Police warn Austin residents of suspicious boxes after 3 package explosions

Emergency crews on scene at a fatal explosion in east Austin on Oldfort Hill Drive

An Austin teenager was killed and several others injured Monday when two packages left on doorsteps exploded, marking the second and third deadly package explosions in the Texas capital in two weeks.

On March 2, a 39-year-old man died from a package that exploded.

McManus said in a news conference he has been in contact with Manley, who shared that Austin PD has been receiving a lot of calls from people across the city reporting suspicious packages.

Police said the latest package explosion was reported in the 6700 block of Galindo Street, near East Riverside Drive and Montopolis Drive, just before noon.

"These devices can explode in many ways, either by being moved or being opened so that's why I want to reiterate the importance that if you see something that's out of place, do not handle it, do not move it, do not touch it. Call us", Manley said. Per CNN, Austin Police have determined that the targeted properties are all owned by African-Americans, and they're therefore trying to determine whether these are a hate crimes.

Manley said in all three cases, the victims found the packages just outside their front doors. and brought them inside, where they blew up.

Police are now investigating if the two explosions are linked.

Monday's blasts were in homes about 4 miles (6 km) apart in east Austin, while the March 2 blast occurred at house in the city's northeast Harris Ridge neighborhood.

The first blast Monday, which detonated before 7 a.m., killed a 17-year-old boy and injured a woman.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said the two incidents displayed enough similarities to investigate them together.

According to KVUE Reporter Christy Millweard, Austin police evacuated neighbors from the area after the explosion in an attempt to keep it clear.

"I checked my house first of all to make sure nothing was on fire, I did look outside at that point and next thing I knew police were knocking at the door saying that there was a suspicious package, one had exploded and that I needed to leave the house", she said.

Virginia Ybarra, who lives on the block where the blast happened, says the women who lives in the house is quiet and kind, and sometimes asks for grapefruits from her tree.

Authorities say the packages, described as unremarkable looking boxes, were left overnight and not sent through the mail or any other delivery service.

"We don't know yet why this is happening or what the motivation is", he said.

Michelle Lee, special agent for the FBI, said federal officials are responding to the incident.

Austin-Travis County EMS tweeted that an explosion Monday in southeast Austin injured a woman in her 70s, who has been hospitalized.

Police Chief Brian Manley said Monday that investigators hope to collect surveillance video from nearby homes to identify a suspect.

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