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UPDATE 150 Calls To Cops Deadly Package Bombs Put Austin On Edge

Issued: 2018-03-13

(CNN) — A series of deadly package bombs delivered to homes in Austin has shaken residents and cast suspicion on one of life’s common occurrences — getting a package delivered to your doorstep.

Three package bombs have exploded at homes in the Texas capital over 10 days — including two Monday — killing two people and injuring two others. Investigators say they believe the incidents are related, and residents have responded anxiously in the past day.

Austin police have received 150 calls about suspicious packages, Chief Brian Manley said Tuesday on Twitter, though police haven’t indicated any subsequent check revealing anything alarming.

The scene near Galindo Street in Austin, Texas on March 12, 2018 where a woman in her 70s was injured in an explosion. The incident was the second reported explosion on Monday and the third in two weeks.Two parcel bombs rattled the US city of Austin on Monday, March 12, 2018, ten days after a similar deadly blast, as Texas police said they were investigating the possibility that the attacks were serial hate crimes. The explosions came as Austin, the state capital and a metropolis of two million people, welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors for the massive South by Southwest entertainment and media festival.(credit: SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP/Getty Images)

Daniel Arriaga told CNN affiliate KXAN he called authorities after he found a package he wasn’t expecting for his daughter.

“I don’t want to give the package to my daughter and something happens, and I would regret it for the rest of my life,” he told the station.

Here’s what we know so far

• The first blast happened March 2, killing Anthony Stephan House, a 39-year-old African-American man.

• A bombing early Monday killed a 17-year-old African-American male, whom CNN is not naming because authorities haven’t identified him yet. A woman was also hurt in that blast with injuries not considered life-threatening, police said.

• Both House and the slain teenager are relatives of prominent members of Austin’s African-American community, The Washington Post reported. House was the stepson of Freddie Dixon, a former pastor at a historic black church in Austin, the Post said. Dixon is friends with the grandfather of the teen who was killed Monday, according to the newspaper.

• Another explosion around noon Monday severely wounded a 75-year-old Hispanic woman.

• Police have not decided if these are hate crimes but said that’s considered a possibility because the victims are African-American and Hispanic.

• The residents found the packages outside their houses, but none was delivered by the US Postal Service or delivery services such as UPS or FedEx, police said.

• The explosions were not in the immediate vicinity of the ongoing South by Southwest festival, and authorities said the bombings don’t appear connected to that event.

The blasts

The packages were placed in front of the residents’ houses, said Manley, the police chief. They appeared to be “average-sized delivery boxes, not exceptionally large,” Manley said.

The first blast on March 2 that killed House was initially regarded as an isolated incident, police said.

Then Monday, a blast was reported at 6:44 a.m., killing the teenager and injuring a woman.

“One of the residents went out front, and there was a package on the front doorstep,” Manley said. “They brought that package inside the residence, and as they opened that package, both victims were in the kitchen, and the package exploded, causing the injuries that resulted in the young man’s death and the injuries to the adult female.”

Then another blast happened hours later Monday, sending police scrambling from one crime scene to the next.


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