Police were sent to the home around 4:45 p.m. after receiving a report about someone firing a flare gun 30 to 40 times from inside the house into the neighborhood, the Arlington County Police Department said in a statement. Police tried to contact the suspect by phone and with loudspeakers, but he didn’t respond and stayed barricaded inside the home, police said.
After getting a search warrant, police officers approached the home shortly before 8:25 p.m. The suspect then “discharged several rounds” from inside the home, Arlington County police spokesperson Ashley Savage said, after which the blast occurred. It was not immediately clear if the rounds fired were from a flare gun or a different weapon, but police later said the rounds were fired “from what is believed to be a firearm.”
The suspect, who was not immediately identified, was inside the house at the time of the explosion, Savage said. Police were not aware of anyone else inside the house, which was a duplex, but said they could not rule out the possibility others had been inside Savage said.
The suspect’s condition was not immediately known and fire officials said they were waiting for a utility company to arrive before they could enter the remains of the structure.