A day after the city of Austin, Texas was rocked by a second and third package bombing, residents are heeding warnings about suspicious boxes on their porches as police scramble for clues and a suspect. And now a bizarre connection between victims has been revealed.
When a package exploded on March 6, killing a 39-year-old man, police thought it could have been an isolated incident. But when two more packages blew up on Monday inside residents’ homes, killing a teenage boy and seriously injuring two women, authorities put the capital city of a million people on high alert.
Residents have listened to the warnings, flooding the police with over 150 calls reporting suspicious packages. None of the calls have turned up a bomb, the Austin Statesman reported.
Investigators believe the three bombings are connected and say the explosive devices inside were made with “skill and sophistication,” according to the Washington Post. None of the packages were delivered by a carrier service, suggesting that the bomber or an accomplice placed the boxes on the victims’ porches.
Police are wondering if the bombings are racially motivated since all the victims have been black or Hispanic. It’s put Vietnamese resident Tracy Nguyen, like many other neighbors, on edge.
“I’m even afraid to check my mailbox. It seems like such a random act,” she said. “It could have been me. It could have been anyone.”
While the motive and perpetrator are still a mystery, a distant connection between two of the victims has been revealed, according to the Statesman. The stepfather of the man who died on March 6 is close friends with the grandfather of the teen who died. All three bombings occurred on the east side of Austin.
“This is a real mystery, and how all of this mystery comes together, I have no idea,” the stepfather said.
Interim Police Chief Brian Manley gave Austin assurance that “We will leave no stone unturned because we will not allow this to go on in this city.”
Manley offered more details about the bombings during a brief press conference:
Please pray for the safety of residents, and pray that law enforcement officers are able to catch the suspect before anyone else gets hurt! In other news, please pray, too, for the victims of a horrific Alabama bus crash.