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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.

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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.”

The bomb that took place on March 18 was the first to break from any type of pattern (such as doorstep deliveries) and was left on the roadside in the Travis County neighborhood of southwest Austin, considered relatively upscale. Two white males, ages 22 and 23, walking alongside the road, were seriously injured when the bomb detonated. Despite the variance from the theme, investigators in Austin maintain that the bombings are all connected, and hundreds of federal agents have since become involved in this investigation.

Austin Under Siege: 5 Bombs Have Detonated in 19 Days

Photo: Facebook/Buzzz

And, today, March 20, what has been described as “a single package” detonated at a FedEx ground sorting facility in Schertz, Texas, and injuring a FedEx employee, is believed to be related to the Austin bombing incidents, according to an FBI San Antonio spokeswoman. If this is the case, it would be the first of these explosive devices to actually have been shipped. An FBI agent also told media outlets that the package was being sent from Austin and was headed to an Austin address. The agent identified that this means “it’s more than possible” the package was subsequently related to the recent bombs that have occurred in Austin over recent days. A federal official has referred to this last incident as likely being linked, and the investigation remains ongoing.