Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Series of Explosions Leave Victims Dead, Injured in Austin

Teen Killed When Packages Explodes at Home Woman Also Injured Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Deanna Wagner | 13 March, 2018, 06:54

Investigators believe a package bomb that killed a teenager and wounded a woman in Austin on Monday is linked to a similar bombing that killed a man elsewhere in the city this month, and they're considering whether race was a factor because all of the victims were black.

"There are similarities that we can not rule out that these two incidents are, in fact, related", Manley said.

There is no known motive at this time, but Manley said both blasts took place at homes of African-American residents so authorities "cannot rule out hate crimes".

Austin police had initially investigated House's death as suspicious, but the case has since been re-classified as a homicide, Manley said.

He added: 'It is very similar to the incident that occurred in Austin on March 2. "Every stop will be pulled out".

Governor Greg Abbott announced a $15,000 reward was being offered for information leading to the identification and arrest of the person or persons involved in the deadly package blasts.

Manley would not go into the specific details about the boxes because of the ongoing investigation but said that "they're an average-size delivery box". Authorities believe the first attack is connected to an attack that happened on March 2.

Police said at the time they believed the Haverford Drive explosion was an isolated incident, but now they believed that they are likely related.

Police say a device was concealed within, but have refused to comment further on the exact nature of the explosive.

The first call Monday came at 6:44 a.m.

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In both cases, packages were left at the doorsteps of unsuspecting Austin residents.

Following the explosions, local police warned the community to be aware of any unexpected packages. The male victim died at the hospital from his injuries.

Bomb-sniffing dogs were reportedly at the scene of the explosion Monday morning and nearby homes were evacuated.

An earlier attack Monday morning killed a 17-year-old boy who brought a package into his home and opened it. Authorities said earlier that the woman's injuries were life-threatening, but Manley says she'll survive.

"We're not ruling anything out at this point", he said.

Police say to not handle any suspicious package found on a front porch but to instead call 911 so they can inspect it. He said the U.S. Postal Service doesn't have a record of delivering a package to the Austin home where the explosion occurred Monday.

The packages that exploded on Monday were not delivered by any mainstream commercial shipping services, such as Federal Express or United Parcel Service, Manley said.

Until police find a motive or a link between victims, they're unable to rule out whether those injured or killed were the intended targets.

So it was "imperative that you come forward if you know something", he said.