A community project hosted at Northeastern University

WBUR Oral History Project: Steve Phipps


Watertown resident Steve Phipps grew up in Norwood, Massachusetts, and has resided in Massachusetts most of his life. He works in the IT industry and also is a trained EMT. His EMT training has helped make him a calmer person, and has taught him the importance of not panicking in critical situations.

Phipps describes the evening of April 18th, 2013. After ten o’clock, he was in the dining room of his home at the intersection of Laurel Street and Dexter Avenue. Phipps was listening to his police scanner radio and heard news of the shooting of an MIT police officer in Cambridge. He listened to police dispatches regarding a carjacked vehicle approaching Watertown, then heard cars rushing down his street, quickly followed by gunfire.

Phipps describes the six-minute firefight outside his home, the explosion of pipe and pressure-cooker bombs, and the arrival on the scene of hundreds of law enforcement personnel. He describes his neighborhood in the hours that followed, as law enforcement removed unexploded ordinances and combed the area. He describes being evacuated from their home at 5am, and discusses the impact of these events over the eight months that followed.

Interview conducted on January 13, 2014 at Steve's home in Watertown. Oral historian: Joanna Shea O'Brien. Recorder: Jim McGrath. Post-production by Ryan McDonough.


Joanna Shea O'Brien


WBUR Oral History Project



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Joanna Shea O'Brien


Steve Phipps


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