Austin would have been on a high after yet another successful SXSW conference, but a series of bombings this month have dampened the mood considerably.
The latest incident happened last night, just hours after police made an appeal to the individual – or individuals – behind the three previous incidents to contact them
This time, two people were seriously injured after reportedly tripping a wire of a package left next to the side of the road, reports New York Times:
Eliza May said she was watching a TV show in her home when she heard what sounded like a transformer blowing up in her backyard. “It sounded like when the transformers go out, but it was five times magnified that,” said Ms. May, who lives about 200 feet from where the explosion was said to have occurred.
Another neighbor [sic], Lori Goodgame, said the explosion caused her house to shake. Her first thought was that lightning had hit her home. “There was a huge boom,” Ms. Goodgame said.
Moments later, dozens of police cars, ambulances and fire trucks swarmed her street, Ms. May said. Police officers ordered neighbors — who had come outside to see what happened — to return to their homes, she said.
The three previous attacks have already taken the lives of two men, and have left a further two women with injuries, reports CNBC:
Thirty-nine-year-old Anthony Stephan House died on Mar. 2 after a device detonated on his front porch and 17-year-old Draylen Mason was killed on Mar. 12 after he brought an explosive package into his home.
Mason’s 40-year-old mother was left injured by the explosion and 75-year-old Esperanza Morena Herrera was sent to a hospital after a separate explosion at her home on Mar. 12.
Although authorities have no idea who the culprit is, they believe the explosions are connected and are possibly race-related: all of the victims have been African-American or Hispanic.
A picture from last night’s incident:
Chief Manley said in a follow-up press conference on Monday that the possibility that the bomb was triggered by a trip wire, and the fact that the explosive device was left next to the road, “necessitated a new warning to the public,” reports kxan:
“We now need the community to have an extra level of vigilance and pay attention to any suspicious device, whether it be a package, a bag, a backpack, anything that looks out of place. And do not approach it. Again do not approach items like that, but instead call 911 to report it so we can go out and make sure it’s safe.”
More than 500 federal agents are now involved in the investigation, and authorities continue to ask the local community for assistance. A reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever’s responsible was raised from $50 000 to $115 000.
Could the States have another Unabomber case on their hands? Let’s hope it doesn’t take around two decades to find him / her / them.
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