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FBI in Virginia finds explosives, cash and guns in semi truck driver's home and personal vehicle

Driver killed after shootout with police in WNY
Posted at 4:51 PM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-30 14:09:55-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — We are learning more about the Virginia man who police say led law enforcement in Livingston County on an 80 minute chase last week while driving a tractor trailer.

Police say 58-year-old Joshua Blessed from Harrisonburg, Virginia was driving the tractor trailer, driving recklessly and shooting at law enforcement. He eventually was shot and killed by police.

Investigators believe Blessed, who also went by Sergei Jourev, was a "militia extremist with anti-police philosophies." According to The Daily News Record in Harrisonburg, Virginia, the FBI has since raided his home, and found pipe bombs and a stock pile of firearms inside his house.

Tuesday, the Livingston County Sheriff's Office confirmed that $18,000 in cash, IED style pipe bombs and an AK-47 rifle were found in Blessed's personal car. 11 more pipe bombs and 3 additional long guns were found in his home along with bomb-making manuals.

According to the sheriff's office, Blessed fired between 24 and 29 rounds at law enforcement from a pistol. Deputies returned fire on multiple occasions during the pursuit. In total, 7 deputies fired 129 rounds at Blessed and the tractor trailer he was driving, ultimatley striking his 3 times in the hip and once in the head, killing him.

Investigators say it's a "sheer miracle" that no one else was injured during the incident and that Blessed was a "very real threat" to police and the community.