HPD addresses safety concerns following Austin explosion

HOUSTON— The Houston Police Department held a press conference Monday morning to discuss safety concerns following two deadly bomb explosions in Austin, Texas.

Two package bombs that exploded Monday at residences in Austin, Texas, killing a teenage boy and critically injuring an elderly woman, appear to be linked to a March 2 bomb that killed a man, police said at a news conference.

Best thing when you are ordering something and you are expecting packages track it, track the package so you know when it's coming. Sign up for verified mail with the postal service just to have an idea of what you should be getting," said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.

All residents of Austin should be careful about packages, Manley said. Investigators have not come up with a motive, and he did not say if anybody has claimed responsibility. It’s not known if the victims knew each other or if they were targeted, he said.

In describing the Monday morning blast that killed the teenager, the Austin Police Brian Manley said: “What we understand at this point is that early this morning is that one of the residents went out front and there was a package on the front doorstep. They brought that package inside the residence and as they opened that package, both victims were in the kitchen, and the package exploded, causing the injuries that resulted in the young man’s death and the injuries to the adult female.”

That woman’s injuries were not life-threatening, he said.

The March 2 blast was reported about 6:55 a.m. in the 1000 block of Haverford Drive. The first Monday blast was reported at 6:44 a.m. in the 4000 block of Oldfort Drive and the second Monday blast was around noon in the 6700 block of Galindo Street.

Police were processing the scene at the first Monday explosion when the second occurred.

Manley said the packages are “average sized delivery boxes, not exceptionally large” that the residents found outside their houses.

Here’s what we know so far:

— The bombs killed a 39-year-old African-American man on March 2, killed a 17-year-old African-American male early Monday morning, and severely injured a 75-year-old Hispanic woman midday Monday. A woman also was injured in the Monday morning blast.

— The residents found the packages outside their houses, but none was delivered by the Postal Service or delivery services like UPS or FedEx, police said.

— Police also have not decided if these are hate crimes, but said that’s a possibility because of the victims’ races.

— “The evidence makes us believe these incidents are related,” Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said.

Acevedo advised Houstonians to be cautious and pay attention to their packages during this time.

"Pay attention be situationally aware and again if something doesn't seem right or a package seems suspicious or something you didn't order and your not sure about it give us a call so we can come check it out," said Acevedo.