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Deadly Austin, Texas, bombings likely related, police say, urging caution with packages

Roberto Villalpando, Tony Plohetski and Mark D. Wilson, Austin American-Statesman on

Published in News & Features

AUSTIN, Texas -- Two deadly package explosions in Austin in the past two weeks appear similar and related, authorities said Monday before warning residents against taking suspicious packages inside their homes.

A 17-year-old was killed and a woman in her 40s was injured in an explosion Monday inside an East Austin residence after he brought a package into their home, interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said.

The incident is being investigated by police and federal authorities, as a homicide, the chief said.

He also said that investigators are not ruling out the possibility of the explosions being a hate crime because the victims in the cases are African-American.

The U.S. Postal Service told investigators that the package did not come through their facilities, so the package was likely left by someone at the doorstep, Manley said.

Manley said authorities know what kind of explosive device was used, but they are not revealing details in order to preserve the integrity of the investigation.

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Manley said people can call 911 if they believe they have received a suspicious or unexpected package left at their homes.

"We will not tolerate this in Austin," Manley told reporters.

Federal and local investigators are still looking into the death of a man March 2 as a possible homicide after an explosion in a Northeast Austin neighborhood.

Monday's explosion has prompted investigators to immediately begin considering whether the two recent explosions are related.


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