Monday, 18 June, 2018

Deadly Bombs Concealed in Packages Spark Investigation in Austin, Texas

The scene of a deadly package bomb explosion in East Austin The scene of a deadly package bomb explosion in East Austin
Jay Anderson | 14 March, 2018, 00:37

The packages were not delivered by the postal service or delivery services like UPS or FedEx, he said.

A Monday morning explosion killed a 17-year-old African-American boy and also injured a woman at the house.

No motive has been given for the blasts - two of which took place on Monday following one on March 2 - when parcels left in front of residences in three separate neighbourhoods exploded.

"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, but we are not saying that that's the cause", he said. The police chief refused to provide many details about how the explosives were packaged, citing the ongoing investigation.

Police Chief Brian Manley said at a news conference that the latest bombing injured a 75-year-old Hispanic woman. She is in critical, but stable, condition.

On Monday (Tuesday NZT), authorities reclassified the death of Anthony Stephan House, 39, who was killed in the first package bombing, from suspicious to homicide.

"It's just a regular family neighborhood", Reynolds said. Austin Police tweeted that they were responding to another explosion in the Montopolis area of the city.

Manley would only say that "these are very powerful devices" and "there's a certain level of skill required to move a device like this".

The police narrative of an isolated explosion suddenly shifted Monday when a pair of blasts went off.

Asked if they were considering it a hate crime, Manley said, "We're keeping our focus as wide as possible so that we don't miss something by focusing too narrowly".




The City of Austin is on edge as two incidents happened Monday.

"We do not know yet whether the victims are the intended targets", he said, adding that some homes had multiple residents and the bomber may have also targeted the wrong addresses.

"It shook my house and it shook my body", Isaiah Guerrero told CNN affiliate KXAN of the explosion that injured the elderly woman. The woman received minor injuries.

Festival organizers did not immediately say whether they would be taking extra precautions.

"I want the public to be aware and cautious", Manley told reporters.

"It shook my house and it shook my body", said Isaiah Guerrero, who says he was in his room when he heard the explosion.

In the awake of the explosions, Texas governor's office is offering a reward of up to 15,000 USA dollars for any information that leads to the arrest or identification of those involved.

FBI agents from Dallas are now joining agents from Austin and San Antonio in the investigation.

Chief Manley said anyone receiving a package they were not expecting should call 911. Of the hundreds of calls, APD said nothing suspicious was found. The agency said it was sending members of its National Response Team (NRT) to help with the investigation. "The ATF explosive specialists and their laboratory are quite adept at recovering evidence that frequently can lead to determining the components of the device".

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