HOUSTON – An arsonist on the move... It’s what KPRC 2 Investigates identified after obtaining surveillance video of the devastating blast at Winter Street Studios.
The video from Dec. 22 shows the moment the blast damaged over 70 studios, costing over 100 artists their livelihoods, according to building officials.
“I still cry every day. I mean when that bomb went off, we lost everything in our studio,” said Holly Nowak, an artist for over 25 years.
Nowak said she immediately recognized the suspect’s location on the first piece of the video she watched.
“He’s heading to my studio,” said Nowak.
Nowak’s studio was directly across from the one the arsonist targeted. In fact, she admits she had spent the night in her studio a few days earlier after putting in long hours.
“My initial thoughts seeing this is that it is horrifying because my escape route both ways, I had no escape route,” said Nowak.
The video obtained by KPRC 2 Investigates showed the arsonist days before putting tape on a lock to ensure access the morning of the blast.
“I never realized that there was as much forethought that went into it,” said Nowak.
The suspect died by suicide a few days after he set fire to the studios.
On Friday, the Houston Police Department released bodycam videos showing the moments leading up to their attempt to arrest the suspect before he jumped to his death.
Nowak and others plan to be at a fundraiser on Saturday at Winter Street Studios from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. If you would like to help, you can donate here.