After two mail bombs left one dead and two others injured in Austin on Monday, the city’s chief of police has urged residents not to open suspicious or unexpected packages.
“My heart goes out to the family of the individual who died & was injured from the explosion on Old Fort Hill Dr,” Chief Brian Manley wrote on Twitter Monday afternoon. “This type of crime will not be tolerated in #ATX. If you receive a package that you are not expecting or looks suspicious, DO NOT open it, call 911 immediately.”
Monday’s two exploding packages are the second and third such incidents this month for Austin. Manley said the mail bombs were similar in nature and likely related to another package that exploded in Austin on March 2, leaving one man dead.
Authorities believe the attacks, which are being treated as homicides, may be possible hate crimes as each of the victims were African American, according to the Associated Press.
“We don’t know what the motive behind these may be,” Manley told the AP. “We do know that both of the homes that were the recipients of these packages belong to African-Americans, so we cannot rule out that hate crime is at the core of this. But we’re not saying that that’s the cause as well.”
Victims from Monday’s bombing have yet to be identified. Authorities identified the man killed on March 2 as 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House.