Austin PD discusses bombings, Governor offers reward

Marsha Scott
March 13, 2018

A 75-year-old woman was killed after picking up an exploding package outside her Southeast Austin home on Monday in the second blast reported in the city and the third similar incident in two weeks, Austin police said.

In Monday's suspected attacks, a package bomb killed a 17-year-old youth and injured a woman at their Austin home. Police are investigating whether or not the explosion is linked to another deadly explosion on March 2 when a man was killed at another residence. Per CNN, Austin Police have determined that the targeted properties are all owned by African-Americans, and they're therefore trying to determine whether these are a hate crimes.

The investigation into that explosion was "still very active", a police department employee said in a phone call.

Police do not believe that the packages are being delivered by "any of the official mail services" including the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, UPS or DHL, Manley said.

During a press conference this afternoon, Police Chief Brian Manley confirmed that APD believes the incidents are related and is asking residents to be hypervigilant of unexpected and/or unmarked packages.

The blast occurred at a home on the 4800 block of Oldfort Hill Drive.

Police were called to the home in Austin at 6.45am following reports of the explosion. A woman in her seventies was taken to Dell Medical Center with potentially life-threatening injuries, the Austin-Travis County EMS reported.

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"We are praying and thinking of her through her recovery in this incident", Manley said.

"We are not going to tolerate this in Austin", Manley said while briefing reporters on the explosion.

Austin police chief Brian Manley said via Twitter than residents should immediately call 911 if they receive a suspicious delivery. The Office of the Governor's Criminal Justice Division is offering a reward of up to $15,000 for information leading to the identification and arrest of the suspect or suspects involved. Investigators have not come up with a motive, and he did not say if anybody has claimed responsibility. Investigators said it was possible that the victims were targeted due to their race.

The fatal blast is the second this month in the central Texas city. The explosions were not in the immediate vicinity of the festival and authorities say the bombings don't appear connected to the festival.

Four years ago, a driver plowed through a barricade and into festival-goers, killing four people and injuring many others.

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms said a national response team would join Austin police in the investigation. "But we are not making any assumptions", Chief Manley stated.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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