Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Three package bombings in Texas are linked, police say; two people killed

Three package bombings in Texas are linked, police say; two people killed

Investigators quickly realized that the bombings strongly resembled a March 2 case involving a package that exploded and killed a man in his northeast Austin home.

After two more explosions happened Monday, police were criticized for not warning Austin residents to be on the lookout for suspicious packages.

Investigators have not determined a motive for the attacks, but it is possible that the victims could have been targeted due to their race, he said. However, they backed off initial suggestions that hate crimes could be a core cause.

The attacks unfolded as tens of thousands of visitors arrived for the busiest days of South By Southwest.

"This again is the third in what we believe to be related incidents over the past 10 days", Austin police chief Brian Manley told a news conference.

The chief said earlier that investigators were considering whether the attacks could be race-related because the first three victims were all black.

Austin Police are asking residents to call 911 if they receive a package they are not expecting. Manley said the woman who was injured in that attack is hospitalized.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley told Austin station KXAN that the suspect or suspects have been able to construct and deliver the bombs without setting them off, and that the bombs only detonate when handled by their victims. Police say this may indicate that the package bombings are hate crimes.

"They're not going to let this slide", Philips said.

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

The packages don't appear to have been sent through traditional delivery services such as the U.S. Postal Service or United Parcel Service and were left without ringing the bell, said Manley, who declined to give details about the explosive devices but suggested they came in cardboard boxes. But he said they were an "average-size letter box" and "not particularly large".

Manley took to social media on Monday to advise Austin residents not to open unexpected or suspicious-looking packages. "There's no reason to believe that you are at any greater risk other than be aware, look for things that are suspicious".

Four years ago, a driver plowed through a barricade and into festival-goers, killing four people and injuring many others. Extra security measures were taken, including additional policing, tougher security checks and brighter street lighting.

Authorities say 17-year-old Draylen Mason was killed Monday by an explosive left on his doorstep. He saw a cloud of hazy smoke and people running to help.

"There was a terrible screaming". Adler said it is still too early to know the motive.

There was nothing obvious linking the three areas where the bombs exploded, other than all were east of Interstate 35 that divides the city.

Monday's first blast happened at a home in Springdale Hills, a leafy neighborhood of houses mostly from the 1960s and 1970s.

Authorities suspect that both of Monday's explosions were linked to a March 2 attack that killed a 39-year-old black man.

Monday's second explosion - the cause of which was still being investigated - happened in the Montopolis neighborhood, near the airport and about 5 miles south of the day's first blast. "It's just a grandmother, you know what I mean?"

Keith Reynolds, who lives near the site of Monday's second blast, said he rushed outside his house after hearing what he thought was a propane explosion. "Somebody put a bomb!" said Rendon, 77.

FBI teams from Austin, San Antonio and Dallas were investigating as was the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

A 17-year-old boy was killed and a woman in her 40s was injured.

Like this: