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Austin Under Siege: 5 Bombs Have Detonated in 19 Days

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Putting Austin on edge, five bombings have occurred in the city over the past 19 days, leaving Texas authorities to believe that all of them are related, despite variances to their signature. A pattern first appeared in that the first three bombs were left on porches or doorsteps, killing or injuring minorities. The fourth was left in a predominantly white neighborhood, on the side of the road (thought to have been activated by a tripwire), while the fifth was triggered at a FedEx sorting facility, approximately one hour’s drive from the city.

Austin police are presently warning the public not to take any chances, advising that if something appears suspicious – a backpack, box, or package – don’t approach it. Instead, notify the authorities. A six-figure reward has been offered by Austin police for any information which might lead to an arrest in these bombings, which have claimed the lives of two people.

Suspecting that all instances are related, investigators have identified that the first bomb occurred on March 2 and was reported at approximately 6:55 a.m., north of Austin, in the Harris Ridge neighborhood. Noted as being a pipe bomb, powerful, and left in an average-sized delivery box, this would remain the motif for the first three bombings. Anthony Stephan House lost his life due to his injuries as a result of opening the package in this incident.

Austin Under Siege: 5 Bombs Have Detonated in 19 Days
Photo: Facebook/Dennis Lee

March 12 saw the detonation of two bombs – one at 6:44 a.m. in the city’s East MLK neighborhood, and a midday explosion in southeast Austin, in the Montopolis neighborhood, just a few miles away from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The first bomb took the life of 17-year-old Draylen Mason, a promising African-American student who played stand-up bass in a youth orchestra and was currently taking college classes while attending high school. His mother was also injured in that blast. The second bomb badly injured a 75-year-old Hispanic woman, leaving authorities open to the possibility of hate crimes. Austin Police Chief Brian Manley was quoted saying, “We believe that the recent explosive incidents that have occurred in the city of Austin were meant to send a message.”

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