Teenager killed, two others injured after package bombs explode in Texas

Published: 13 March 2018 Image credit: Reuters


Two package bombs left outside homes in Austin, Texas have exploded, killing a teenage boy and injuring two women, in attacks police believe are linked to a deadly blast earlier this month, and may be racially motivated.

A 17-year-old African American boy was killed in east Austin on Monday, after he found a package outside his home and took it inside. It exploded in his kitchen, killing him.

A 40-year-old woman was also home at the time and was injured by the blast, although police believe she will survive.

On the same day, a second explosion injured a 75-year-old woman at a home about 6kms away in south east Austin.

A neighbour said the woman was in a wheelchair and was watering her grass before the blast occurred.

All three victims were African-American or Hispanic, and police are treating the incidents as possible hate crimes.

The two blasts come just weeks after an explosion killed a 39-year-old black man at a house in the city’s Harris Ridge neighbourhood. The explosion was so powerful it blew out walls at the home’s entryway.

The doorway of a home that was hit with a fatal parcel bomb on 2 March 2018. Image credit: Reuters. 

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said in all three attacks, a cardboard package was left outside a private residence and exploded after it was picked up or tried to be opened. All three packages were not delivered using a mainstream commercial shipping service.

“We are looking at these incidents as being related,” Chief Manley said.

He added that federal investigators had joined the search for suspects and a possible motive.

“We cannot rule out that hate crime is at the core of this, but we are not saying that that is the cause,” he said.

He warned residents and said if they see any boxes left outside their homes to report anything suspicious to police.

Monday’s attacks unfolded as Austin was packed with visitors to the city’s South by Southwest Festival.

Chief Manley said the incidents were no threat to the festival, but asked visitors to be vigilant.