This week’s attacks killed a 17-year-old boy in an early Monday morning blast as he handled the package.
Another blast occurred about five hours later at a home about 8 km southeast of the first explosion. The package, which was not delivered by any mail services, reportedly exploded in the kitchen.
It comes as hundreds of thousands of visitors descend on the city for the South By Southwest music, film and technology festival. Police said festivalgoers weren’t at risk but should be aware of what’s happening.
“Similar to the other two incidents, the victim came outside and found a package, picked it up and the box detonated”, Chief Brian Manley told a press conference. On March 2, 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House was killed when a suspicious package exploded at his home; authorities are now investigating whether the incidents might be related.
The chief said earlier that investigators were considering whether the attacks could be race-related because the first three victims were all black.
Manley stated that the package attacks were both directed at African-Americans, raising the possibility of a hate crime. A woman also was injured in the Monday morning blast. A 17-year-old boy died from his injuries in the blast. Though he did not say festival goers should be overly anxious, he stressed the importance of “if you see something, say something”.
The NRT works with other investigators to reconstruct scenes and determine what caused the fires or explosions; in cases involving bombings, the team also searches for evidence to be used in any prosecution that may follow. A second woman from that address has been hospitalized with an unrelated medical issue.
One person died in the first explosion on March 2.
Three package bombs that exploded in Austin, Texas, over 10 days – killing a teenager and a 39-year-old man and critically injuring an elderly woman – appear to be connected, police said Monday. Authorities are searching nearby homes for any external video cameras that may be able to offer clues. She was reported to be in critical condition with life-threatening injuries.
Heavy talked with Norrell Waynewood, a man identifies himself as House’s brother. Police are telling people not to open packages they aren’t expecting and to instead call 911. The FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are jointly investigating the incidents with APD.
Joanna Samarripa, who lives around the corner, said she saw a woman slumped in the doorway of the home after rushing over moments after the explosion.
APD is asking anyone with information to contact them.
Monday’s blasts were in homes about four miles (6 km) apart in east Austin, while the March 2 incident occurred at a house in the city’s northeast Harris Ridge neighborhood, about 12 miles from downtown.