A fourth explosion has occurred in Austin, Texas, this one injuring two men, and unverified reports soon spread on social media that a “trip wire” might have been used to set off the bomb this time. In the other three instances of March 2018 explosions, people picked up packages that exploded.
Is it true? Was the Austin bomb set off by a trip wire? Police have not yet confirmed that information. In a late night press conference after the latest bomb exploded on March 18, the Austin police chief did not provide any details about the bomb or how it was set off. Thus, the reports of a “trip wire” are not verified. The chief did say that police were checking out a second device, a backpack, in the area to make sure it was not another bomb.
However, CBS local interviewed neighbors who told them about a possible trip wire. Jordan Bontke, CBS Austin television reporter, wrote on Twitter, “Resident who lives near tonight’s explosion says police txt her to stay inside. She said other neighbors are hearing reports of police investigating at trip wire.”
That’s the most credible site to report the possibility of a trip wire, and it’s not coming from authorities. In many cases of breaking news tragedies, initial information turns out to be wrong or exaggerated, so time will tell whether a trip wire was at play here.
The other bombs that have exploded in Austin, terrifying the community, were not trip wires. They were package bombs.
You can listen to the police chief’s press conference in full here:
The unknown bomber or bombers terrified the Austin community with the explosions that have killed two people – Draylen Mason and Anthony Stephan House – and injured four more people. The bombing that was reported on March 18, 2018 – makes four total explosions in the month of March. However, police have not definitively said that the latest blast is related to the others.
The first bombs arrived in cardboard packages and exploded when they were opened. “What caused this in these instances was a suspicious package that no one was suspecting or expecting,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said before the latest blast.
Mason and House were prominent members of Austin’s African-American community. An unidentified woman of Hispanic heritage was also wounded in another blast. Before March 18, there were three explosions, two dead and two injured, and authorities suspected they were connected to the same bomber. A reward exists for information leading to the apprehension of the bomber or bombers.
The police chief tried to send a message to the bomber before the March 18 explosion occurred, saying that he hoped the person or persons would “reach out to us before anyone else is injured or killed. We want to understand what brought you to this point and listen to you.” The response? Another explosion occurred on the evening of Sunday, March 18, injuring two.
The Austin police chief also said in a March 18 news conference of the latest incident, “We have two victims who have been transported to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.” But he said police wanted anyone in a half mile radius of the explosion to stay inside their homes, at least until daylight, and police deem the area safe. “Do not touch any packages or anything that looks like a package,” he said. “It’s obvious it has been an explosion. It’s obvious it has caused significant injuries to two people.”
The latest bombing injured two men in their 20s, according to emergency management officials. “FINAL: Critical Incident @ 4800blk Dawn Song Dr (correct incident address), Only 1 incident location has been confirmed. #ATCEMSMedics have transported X2 ~20’s Males to SAMC w/serious, but not expected to be life-threatening injuries. Refer all inquires to @Austin_Police,” wrote Austin-Travis County EMS on Twitter of the second bombing on March 18.
The county EMS initially reported another explosion on Eagle Feather Drive. However, it later turned out that this explosion was believed to be the same as the first one.
The two men who died had everything to look forward to in their lives, and it’s not clear why they were targeted.
Anthony Stephan House died when a package arrived at his home and exploded on March 2. He was the first victim of the bomber. House, 39, lived in the Harris Ridge neighborhood of Austin, Texas. A package arrived at his home in the early morning hours, and it contained a device that exploded when the package was opened. House was the married father of a young child.
Draylen Mason, 17, was the second victim to die in the package bombs that were delivered to Austin homes. “Mason was killed Monday morning when a package exploded in the kitchen of his Austin home as it was being opened. His mother is in stable condition,” CNN reported. Mason was a talented musician. According to his Facebook page, he was a Bassist at Interlochen Center for the Arts, Principal Double Bass at Austin Youth Orchestra, and Principal Bassist at Austin Soundwaves. He went to East Austin College Prep and was from Austin, Texas.
On March 12, another explosion “severely wounded a 75-year-old Hispanic woman. Her name has not been released. She was in critical condition,” CNN reported. She was the third victim. The woman found a mysterious package left outside her home. She picked it up and it exploded before she opened it, according to The Los Angeles Times.
You can learn more about House here: