Third Package Explosion in Austin in Two Weeks

AUSTIN (Nexstar) - After three package explosions in 10 days that have killed two people and injured two others, people living in Austin say they’re scared, concerned and being extra vigilant about their safety.

“I’m thrown off a little bit,” LaMeca Davis, who lives in the neighborhood where Monday morning’s first explosion happened. “This hits close to home.”

The first package explosion in the string of three took place on March 2 and killed Anthony Stephan House. A device exploded that morning on the front porch of his home.

A 17-year-old boy died Monday after an explosion around 6:44 a.m. that took place in the 4800 block of Oldfort Hill Drive. Chief Brian Manley with the Austin Police Department said one of the residents had taken a package inside the home and it exploded while they were trying to open it up in the kitchen.

Davis says she’s friends with the woman who was injured, who she says is the mother of the 17-year-old who died.

“It was a family home that had God in it,” she said. “They were built just like the rest of our families – pray, eat, education and all.”

The third explosion took place about five hours later, where a 75-year-old Hispanic woman walked outside her home and picked up a package she saw. Officials say it exploded when she picked it up.
Manley urged the community to speak up if they have any information or have any suspicions.

“We want the community to be aware of what’s going on, because again, based on evidence at this scene and other two scenes, this makes us think the incidents are related,” Manley said during a press conference.

The FBI, as well as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is helping with the investigation.

“We do not have a specific victimology or ideology that we have identified, so assigning a motive to this at this point is not possible based on the stage we’re at in the investigation,” Manley said. “We’re not ruling anything out at this point because when you rule something out, you limit something in the investigation and you might miss something. So at this point, we’re willing to investigate any avenue that maybe involved and behind these attacks.”

Gov. Greg Abbott is offering a reward of $15,000 to anyone who provides information leading to the identification and arrest of the suspect or suspects involved in the package blasts.

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