Blasts occurred on Monday just miles, and hours, apart, killing one person and injuring two others in Austin, Texas. The residents of the homes found a package outside their door that contained a powerful explosive device.
The police believe those attacks are connected to a deadly blast at another nearby Austin home on March 2.
The Austin interim police chief, Brian Manley, held two news conferences on Monday, one after each explosion, warning residents not to touch, move or handle any unexpected or suspicious packages. “Call 911,” he said. “It’s appropriate for residents to be concerned.”
The investigation is in its early stages but “we do see similarities” among the three explosions, Chief Manley said.
The motives, though, are not yet known, and Chief Manley emphasized that the police are not ruling out any motive that links the cases. “We are willing to investigate any avenue,” he said, including the possibility of the attacks being hate-related, since the March 2 victim and the early morning victims on Monday were African-Americans. The victim in the second bombing of the day was Hispanic.
The earlier explosion Monday, which occurred on Oldfort Hill Drive, was reported by neighbors at 6:44 a.m., and the police and emergency services personnel arrived shortly after. They found the two injured victims: a 17-year-old boy, who later died, and a woman, whose injuries were not thought to be life-threatening. The package had been taken inside, where it exploded.
At 11:50 a.m., the Austin Police Department started to receive reports of a second explosion on nearby Galindo Street.
Similar to the earlier episode, the victim, this time a 75-year-old woman, came outside, found a package, picked it up and it exploded. Her injuries were significant, and she was in critical but stable condition as of Monday afternoon.
A $15,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for Austin package bombings, Gov. Greg Abbott announced in a statement on Monday , adding that “the State of Texas will provide any resources necessary to ensure the safety of our citizens, and quickly bring those guilty to justice.”