Three explosions from package bombs have rocked Austin this month, leaving two people dead and another person in serious condition. Residents in Austin and visitors from the huge SXSW event going on right now have been urged not to open or even touch any packages that they are not expecting. If you see a strange package, call the police and don’t touch it. Police believe that the three explosions are connected, but they don’t know a motive yet. They haven’t ruled out the possibility of a hate crime, since the first two victims were African-American and the third victim was Hispanic. Gov. Abbott has offered a $15,000 reward in connection with the bombings. Authorities say that they don’t believe the packages arrived from the USPS or private mail carriers. The photo above shows the approximate location of each explosion on Google Maps and how far away they are from each other. There are about 15 miles (if walking) between the first explosion and the last. Note that all the locations on the maps are approximate, as we’ve only been given the block that an explosion took place and not the exact house address. Read on for more details about the explosions and where they happened.
The First Explosion Took Place in the 1100 Block of Haverford Drive on Friday, March 2
The first explosion took place on March 2 in a neighborhood in north Austin. Anthony Stephan House, 39, was killed after a device exploded on his front porch. The explosion was in northeast Austin in the 1100 block of Haverford Drive, about 12 miles north of Monday’s first explosion. The map above is an interactive map showing the approximate location of the bomb. Here’s a screenshot of where the explosion took place, east of 35 in the Harris Ridge area, not far from Dell Parmer South Campus and Parmer North.
House was transported to Round Rock Hospital, where he later died. Before the second and third explosions happened, police had not ruled out the idea that House had made the bomb himself and had been investigating his death as suspicious. It’s now considered a homicide. House had previously faced charges in Travis County, but House’s brother, Norrell Waynewood, told Heavy that there was no way this was the case and the explosion happened in front of House’s daughter while he was getting ready to take her to school. Learn more about House in Heavy’s story here.
The Second Explosion Occurred the Morning of Monday, March 12 in the 4800 Block of Oldfort Hill Drive
The second explosion occurred this morning at 6:45 a.m. on Monday, March 12 in northwest Austin, in the 4800 block of Old Fort Hill Drive, near the intersection of Springdale Road and East Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The map above can give you an idea of where it took place. The location was between 51st Street and E. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, not too far from 181, East Austin College Prep, and the Austin Wildlife Rescue. A 17-year-old found a package in front of his front door. He brought it inside and the package exploded after he opened it and he was killed. A woman in her 40s was also injured, but has non life-threatening injuries.
The Third Explosion Happened Monday, March 12 Around 11:50 a.m. in the 6700 Block of Galindo Street
The third explosion happened a few hours later on March 12, around 11:50 a.m. This explosion occurred southeast of downtown Austin in the 6700 block of Galindo Street, near the intersection of Montopolis Drive and East Riverside Drive. This is not too far from the Montopolis Neighborhood Park. A 75-year-old Hispanic woman found a mysterious package, which was left outside her home. She picked it up and it exploded before she opened it, LA Times reported. She had serious injuries that could be life-threatening. Austin American Statesman shared this map above, showing the approximate location of the bomb on the 6700 block of Galindo Street.
Here Are How Close the Explosions Are to SXSW
Thousands of people are in Austin right now for SXSW, and they may be wondering just how close each explosion is to SXSW. South by Southwest is in downtown Austin. The last explosion brought it closer to the area where SXSW is held, but only residences have been targeted, not businesses or any areas downtown:
More specifically, the last explosion was in the 6700 block of Galindo Street, which is south of downtown Austin where SXSW is held. The location on the map above is approximate, since SXSW actually occurs on multiple streets in downtown Austin and not just the location on the map. If you’re at SXSW, you should probably be more cautious for strange packages if you’re staying at a home that’s an Airbnb, since the three packages so far have been left outside of homes. But be cautious of any unattended package that you don’t recognize or expect, don’t touch it, and contact the police.
Since news of the explosion has emerged, police have received 34 suspicious package calls as of 3 p.m., compared to two calls at the same time last Monday. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Austin police’s homicide tip line at 512-477-3588, or Crime Stoppers at 512-472-8477. Do not touch or attempt to open any package that you are not expecting. You can set up alerts through Amazon and USPS so you’ll be notified if a package is arriving.