Explosion on Oldfort Hill Drive kills 17-year-old
Three exploding packages in ten days, leaving two people dead.
The City of Austin is on edge as two incidents happened Monday. Police believe all are connected but the reason behind the explosions is still unknown.
“It was two houses down. All I could think of, is this could have been us,” says Lashonda Jerrels, neighbor.
That’s how many people living on Oldfort Hill Drive feel after waking up to a loud noise and finding out it was an exploding package - killing one.
“Shock. You don’t expect that in your neighborhood, especially like such a quiet neighborhood like ours. It’s kind of one of those things that hits you from the side, especially knowing it’s one of your neighbors even though you didn’t know them directly,” says one neighbor.
APD responded to a home in East Austin around 6:45 Monday morning. They say a 17-year-old boy was killed; a woman in her 40s was taken to the hospital. A package was reportedly left at the front door step and when it was brought inside, it went off.
“We are not going to tolerate this in Austin and you will see every stop will be pulled out. The federal agencies have all jumped in with us to lend us a hand and bring this to as quick as a resolution as possible,” says Interim Police Chief Brian Manley, Austin Police Department.
Austin Police, ATF and the FBI are all working together. They are collecting evidence that will be delivered to a lab for analysis. But, this isn’t the first incident of this nature. There was another on March 2nd, killing 39-year-old Anthony House.
“Both of the homes that were the recipients of these packages belong to African Americans. So we cannot rule that out, that hate crime is at the core of this, but we’re not saying this was the cause as well,” says Interim Police Chief Manley.
Authorities continue to stress that if you receive an unexpected package, don’t pick it up and call 911 immediately. At this point, they do not believe the package came from any mail delivery service. Many residents went to work Monday morning not knowing the scale of the tragedy; they came back to what they call a nightmare.
“The world is just filled with crazy people, that in their minds, the only crime is how you were born,” says Jay Brewer, neighbor.