bomb go off," With said. "I just hear a boom. Power goes out, the house shakes."
Kim added: "The glass was actually coming in our direction. Me and my housemate fell back a little because of the wave."
The timeline may actually begin well before Monday's explosion.
"We are aware of concerning social media posts allegedly made by the suspect, and these will be reviewed as part of the ongoing criminal investigation," Penn said.
FBI's David Sundberg added: "The individual Chief Penn referenced had previously communicated with the FBI via phone calls, online tips, and letters over a number of years. I would characterize these communications as, primarily, complaints about alleged frauds he believed were perpetrated against him."
With the gas cut off before the explosion, detectives are still investigating what caused such a big blast.
Neighbors said they have even more questions.
"With social media, you hear all of the stories, and I don't know if everything is true or not. I've been following that. There's still questions," With said.
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