Police link two deadly package bombs in Austin, Texas, to earlier attack

Hannah Rogers
March 14, 2018

"We do know that both of the homes that were the recipients of these packages belong to African-Americans, so we can not rule out that hate crime is at the core of this".

The explosions happened within about 15 miles of each other.

The second blast came more than a week later, on Monday morning, and killed a 17-year-old boy. "At this time the Austin Police Department does not believe that the incidents are connected to the event".

"It shook my house and it shook my body", Isaiah Guerrero told CNN affiliate KXAN of the explosion that injured the elderly woman. 'Cause the next thing I knew, I saw ambulance with my neighbor on the stretcher.

"I want the public to be aware and cautious", Manley told reporters. "They were built just like the rest of our families - pray, eat, education and all".

The 17-year-old found a package outside his house in a tree-lined, mixed race residential area and brought it into the kitchen, where it exploded, Manley said. Police say the woman is in her 40s, but they haven't released any other information. Police say the case may be a hate crime. Investigators know the type of explosives used, how the IED devices were put together, packaged and delivered. House's death was initially investigated as suspicious but is now viewed as a homicide.

"I'm thrown off a little bit", LaMeca Davis, who lives in the neighborhood where Monday morning's first explosion happened.

Manley strongly urged residents to be on the lookout for suspicious packages and to alert authorities immediately.

Police learned of the second incident about 6:45 a.m. Monday when residents in the 4800 block of Oldfort Hill Drive, near East Martin Luther King Jr. He also said they may possibly have been left at the wrong addresses.

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That woman's injuries were not life-threatening, he said. He at first suggested that the blasts could constitute a hate crime, but later amended that to say authorities had not settled on a motive.

Both explosions Monday follow a deadly explosion at a home in Northeast Austin on Friday, March 2.

"This is the third in what we believe to be related incidents over the past 10 days", Police Chief Brian Manley said during a press briefing on Monday.

Neighbours say they are shocked by a second explosion at an Austin home on Monday.

Manley said the U.S. Postal Service confirmed that its carriers had not delivered the package in Monday's explosion.

"We will respond", Manley said.

The two victims killed in the explosions are relatives of prominent members of Austin's African American community, the Washington Post reports. "We can not rule out that hate crime is at the core of this but we are not saying that that is the cause", Austin Police Chief Brian Manley told a news conference.

Authorities have looked at connections between the victims themselves as they investigate the three explosions at three homes, which have killed two people and seriously injured two others.

All residents of Austin should be careful about packages, Manley said. The national office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is sending a team.

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