People just assumed the packages found outside their doors were left by a professional delivery service, so they picked them up to bring the box inside their homes. However, the boxes exploded, killing two in three separate incidents. These exploding packages were dropped off in the middle of the night, and in the three instances, the people who attempted to open them did so in the morning. All three explosions happened within 16 miles of each other, according to Fox News on Tuesday.
According to CNN, these deadly package bombings have left the people in Austin, Texas, on edge. The police chief in Austin, Brian Manley, said in a news briefing that they believe the three box bombs are related, as they appear to be the work of the same person or persons.
Three package bombs have exploded in the last 10 days in the capital city of Texas, all found on the doorstep of homes. It is not known if the victims were targeted, but police did find a link between two of them during the investigation.
According to the Washington Post, “the two victims killed in the explosions are relatives of prominent members of Austin’s African American community.” The first bombing victim, Stephen House, 39, is the stepson of a former pastor from a “historic black church in Austin.” Dixon is friends with the grandfather of the victim killed by the second box bomb, a teenager whose name has not been released, reports CNN.
The third box bomb was delivered to a 75-year-old Hispanic woman, who is in the hospital from her injuries when a box delivered to her home exploded. She is identified by relatives as Esperanza Herrera. Her mother, Maria Moreno, suffered minor injuries in that blast. So far, there have been no links found between Herra and the other victims of the bombings.
Manley did say they have not discovered a motive for these bombs, and he didn’t say if anyone has claimed responsibility for these fatal events. Manley described the bombs coming in “box-type deliveries,” which has the city’s residents worried today.
These box bombs are sophisticated work and not the work of a novice, which is what Manley conveyed to the press this morning. The delivery system itself is sophisticated as well, said Manley. The person responsible for these box bombings was able to assemble, transport, and deliver the box to the home while keeping the bomb intact.
The boxes were “average-sized delivery boxes, not exceptionally large,” reports the police chief. He described how, in one incident, the package was found out in front of the house and brought inside the home to be opened. As they opened the package in the kitchen of the home, the bomb in the box exploded. A young man died as a result of this explosion, and an adult female was injured.
In another incident, the 75-year-old resident of the home only picked up the package on her porch, causing the box to explode before getting it into the house. She is in the hospital in critical but stable condition today.
The first package dates back to March 2, where Stephen House, 39, was killed when the package delivered to his home exploded. This was thought to be an isolated incident at the time, but now with two more exploding bombs inside delivered boxes, police believe they are all linked.
The second bomb went off earlier in the day on Monday, killing a teenager and injuring an adult. Later on Monday, right before noon, another box exploded, injuring the 75-year-old woman.
While the residents found these packages outside their home, none were delivered by professional delivery services such as FedEx, UPS, or the U.S. Mail, said Manley.
Police in Austin warned residents to be careful of packages left on their doorstep if you are not expecting a delivery they don’t want you to open the package. The Washington Post reports that the Austin Police Department has received 63 suspicious package calls on Monday after they warned residents to not open any unexpected deliveries.
According to the Washington Post, “Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said his office is offering a $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible for the “atrocious attacks.”