Teen killed in Austin package explosion; may be related to recent case

The fatal blast is the second this month in the central Texas city.

The investigation into that explosion was "still very active", a police department employee said in a phone call.

Tips should be submitted to Texas Crime Stoppers by phone, text, mobile app or online, the governor's office said. Organizers of the festival, which brings about 400,000 people every year, are urging those visiting Austin, "if you see something, say something".

Two explosions occurred in Austin Monday, March 12.

Shortly before noon, the elderly woman was injured after a retrieving a box that had been left on her porch, police said. "There's no reason to believe that you are at any greater risk other than be aware, look for things that are suspicious".

"There are similarities that we can not rule out that these two items are, in fact, related", Manley said at the news conference. "It is now being reclassified and is now a homicide investigation as well".

"We cannot rule [out] that hate crime is at the core of this, but we're not saying that's the cause as well", he said.

Police didn't immediately identify the teenager killed on Monday.

Nelson Linder, president of the NAACP of Austin, said the person injured in the third explosion was not African-American. Manley said the woman who was injured in that attack is hospitalized.

Dianna DeLafuente said that she heard today's second blast at a neighbor's house. Her husband, Norman Mason, is a well-known dentist in the East Austin area and a longtime mentor to black student athletes at the University of Texas. A woman in her 80s is reportedly being treated for an "unrelated medical issue".

Authorities have not said whether the most recent explosion was caused by a package bomb like the one that exploded earlier Monday.

The twin bombings followed an initial blast on 2 March, when a 39-year-old man was killed - also after opening a parcel bomb.

Monday's second explosion occurred about five miles south of the day's first blast. It's not known if the victims knew each other or if they were targeted, he said.

Police say the packages were not left by the Postal Service or delivery services.

The latest attack took place on Monday morning in the Texas state capital, killing a 17-year-old boy and injuring an adult female living in the same home.

A 39-year-old man was killed in the March 2 attack.

In each of the three attacks, a cardboard package was left at the front of a private residence and exploded after an unwitting victim picked it up or tried to open it, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley told reporters.

She is a 75-year-old woman and is listed in critical but stable condition, Manley said.

The FBI and the ATF are also investigating.

"We will not tolerate this in Austin", the police chief said.

The package detonated early Monday.

"They're not going to let this slide", Philips said.

The three blasts happened in different parts of east Austin, and House's death was initially investigated as suspicious, Manley said. The city, especially the affected neighborhoods, are on edge waiting on word of any suspects or possible motives.

  • Leroy Wright