Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Austin package bombs might be linked to other deadly attack

Austin package bombs might be linked to other deadly attack

Two package bombs exploded miles apart in the capital city of Texas on Monday, killing a teenager and injuring two women in attacks that Austin police linked to a deadly blast earlier this month.

- The bombs killed a 39-year-old African-American man on March 2, killed a 17-year-old African-American male early Monday morning, and severely injured a 75-year-old Hispanic woman midday Monday.

"We can not rule out that hate crime is at the core of this but we are not saying that that is the cause", Austin Police Chief Brian Manley told a news conference.

In both cases, the packages apparently were delivered overnight and found in the morning, Manley said. Police said they have reclassified that investigation as a homicide, and have connected it to the latest two explosions.

Investigators do not yet know the motive behind the bombings, but the chief said, "We do know that both of the homes that were the recipients of these packages belonged to African Americans, so we can not rule out that hate crime is at the core of this, but we're not saying that that's the cause".

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Police said they are working in partnership with the FBI, ATF, and the United States Postal Service to determine who's behind the package explosions.

Police were processing the scene at the first Monday explosion when the second occurred.

Monday's second explosion - the cause of which was still being investigated - happened in the Montopolis neighbourhood, near the airport and about 5 miles south of the day's first blast. Packages should not be touched; instead, Manley said to "go to the back of the residence and stay there" until law enforcement arrives to clear the area.

Manley said that the APD has received offers from other agencies should police need extra force as many officers are being utilized for the South by Southwest festival. Another woman in her 80s experienced an unrelated medical issue, but did not require hospitalization.

The female's injuries were not life-threatening, he said. Following the second explosion hours later, he said authorities had not settled on a motive and could not rule anything out.

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The victims in Monday's blasts were not immediately identified.

If you receive a package you are not expecting and do not recognize the sender or something doesn't seem right, call 911.

Correction: A previous headline for this story on the CNN app incorrectly stated that the explosive packages were connected to the South By Southwest Interactive Festival, now taking place in Austin. Police say the teen died at the scene, while the woman was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Investigators say it appears the packages have been placed on porches rather than being left by a delivery driver.

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