Photo courtesy of Kristie Gonzales, KVUE Austin.
Five bombs have exploded in four different locations around the Austin since March 2, with an ongoing investigation leaving questions for many in the Austin area community.
The first bomb detonated on March. 2 near Howard Lane in Northeast Austin. Anthony House, 2008 Texas State graduate, was the first person killed by the bombings.
The second bomb detonated on March 12 near MLK Boulevard and Texas State Highway 183 killing Draylen Mason, senior at East Austin College Prep. Mason was an active bassist and was recently accepted to the University of Texas and the University of North Texas after auditioning for their music programs.
Both House and Mason were African-Americans with relatives of prominent members of Austin’s African-American community according to Nelson Linder,the Austin NAACP president.
The third bomb detonated on the same day as the second, injuring a 75-year-old Hispanic woman who is in critical but stable condition.
An attempted bombing was unsuccessful after Trevor Ingram, 2015 Texas State graduate, was arrested for a terroristic threat at a SXSW 2018 for The Roots on E. 5th Street near Interstate-35. The arrest was made late on March 17 after Ingram had emailed the concert organizers with a bomb-threat.
The fourth bomb detonated on March 18 shortly before 8 p.m. near Southwest Parkway and Mopac Expressway. Two men were injured and taken to an Austin hospital but are in good condition as of Monday morning.
These were the first victims impacted by the bombings that were not people of color. The fourth bomb was also detonated after Ingram’s arrest.
The first three bombs came during SXSW 2018, sparking concerns that the bombs were related to festival goers. All four bombs were placed away from SXSW events and the fourth bomb detonated as the festival was wrapping up, suggesting that this is an unrelated string of events. There is no confirmation at this time if the string of bombings is related, or if Ingram is involved in the four detonated bombings.
The fifth bomb detonated in Schertz, Texas early March 20 at a FedEx facility. The San Antonio suburb explosion is thought to be linked to the bombings in Austin according to FBI San Antonio spokeswoman Michelle Lee. No injuries were reported.
Sheriff Gary Cutler of Hays country is encouraging anyone to call 911 to report any suspicious person or vehicle that they observe in their neighborhood, or any suspicious packages.
Residents of Cabana Beach Apartments in San Marcos reported a suspicious package at building 5. The residents of the top floor of the building evacuated, but no bomb was found. The complex was not notified and cannot confirm at this time. The Sheriff encourages residents to continue to report anything they determine strange.
According to the Hays County Sheriff’s office, the following are some indicators of suspicious packages.
Packages wrapped in string or twine No postage, non-cancelling postage or excessive postage Leaks, stains, strange odors, or protruding wires, string or electrical tape Nonsensical or no return address Handwritten addresses or labels from companies (check to see if the company exists and if this company sent you a package or letter) Foreign writing, addresses or postage Badly typed, handwritten or misspelled name and address Handwritten notes such as: “To Be Opened in Private” “Confidential” or “Prize Enclosed”