Police and federal investigators in Austin, Texas are searching for answers about the three packages that have exploded in homes this month, killing two people and seriously injuring two others.
Austin police chief Brian Manley told KXAN News that whoever is putting these packages together has a high level of skill.
They put “these bombs together; they’re transporting them to their intended location; and then actually … detonating them…So there’s a certain level of skill and sophistication that whoever is doing this has, and … we are hoping to use the evidence we have to track them down based on what we are seeing on all three scenes that seem to be consistent.”
My prayers are with the families of those that lost their life or injured during the three explosions. The investigation into the incidents is ongoing. As of this morning at 5 a.m. #AustinPD has received 150 calls about suspicious packages.
— Chief Brian Manley (@chief_manley) March 13, 2018
According to CNN, both people killed by these packages were relatives of prominent figures in Austin’s African American community. The first explosion, which occurred March 2, killed Anthony Stephan House, a 39-year-old African American man. The second killed a 17-year-old African American man who has not yet been named. The third explosion, which occurred Monday, severely wounded a 75-year-old Hispanic woman. This crime has not been ruled a hate crime, but based on the demographic of the victims, there’s a chance that it will be.
The residents found the packages outside of their houses, but the police say that no packages were delivered by the US Postal Service or delivery services like FedEx or UPS. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton took to Twitter to warn those in the Austin area to be careful with unexpected packages. “Call 911 immediately if you receive something suspicious,” he said.
Manley said on Twitter that Austin police have received about 150 calls regarding suspicious packages, though police haven’t said that any subsequent check has revealed any illegal activity.
Texas governor Greg Abbott is offering a $15,000 reward for anyone offering information about those responsible for these attacks.