Texas law enforcement is on the hunt for a serial bomber in Austin, the bomber constructs and sends exploding packages through non-traditional mail services, which detonates upon being opened. So far the bomber has struck on three separate occasions, in three different locations, with three different package bombs, all within a two-week span. The results of these bombings have led to the death of two innocent people, as well as injuring two others.
Austin Package Explosions
→3 separate explosions
•Location: Southeast Side
•Woman in her 70s is injured
•Location: Windsor Park
•Teen (17) is killed
•Woman (40) is injured
•Location: Northeast side
•Man (39) is killed https://t.co/XfSSyfS9ZI
— Fox News Research (@FoxNewsResearch) March 12, 2018
Austin investigators and FBI officials have determined that the exploding packages that were constructed and left on victim’s door steps, were manufactured with a “certain level of skill.” Specifically meaning, it takes a person with advanced skills in the field to assemble a bomb with such killing capacity, as well as possessing the ability to detonate the explosive upon a person opening the package.
“What we do know is that the individual or individuals involved in this, these suspects, they do have a certain level of skill to be able to construct a device like this and then deliver that device to your target without having it explode, either during construction, or during delivery, does take a certain level of sophistication,” Said Austin Police Chief Manley.
Scene from this morning's package bombing in East Austin. Oldfort Hill Dr. taped off as FBI and APD investigate. pic.twitter.com/Y8kUbdJRdQ
— Austin Chronicle (@AustinChronicle) March 12, 2018
The serial bomber’s first exploding package of the day came on Monday, March 12th at approximately 6:44 a.m. The victim was a 17 year old African American boy, he found the package on his door step, carried it into his house and placed it on his kitchen table. The boy opened the package which then detonated the explosive leading to his death. The blast injured a 40 year old women in the house as well, she was also an African American.
Just hours later, law enforcement was alerted about a second explosion from a mail package. The package was designed with the same technique as the first, detonating upon opening the package. The explosion seriously wounded a 75 year old Hispanic women, she was rushed directly to the hospital and is in critical condition.
The Austin law enforcement, along with FBI officials, believe that these explosions can be directly correlated to the previous March 2nd bombing in Austin, that resulted in the death of a 39 year old African American man. Investigators are looking into whether these strings of bombings have been related to race, so far every victim being a minority.
— AP Central U.S. (@APCentralRegion) March 12, 2018
All of these package bombings have not occurred in the same general area, but do have something in common. Each bombing has occurred East of Interstate 35, which acts as a dividing line through the city. The East side of Austin is generally known to house a higher population of minority’s, along with being known as a less wealthy area than Austin’s West side.
The bombings in Austin Texas have proceeded while thousands of visitors continue to shuffle into the city for the extremely popular South by Southwest music festival. Police have already advised visitors of the festival to be vigilant of their surrounding, and report any suspicious activity. Austin residents have also been urged to pay attention to mail deliveries, and have been advised to not open any packages they are not expecting.
Austin package bombs timeline:
🔴1st March 2nd kills 39yo Anthony House
🔴2nd March 12th kills 17yo & injured adult female (in hospital)
🔴3rd March 12th injured 75yo Hispanic woman (critical condition)
Chief @chief_manley asking community to be vigilant pic.twitter.com/VZhQV3al9s
— Mayra Moreno ABC13 (@MayraABC13) March 12, 2018