PHOENIX, AZ — Residents are speaking out after one of their neighbors was arrested in connection with a series of explosions heard in several northern neighborhoods.
Police said 44-year-old Houston Willis was taken into custody at his residence near 35th Avenue and Deer Valley Road on March 4 after investigators gathered probable cause to issue an arrest.
Police documents say drug paraphernalia was found on his person and in his vehicle at the time the arrest. An explosive device was also found in his truck, but rendered safe.
Willis had two handguns, one shotgun, a crossbow and ammunition in his home.
“There were police everywhere, the whole street was full of them, they had 13 squad cars, a big ol' thing that looked like a tank,” said a neighbor named Pam.
“He was an older guy, I would have never expected him to do something like this,” said Pam.
“In January, we heard this really loud bang and it lit up the backyard, it lit up my backyard like a flare had gone off and we went outside cause my granddaughters were out front playing and it spooked me,” said Pam.
She said that’s when she began to suspect Willis may be behind the explosions.
“We went out, he came outside and tried to play it off that it was a battery that exploded,” said Pam.
Willis is now behind bars facing felony charges and his neighbors are relieved he won’t be coming home.
“I don’t need one of my grandkids getting hurt cause the idiot next door is an idiot,” said Pam.