It’s been less than two weeks since a bomb blast killed a man in Austin, Texas. Today, two more package bomb blasts killed a teenager and wounded two others. Police have confirmed that the explosions are all related.
Every one of the victims was a person of color, though police still hesitate to call it a hate crime, saying they are not yet ready to rule anything out.
The attacks Monday were only a few miles apart. The first of which wounded a 40-year-old woman and killed a 17-year-old boy. Both of them were black.
Then, just as the chief of police Brian Manley held a news conference to discuss the initial blast, a call came into the gathered emergency personnel that another explosion had occurred a couple of miles away.
Just down the road, a 75-year-old Hispanic woman was the victim of the second blast of the day. An ambulance took her to a hospital with “potentially life-threatening wounds.”
On March 2, a 39-year-old black man was killed by a blast just like the ones today. Authorities have linked the two and confirmed that they are connected. They urged residents to use caution and call police if they receive a suspicious package.
Police seem hesitant to call it a hate crime. To be fair, Manley said that it is a tough call because multiple people live in the homes that fell under attack.
“We are not ruling anything out at this point,” said Manley. “We are willing to investigate any avenue that may be involved.”
There was very little detail given concerning the packaging of the bombs with police citing the ongoing investigation. The boxes were described as being “average size letter” boxes. In all three cases, the packages did not appear to have gone through any typical mail delivery service like the United States Postal Service or UPS.
12 MILES APART
The explosions occurred in different parts of East Austin. There were three in total. The blasts from today happened in a quiet neighborhood in Springdale Hills. Men in hazardous materials suits were seen at both locations regularly throughout the day.
Today’s blasts were 12 miles away from the original blast that happened on March 2. A 39-year-old man by the name of Anthony Stephan House died from the package bomb that exploded at his home. Initially, police merely listed House’s death as suspicious. After today, however, it is listed as a homicide.
Neighbors report hearing explosions and being utterly shocked that this is going on in their city:
“There was a horrible screaming,” said neighbor Keith Reynolds. “You knew something horrible was happening.”
Reynolds added that the today’s victim looked as though she was covered in holes as emergency personnel loaded her into the waiting ambulance.
Those quiet neighborhoods in Austin sure sound more like an action movie set lately. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has now offered a reward of up to $15,000 for “information leading to the identification and arrest of the person or persons involved in the deadly package blasts that have occurred in Austin over the past ten days.”
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