Police Link 3 Deadly Home-Delivery Package Explosions in Austin
- Author: Rogelio Becker Mar 13, 2018,
Mar 13, 2018, 4:14
A second explosion rocked Austin, Texas, hours after an earlier blast, which was apparently caused by a package left on a porch, killed a teen and injured a woman.
Two explosions happened in Austin on Monday morning.
Austin-Travis County EMS said a 17-year-old boy died at the scene and a woman was taken to a hospital after a package exploded Monday morning.
It is not clear whether or not the victims were the intended recipients of the explosive packages, but earlier Monday, prior to the third explosion, Manley said he is not limiting the scope of the investigation.
Police also have not decided if these are hate crimes, but said that's a real possibility of the victims' races. The elderly woman injured Monday afternoon suffered life-threatening injuries, Manly said.
He warned residents to watch out for unexpected boxes left outside their homes, without picking them up, and to report anything suspicious to police. The first blast happened March 2.
Austin police Chief Brian Manley said at a news conference that all explosions occurred when the victims went outside their homes and picked up the packages from their front doorstep.
"Based on evidence that we have at this scene, as well as at the other two scenes where we've had these explosions, this evidence makes us believe that these incidents are related", he told reporters.
The March 2 incident, initially investigated as a suspicious death but now considered a homicide, occurred at a house in the city's wealthy Harris Ridge neighbourhood, about 12 miles northeast of downtown.
"It's not time to panic, but it's time to be vigilant and it's time to pay attention, it's time to come together as a city and solve this", Manley said.
The governor's office announced a reward of $15,000 for information leading to the identification and arrest of the person or people involved in these explosions.
Federal investigators are helping police.
He says the package that exploded Monday and the one that detonated on March 2 had been left on the front doorsteps and were not delivered by a mail service.
"Under no circumstances should you touch them, move them or handle them in any way", he said.
"That case was being investigated as a suspicious death", Manley said today.
Due to a high level of calls, Manley noted that it may take officers a little while to arrive, but he said "we will respond". Police said they had no indication it was related to terrorism.
In the awake of the explosions, Texas governor's office is offering a reward of up to 15,000 US dollars for any information that leads to the arrest or identification of those involved. 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.