Package bombs kill 1, injure 2 in Texas
Two package bomb blasts a few miles apart killed a teenager and wounded two women in Austin on Monday, less than two weeks after a similar attack left a man dead in another part of the Texas capital.
Investigators said the bombings are probably connected, and they are looking into whether race was a factor because all of the victims were minorities. The blasts unfolded just as the city was swelling with visitors to the South By Southwest music festival.
The first of Monday’s attacks killed a 17-year-old boy and wounded a 40-year-old woman, both of them black. As Police Chief Brian Manley held a news conference to discuss that attack, authorities were called to the scene of another explosion that injured a 75-year-old Hispanic woman. She was taken to a hospital with potentially life-threatening wounds.
Authorities suspect that both of Monday’s explosions were linked to a March 2 attack that killed a 39-year-old black man. All three blasts happened as the packages were opened, and officials urged the public to call police if they receive any unexpected packages.
“This is the third in what we believe to be related incidents over the past 10 days,” Manley said while briefing reporters near the site of Monday’s second explosion. 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.
“We are not ruling anything out at this point,” said Manley, who said the intended targets were not clear since multiple people live in the homes where explosives were placed. “We are willing to investigate any avenue that may be involved.”
The police chief refused to provide many details about how the explosives were packaged, citing the ongoing investigation. But he said they were an “average-size letter box” and “not particularly large.”