Police are searching for the person they say firebombed the Lorton Sub Shop. Northern Virginia Bureau reporter David Culver has the latest on their investigation.
"I'm more shocked than anything," deli owner Lawrence Reese told News4 in an exclusive interview, just half a day after he was injured when an explosive device detonated inside his Lorton business.
Reese was unloading boxes from his car when the device went off around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.
"I looked up, and just 'boom!,' explosion," he said. Reese blacked out after the blast. He was taken to the Washington Hospital Center's Burn Unit with serious third- and fourth-degree burns on his face, arms, and stomach.
"I'm in too much pain to be angry," he told News4's Shomari Stone.
It is unclear whether the device was carried inside or thrown into the building.
Fairfax County police and firefighters responded to Sub Shop Old Fashioned Sandwiches, located at 9504 Richmond Highway, around 10:40 a.m. The FBI was also called to the scene as a matter of protocol, but a spokesperson told News4 that the incident is being considered a local matter.
Investigators carried bags of evidence out of the shop and searched a sedan parked in front.
At least one person was seen running from the sub shop after the explosion, police said. Police searched the area with helicopter and K9 units.
Reese said he had no idea who would have done this.
Adjacent businesses sustained smoke damage, but the fire was confined to the Sub Shop, which was also gutted by flames in 2010, according to the Lorton Patch.
Reese said he plans to reopen Sub Shop once he fully recovers, but it could be weeks before he's up to it. Damage is estimated at $100,000, according to authorities.
Neighbors who live in townhomes across the street told News4's David Culver that the business had been targeted by vandals in the past.
"They vandalized inside, they broke the windows, they did the same thing almost," neighbor Patrick Naranjo said. "They destroyed the place."
Naranjo said that Reese waved to him every time he passed by the shop.
Reese left Washington Hospital Center Thursday after being treated for severe burns.