Police In Austin, Texas, Believe Deadly Package Explosions Are Linked The first happened earlier this month when a man opened a package on his doorstep. He died when it exploded. There were 2 explosions on Monday, which killed 1 person and seriously injured another.
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Police In Austin, Texas, Believe Deadly Package Explosions Are Linked

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Police In Austin, Texas, Believe Deadly Package Explosions Are Linked

Police In Austin, Texas, Believe Deadly Package Explosions Are Linked

Police In Austin, Texas, Believe Deadly Package Explosions Are Linked

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/593077571/593077572" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The first happened earlier this month when a man opened a package on his doorstep. He died when it exploded. There were 2 explosions on Monday, which killed 1 person and seriously injured another.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Police in Austin, Texas, are urging residents there to use caution after a series of exploding packages killed two people and injured two others in recent days. From member station KUT, Syeda Hasan reports.

SYEDA HASAN, BYLINE: The latest attack was reported just before 9 Monday morning. A 75-year-old woman sustained life-threatening injuries. Just a few hours earlier, a package exploded across town, killing a 17-year-old boy and injuring a woman. This all began on March 2 when a package exploded and killed a 39-year-old man in northeast Austin. Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley says the incidents appear to be related. They all follow the same pattern.

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BRIAN MANLEY: The victim in this incident came outside of her residence and found a package out front. And she picked up that package, and at that point, the explosion - the box detonated at that point.

HASAN: Manley also notes that the packages were not delivered by the U.S. Postal Service or any other courier service. Authorities believe they were left outside the victims' homes overnight. Manley says it's unclear if these people were specifically targeted, but police are not ruling out the possibility of a hate crime.

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MANLEY: We have had two victims that were African-American, and the victim of this latest incident was a 75-year-old Hispanic female. So we are still working to identify whether or not that may play a role. But we are not going to rule that out, as we're not going to rule out any other potential motive.

HASAN: Police are asking Austin residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious packages they come across. Manley notes that the series of explosions has coincided with the annual South by Southwest festival, which brings hundreds of thousands of visitors to Austin.

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MANLEY: Then it's important for those that are here in Austin, that are here for the spring festival, to be aware of what's going on. Enjoy yourself. Have a good time. There is no reason to believe that you are at any greater risk, other than - be aware. Look for things that are suspicious.

HASAN: Several local and federal agencies are investigating the explosions. Manley says it'll be a lengthy process. Texas Governor Greg Abbott's office is offering a reward of up to $15,000 for information leading to the identification and arrest of anyone involved. For NPR News, I'm Syeda Hasan in Austin.

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