Fairfax County police now have a suspect in the case of a Lorton restaurant that was firebombed on Feb. 6.
On Feb. 14, Horace Thompson, 25, of no fixed address, was arrested by the Washington Metropolitan Police on a fugitive from justice warrant after being released from the Washington Burn Center.
The arrest was made after a joint investigation by Fairfax County homicide detectives and the Fairfax County Office of the Fire Marshal.
Fairfax County police said that after an extradition hearing, Thompson will be returned to Fairfax County where warrants for arson of an occupied building and aggravated malicious wounding will be served.
On Feb. 6, Lawrence Reese, 47, said he was loading supplies into his restaurant, Sub Shop Eats at 9504 Richmond Highway in the Williamsburg Square shopping center, when the explosion occurred. He was knocked to the ground and suffered third- and fourth-degree burns to his face, arms and chest.
Firefighters said they responded to the restaurant about 10:30 a.m., where they encountered heavy black smoke coming from the front and rear and quickly brought the fire under control. Fire damage was contained to the sub shop, but some adjacent businesses received minor smoke damage, they said. They estimated the total damage to be about $100,000.
Fire investigators said the fire was intentionally set by an incendiary device, and they still are investigating whether that device was carried or thrown into the restaurant. Some witnesses reported a man running from the scene.
Reese said he has no idea why anyone would try to hurt him or his restaurant. “I am recovering and have nothing else to say right now,” he said Wednesday.
This is the second time the restaurant has suffered fire damage. In 2010, a fire began in an adjacent dentist’s office and spread into the sub shop, which suffered $400,000 in damage in that incident.
The Williamsburg Shopping Center was purchased in November 2011 by Williamsburg Square investments, LLLP, which is based in Laytonsville, Md., and incorporated in Boca Raton, Fla., according to Fairfax County tax records.