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Multiple Package Explosions in Austin Seem to Be Connected
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Summary: Austin, Texas has experienced multiple explosions from packages left on home doorsteps, which are now believed to be related.

Austin police now believe that a string of explosive packages are related. Two people have died within 10 days from opening a package that then exploded once opened. The first explosion on March 2 killed a 39-year-old African American man. The second blast Monday morning killed a 17-year-old African American boy and injured an older woman also at the residence. There is a report of a possible third explosion.

  
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Austin Police Chief Brian Manley explained that the packages had been left on the front doorsteps at both homes but were not linked to a specific carrier. A motive behind the explosions is not yet known, but since African Americans lived in both homes, they are not ruling out a hate crime. Manley said, “We are looking at these incidents as being related based on similarities that we have seen and the initial evidence that we have on hand here.”

The police were called to the 4800 block of Oldfort Hill Drive for an explosion and two injured people. When they arrived at the home, they found that the explosion happened in the kitchen of the home and the boy had died from his injuries. KVUE reported that the EMS took a woman in her 40s to Dell Seton Medical Center.

Neighbors on both sides of the home were evacuated as a precaution until they were confident that there was not a second package. The FBI, Austin Fire Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosive are involved in the investigation. ATF is processing any evidence from the first explosion in its lab and will start processing evidence from the second explosion as it arrives at the lab.

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Austin residents are urged to be cautious of packages on their doorsteps. Manley stated to CNN that both packages were left during the night with the victims finding them in the morning outside their door. “If you find any suspicious packages on your front porch, at your residence, call 911. And let us come out and take a look at those packages and ensure that they are safe,” Manley added.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted, “With three reported explosions in the Austin area, I want to urge all Texans to report any suspicious or unexpected packages arriving by mail to local law enforcement authorities. Call 9-1-1 immediately if you receive something suspicious.”



Manley stated, “We are not going to tolerate this in Austin, and you have seen every stop will be pulled out…the federal agencies are with us to lend us a hand and to bring this to as quick a resolution as possible.”

Anthony Stephan House was the March 2 victim. The identity of boy killed in Monday morning’s blast has not been released.

Do think this could be a hate crime? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about hate crimes, read these articles:

Photo: shutterstock.com



 

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