Nearly two weeks after the deadly explosion that took the life of Anthony Stephan House after receiving a package bomb on his front porch, his next door neighbor is speaking about the ordeal.
Sean Philips says the morning of March 2 began as any other day. Philips says his alarm went off at 6:45 a.m. But, it all changed around 6:50 a.m. when he heard a “loud noise.”
“It didn’t sound like an explosion or what I think of an explosion. It sounded like a metal dumpster getting hit by a truck – like a very metallic, hollow sound,” explained Philips, House’s neighbor. “I ran outside. I looked to my left and I saw him standing there, obviously damaged. He had shrapnel and his clothes were torn up and his face was torn up.”
Philips continued, “He collapsed pretty much immediately after I saw him. I went over. I gave him two rescue breaths to get him breathing.”
At the time, Philips says he assumed it was a gas explosion — a horrible accident. Now that he knows otherwise, the man says he’s felt uneasy.
The first few days were definitely the worst.
“I have never had anything kind of really affect me. Like, I’ve seen dead bodies and whatnot before, but never I guess of this degree — of a brutal, violent attack like that.”
Philips says he’s been a lot jumpier since the blast. “Normally I was not really scared of anything before.”
“This whole past ten days has been like a movie scene,” Philips’ wife, Rianne said. “You can’t even emotionally process or wrap your head around this.”
Austin police originally said they believed the explosion that killed the 39-year-old man was an isolated incident and that there was not a continuing threat to the community.
Police say Anthony Stephan House was critically injured in the blast when a device exploded around 6:55 a.m. Friday on the front porch of his home in the 1100 block of Haverford Drive. He died less than an hour later at the hospital.
This is not the first tragedy to affect House’s family.
Twenty-five years ago, House’s older brother, Corey, was murdered when he was 17 years old — stabbed dozens of times on a school playground.
One of the suspects in the case, Carson Williams, was convicted and will be eligible for parole in 2024.
We’re waiting for word from Austin police on the status of the other two involved.