Package bomb kills teenager in Texas

Authorities believe this could be linked to similar incident earlier this month

A package bomb that killed a teenager and wounded a woman Monday in Austin is probably linked to a similar bombing that killed a man elsewhere in the city this month, authorities said, and investigators are considering whether race was a factor because all of the victims were black.

Shortly after Police Chief Brian Manley announced the suspected link between Monday’s blast and a March 2 attack that killed a 39-year-old man, authorities rushed to the scene of a third explosion that badly injured a second woman.

Authorities have not said whether that blast was also caused by a package bomb or if the victim, like those hit in the two confirmed bombings, is black. Austin-Travis County EMS tweeted that the woman is in her 70s and was taken to a hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries.

Authorities urged the public to call police if they receive any unexpected packages.

The latest explosions happened during the South by Southwest music, film and technology festival, which brings about 400,000 visitors to Austin each year. The explosions happened far from the main events of the festival, and there was no immediate word from organizers about additional safety precautions being taken.

Four years ago, a driver plowed through a barricade and into festival-goers, killing four people and injuring many others. Additional security measures were taken in the aftermath, including additional policing, tougher security checks and brighter street lighting, among others.

The three explosions occurred in different parts of east Austin. Monday’s first explosion happened at a home near the city’s Windsor Park neighbourhood and about 12 miles (20 kilometres) from the home where the March 2 package bomb killed 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House. His death was initially investigated as suspicious but is now viewed as a homicide.

Monday’s second explosion — the cause of which was still being investigated — happened in the Montopolis neighbourhood, near the airport and about 5 miles south of the day’s first blast.

Manley said investigators believe the March 2 attack and Monday’s first explosion are related. In both cases, the packages were left overnight on the victims’ doorsteps and were not mailed or sent by a delivery service. He said neither the Postal Service nor private carriers such as UPS or FedEx have any record of delivering the package to the home where Monday’s explosion occurred.

“There are similarities that we cannot rule out that these two items are, in fact, related,” Manley said.

Investigators have not determined a motive for the attacks, but it is possible that the victims could have been targeted because of their race, he said.

“We don’t know what the motive behind these may be,” Manley said. “We do know that both of the homes that were the recipients of these packages belong to African-Americans, so we cannot rule out that hate crime is at the core of this.”

Special Agent Michelle Lee, a San Antonio-based spokesman for the FBI, said the agency responded to both events and was assisting Austin police, who were leading the local investigation. She said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was leading the federal investigation.

A second package was discovered near the site of the initial Monday explosion and that some residents and media members were evacuated or pushed farther from the blast site as authorities determined whether it was a bomb, Manley said.

Police did not immediately identify the teenager killed Monday. Manley said the woman who was injured in that attack is a 40-year-old woman who remains hospitalized.


Associated Press Writer David Warren in Dallas contributed to this report.

Will Weissert And Paul J. Weber, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Sunshine Valley songbird releases EP

Fifteen-year-old Ashley Pater has been singing and performing since age 9

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

Hope stylist holds hair-athon for a good cause

Shayla Ross donating all proceeds of $10 cuts to the food bank

Hope arena turns green for hockey tourney

A second attempt at green ice, with proper ice paint, after food colouring experiment last year

Project Hope celebrates first birthday

Also: lego-mania comes to town, lineup of all-female comedians entertains Friday

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Canucks snap scoreless streak but fall short in 5-3 loss to Sharks

Swiss forward Timo Meier nets two, including the game-winner, to lead San Jose

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

UPDATED: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

Most Read