Two parcel bombs rattled the United States city of Austin on Monday, 10 days after a similar deadly blast, as Texas police said they were investigating the possibility of serial hate crimes against African Americans.
Chief Manley said the first two blasts happened at the homes of African-Americans so officials “cannot rule out hate crimes”.
At that time, police said they believed the explosion was an isolated incident and not linked to any kind of terrorist attack.
The special agent Michelle Lee, a San Antonio-based spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said the agency “responded to both events” and was assisting Austin police, who were taking the lead on investigating. “Every stop will be pulled out”.
Governor Greg Abbott offered a United States $15,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Austin police and Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services are responding to a second reported explosion in the Austin-area Monday, and now the Mayor of Austin and the Austin police chief are warning residents not to open suspicious packages. A man was killed in a different Austin neighborhood on March 2 after the explosion of what police called “a device”.
While he did not release details of what evidence was recovered, he said investigators knew the type of explosive device used. A 17-year-old male and an “adult female” found a package on their doorstep and opened it inside their kitchen.
Neighbour Keith Reynolds heard what sounded to him like a propane explosion. Police say the teen died at the scene, while the woman was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The victim in the latest incident is Hispanic, Manley said.
The first of Monday’s attacks killed a 17-year-old man and wounded a 40-year-old woman, both of them black.
“And she picked up that package and at that point, the explosion – the box – detonated”, Manley said. “I would say we should be very cautious”.
Now, they found “similarities that they can not rule out … these incidents are in face related”.
“We will not tolerate this in Austin”, Manley said.
– Police also have not decided if these are hate crimes, but said that’s a possibility because of the victims’ races.
Speaking to reporters hours after a package exploded at an Austin home, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus warned San Antonio residents to take caution with suspicious packages. All three of the packages were apparently left at the doorstep and were not delivered through the postal service or another carrier service, according to Manley. Police initially were concerned about a second package at the home, but have since cleared it and believe it to be unrelated, Manley said.
The first of three explosions involving explosive packages happened 10 days ago, March 2. “They called me. From that shop, law enforcement throughout the country, when these things happen, talk to one another”, Acevedo said.
“Enjoy yourself. Have a good time, ” he said.
Later Monday a second explosion was reported in the 6700 block of Galindo Street in East Austin. The police have warned citizens against opening odd packages.