Federal and state authorities uncovered a stockpile of weapons and explosives at the home of a truck driver who was killed following a police pursuit and gun battle in New York last week.
On May 29, the F.B.I. and Virginia State Police began a search at the Rockingham County, Virginia, home of 58 year old truck driver Joshua Blessed.
During the three-day raid, authorities say that they found a stockpile of about a dozen pipe bombs and various firearms at Blessed’s home and in his personal vehicle.
Virginia State Police detonated the explosives at a remote location.
Based on the weapons stockpile, police believe that Blessed was planning a large scale attack, the Daily News-Record reports.
Blessed was killed following a police pursuit that began in LeRoy, New York, on the evening of May 27 when officers attempted to pull him over in his tractor trailer for speeding.
Police said that Blessed was non-compliant and he soon led a winding multiple agency pursuit across three counties during which he shot and rammed several police vehicles.
— Tanner Jubenville (@13WHAMTANNER) May 28, 2020
The pursuit ended in a field near Route 20A in Geneseo after police with long guns fired multiple rounds into the cab of the truck.
Blessed died at the scene.
Remarkably, no one else was injured.
Police say that Blessed was on his way to New York to pick up a load of dairy products when the pursuit began.
Based in part on an investigation into Blessed’s social media posts, investigators believe that he had become radicalized. His Facebook feed featured a number of anti-law enforcement posts.
Blessed changed his name from Sergei Jourev in 2005.
Rockingham County Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson said, “We found out a whole lot more about him. You’re talking about a true extremist. He was a dangerous individual. You’re talking about someone that was serious about committing violence … some kind of terrorism.”