Austin, Texas is on edge after three separate explosions occurred in the city this month. Authorities believe that the explosions, in which two were killed and three injured, are connected. Austin is currently hosting a major music and technology festival. Here’s what’s known about the explosion and the victims.
Austin on High Alert
Austin police briefed the press on March 12 in connection with three separate instances of package explosions in the city. The explosions occurred in residences and police have warned citizens to stay away from suspicious packages.
Two fatalities have been reported in the explosions: A 17-year-old boy and a 39-year-old man. Both deceased were African-American. Among the three people reported injured, one is a 75-year-old Hispanic woman.
Police believe that the explosions are connected. All of them occurred in areas populated with minorities. Investigators are looking at race as a factor behind the explosions. They aren’t ruling out the possibility of this being a hate crime.
Here’s a timeline of the serial explosions that struck Austin.
Police respond to an explosion in 1100 block of Haverford Drive, near East Howard Lane and Harris Ridge Boulevard, in the Harris Ridge neighborhood. Anthony Stephan House, 39, was found critically injured.
House died of his injuries in the hospital. No other casualties were reported from the first explosion.
Police initially see this as an isolated incident and investigate how the explosive package arrived at House’s home.
An explosion was reported in the 4800 block of Oldfort Hill Drive near 51st Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, a neighborhood in northwest Austin.
A 17-year-old boy, later identified as Draylen Mason found a package outside his home, and opened it in the kitchen, where it exploded.
Authorities confirm the teen died in the blast. A 40-year-old woman suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to hospital.
Austin Police believe this incident and the March 2 explosion are connected. The victims in both cases were black and investigators looked into the possibility of this being a hate crime.
FINAL: Pin-in collision at 7100 Kellam Rd; 5th patient has been extricated – Late teen Male also w/serious, not expected to be life-threat injuries txpt’d by @STAR_Flight_TC to Dell Seton Medical Center. Expect traffic delays in the area. https://t.co/feCsCSsRbX
— ATCEMS (@ATCEMS) March 12, 2018
Authorities brief the media after the second explosion. They confirm that the deadly packages were not delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. According to police, the packages were left at the victims’ doorstep and not delivered by mail.
House’s death is reclassified from being a “suspicious death” to “homicide investigation.”
Another explosion is reported in the Montopolis neighborhood’s 6700 block of Galindo Street near Riverside Drive and Montopolis Drive after the second one.
EMA authorities declare a trauma alert to notify they are transporting at least one critically injured patient.
Emergency responders confirm the patient is a woman in her 70s who was taken to Dell Seton Medical Center. Another woman at the scene had an unrelated medical issue and was not taken to the hospital.
FINAL 6700blk Galindo St (1149): 2nd unrelated medical patient will not be transported. ONLY 1 patient involved & transported from the explosion to Dell Seton Medical Center with serious potentially life threatening injuries. Refer all additional questions to @Austin_Police
— ATCEMS (@ATCEMS) March 12, 2018
Authorities confirm the victim of the third explosion is a 75-year-old Hispanic woman. As of the press briefing, she’s in stable condition.
Austin police are investigating the victimology of the attacks and urging citizens to be wary of suspicious packages.