Police In Austin, Texas, Believe Deadly Package Explosions Are Linked

Glen Norman
March 14, 2018

A package bomb left on a doorstep in Austin killed a man March 2. Police said they have reclassified that investigation as a homicide, and believe it is connected to the latest two explosions.

"There's a certain level of skill and sophistication that whoever is doing this has", Manley said.

Manley said authorities know what kind of explosive devices were used, but they are not revealing details to preserve the integrity of the investigation. "We will not allow this to go on in our city".

To facilitate the Austin investigators, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting the authorities in the city.

"I don't understand it, I just don't understand it", one resident said. "Until we find who committed this act, it is appropriate for residents to be concerned".

On Monday, March 12, Austin police responded to two explosions in different parts of town. Manley said additional officials from Washington were en route to Austin.

In a statement Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott offered condolences to the victims.

The March 2 blast that killed House was reported about 6:55 a.m.in the 1000 block of Haverford Drive.

Still, the connection between those two slain victims - a black teenage boy and a black 39-year-old man - has prompted their relatives to wonder whether race or their ties played some role in the bombing. A neighbor, Brandon Rendon, told Reuters the victim was in a wheelchair watering her grass before the blast occurred.

Police Chief Brian Manley said Monday that investigators hope to collect surveillance video from nearby homes to identify a suspect. He also repeated that detectives are unsure of the bomber's motivation. Investigators haven't released information about the device or possible suspects. "Get out of the house!'" Ms Samarripa said.

The packages that exploded on Monday were not delivered by any mainstream commercial shipping services, such as FedEx or United Parcel Service, Manley has said.

Police initially investigated a second package they found in the home and evacuated neighbors from the area using Capital Metro buses, but later determined the second package was not unsafe.

House's family has declined to comment. The callers told police that there was a victim injured in an explosion. Neighbors report hearing a house-shaking #explosion.

That woman's injuries were not life-threatening, he said.

An explosion that killed a teen in Austin is believed to be linked to another deadly blast in the city this month.

The ATF's involvement ramped up Monday with the second and third explosions. A cardboard box had also been left in front of her house. The woman survived the blast and was rushed to the hospital.

Keith Reynolds lives near the site of Monday's second blast and said he heard what sounded like a propane explosion. "I'm still scared. I'm still shaking". Just hours later, a 75-year-old woman was critically hurt handling a package at her home. The agency said it was sending members of its National Response Team (NRT) to help with the investigation. Authorities haven't said whether that explosion was also caused by a bomb.

"Anytime you have an explosion or a fire, most people would assume that the evidence is either burned up or destroyed, but a surprising amount of evidence can be located", Key said. But he said it's not clear the victims knew each other directly, or if they were specifically targeted.

"There's going to be a triggering mechanism of some type".

But while the two explosions on Monday coincided with SXSW, which brings about 400,000 visitors to the Texan capital each year, they happened far away from any events. "He made friends easily and will be missed", he said. But he said they were an "average-size letter box" and "not particularly large".

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