A package whose final destination was Austin, Texas, exploded in a Federal Express sorting facility in San Antonio shortly after midnight this morning, leaving an employee with non-life-threatening injuries. The wound was said to be a “percussion-type” injury from the blast.
The package was sent from Austin, TX, to Austin leading authorities to believe that the incident is connected to four other suspicious packages that have exploded in various neighborhoods in city this month, killing two and injuring four. Police are not close to making any arrests.
In three initial incidents authorities say packages were left on doorsteps of residents’ homes in the overnight hours and then opened by the residents in the early morning hours. All three were hand-delivered and were not sent through the U.S. Postal Service or private carriers.
Thirty-nine-year-old Anthony Stephan was killed when a package in the first incident exploded at his northeast Austin home on March 2. Two more explosions would occur ten days later on March 12. The first of those killed 17-year-old Draylen Mason when a package exploded at his East Austin home before 7 a.m. A woman in her 40s at the home, also sustained life threatening injuries and was taken to the hospital.
The second occurred several hours later at a home in southeast Austin. A 75-year-old woman came outside to pick up a package that had been left on her front step when the package exploded. She was hospitalized with what were called life-threatening injuries. Her condition is listed as critical but stable.
A fourth incident occurred this past Sunday night when two men riding bicycles hit a tripwire, triggering a bomb placed by a nearby fence in southwest Austin. The two men were hospitalized in good condition.
Authorities believe that “it is more than possible” that all five incidents are related. FBI, as well as Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents were at the FedEx facility in San Antonio analyzing the device trying to ascertain if there is a “signature,” either ingredient or component, that might yield possible clues.
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley has asked the suspect or suspects to contact authorities. “Well, again, we’ve opened ourselves up for a message, and that’s why we asked him to contact us and gave him phone numbers for him to contact us at,” Manley said.
He also said that a task force had been set up to investigate the incidents. Residents are asked to exercise caution, to not open suspicious packages and to call 911 if they find packages left at their homes which they are not expecting.
“It’s not time to panic, but it’s time to be vigilant and it’s time to pay attention, it’s time to come together as a city and solve this,” Manley said.