Austin explosion may have been triggered by tripwire, police say

An explosion that injured two men Sunday night could've been triggered by a tripwire, said Austin Police Chief Brian ...

Posted: Mar 19, 2018 12:52 PM
Updated: Mar 19, 2018 12:52 PM

An explosion that injured two men Sunday night could've been triggered by a tripwire, said Austin Police Chief Brian Manley, after a fourth blast in the Texas city in little over two weeks.

Authorities are working under the belief that the latest incident is connected to the previous three explosions in the city, Manley said. At this point, information is preliminary, he said early Monday morning, and police have yet to fully process the scene.

Manley said "it's very possible" that the device "was activated by someone either handling, kicking or coming into contact with a tripwire that activated the device."

Latest developments

  • The package on Sunday was left on the side of the road.
  • The two injured men were either biking or pushing bicycles when the explosion occurred.
  • Police are waiting for daylight to process the scene.
  • Residents living near the scene have to stay indoors until 10 a.m.
  • Hours before the latest blast, the chief appealed directly to whoever was responsible for the bombs.

Chief advises further caution

The two men, in their 20s, were taken to a hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries, authorities said. Both patients are in good condition, a spokesperson at St. David's South Austin Medical Center told CNN.

Sunday's incident differed from previous explosions, the police chief said.

"We're not believing that this was similar to previous ones, as in packages left on doorsteps. But instead this was some type of suspicious package that was left on the side of the road, that detonated and injured these two men," Manley said.

The two men had been biking or walking their bicycles in southwest Austin when the explosion happened.

"What we do understand now, is that the possibility exists this device was triggered in a different mechanism -- that being a tripwire," he said.

Police and the FBI responded to the scene Sunday.

The latest explosion comes less than a week after police said three package explosions that happened over 10 days were connected. Those explosions killed a man and a teenager, and injured two others.

The victims in those three explosions were African-American or Hispanic. Police have not yet discovered a motive, but have not ruled out the possibility the bombs could be hate crimes.

Police are working under the belief that the explosions are related. Manley said they'll get a better idea with a post-blast analysis and examination of the device components.

In the meantime, Manley told residents not to touch or go near anything that looks suspicious.

On Monday morning, he warned: "We now need the community to have extra level of vigilance and pay attention to any suspicious device -- whether it be a package or a bag, a backpack -- anything that looks out of place. And do not approach items like that."

Resident: 'It's concerning'

Stan Malachowski, who lives about half a mile away, said he heard a loud explosion.

"It was loud enough to hear inside of our house with our windows and door shut. Again, airplanes go by and cars backfire so we didn't think much of it," he told CNN affiliate KXAN.

"This is a quiet neighborhood. It's a family neighborhood. It's concerning."

Police warned residents in the immediate area to stay inside their homes until at least 10 a.m. Regents School of Austin, a nearby private school, will open two hours late Monday for "a complete security sweep," it said in a statement.

The Austin Independent School District announced that it would not be able to send school buses into the affected Travis Country neighborhood Monday, because of police activity. "Any tardies or absences due to this situation will be excused," the district posted on Facebook.

On edge

Many in Austin have been on edge since the bombings, as some residents of color in the Texas capital say they feel under threat.

The reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the three explosions increased to a total of $115,000, authorities had announced earlier Sunday. Hours before the most recent explosion, the police chief appealed directly to the person or persons responsible.

"We believe that the recent explosive incidents that have occurred in the city of Austin were meant to send a message," Manley had said in a press conference.

"We hope this person or persons is watching and will reach out to us before anyone else is injured or anyone else is killed out of this event," he added.

Officials have urged residents to call in with tips to the police department, even if the information is seemingly "inconsequential."

South by Southwest wrapped up Sunday, but received a bomb threat Saturday, that resulted in the cancellation of a concert featuring The Roots.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 448268

Reported Deaths: 6013
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin931011480
Ramsey40016739
Dakota33072340
Anoka30999364
Washington20164228
Stearns17871187
St. Louis13690241
Scott1195496
Wright11614104
Olmsted1048475
Sherburne821365
Carver694836
Clay653280
Rice606868
Kandiyohi554371
Blue Earth541033
Crow Wing482774
Otter Tail457167
Chisago452732
Benton420186
Winona389646
Douglas374166
Nobles370846
Mower365529
Goodhue347958
Polk328658
McLeod325345
Morrison311744
Beltrami310347
Lyon302236
Becker284939
Itasca284543
Isanti282841
Carlton280043
Steele27379
Pine266713
Freeborn245321
Todd231730
Nicollet224636
Brown215134
Mille Lacs214246
Le Sueur210015
Cass207623
Meeker199733
Waseca189316
Wabasha17083
Martin170026
Roseau165416
Hubbard149338
Redwood139727
Renville137539
Houston135913
Dodge13474
Chippewa131332
Cottonwood127218
Fillmore12355
Wadena120116
Rock110212
Sibley10857
Aitkin108433
Watonwan10668
Faribault105916
Pennington99215
Kanabec97818
Pipestone94423
Yellow Medicine93714
Murray8815
Jackson85610
Swift83418
Pope7385
Marshall70215
Stevens7018
Clearwater68514
Lac qui Parle65716
Lake63715
Wilkin6259
Koochiching59610
Lincoln4841
Big Stone4573
Unassigned43768
Grant4298
Norman4248
Mahnomen4107
Kittson37219
Red Lake3174
Traverse2503
Lake of the Woods1951
Cook1140

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 305606

Reported Deaths: 4278
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk45754449
Linn17795275
Scott15444163
Black Hawk13773236
Woodbury13016175
Johnson1211749
Dubuque11387150
Pottawattamie8992112
Dallas888671
Story869434
Webster469771
Cerro Gordo466768
Sioux455157
Clinton450361
Warren443938
Marshall427761
Buena Vista393429
Muscatine390477
Des Moines381841
Plymouth350368
Wapello344198
Jasper321959
Lee317130
Marion304952
Jones271349
Henry264330
Carroll255434
Bremer245048
Crawford231022
Boone218417
Washington217632
Benton209444
Mahaska193136
Jackson192031
Tama187757
Dickinson186026
Delaware173736
Kossuth173644
Clay168820
Wright164824
Fayette162322
Hamilton160029
Buchanan159923
Winneshiek155719
Harrison155162
Hardin154729
Cedar153219
Clayton151448
Butler148224
Page144715
Floyd139636
Cherokee139027
Mills136416
Lyon135332
Poweshiek132724
Hancock130224
Allamakee127928
Iowa125422
Calhoun12279
Grundy121226
Jefferson120724
Madison12039
Winnebago119429
Mitchell116234
Louisa115030
Cass113341
Chickasaw111612
Sac111215
Emmet110831
Appanoose110538
Union108822
Humboldt105519
Guthrie103024
Shelby102926
Franklin102418
Unassigned9310
Palo Alto9079
Montgomery85622
Keokuk85026
Howard84219
Monroe81218
Clarke7957
Pocahontas77611
Ida74630
Greene6927
Davis69121
Adair68820
Lucas6508
Monona64016
Osceola6409
Worth6113
Taylor5949
Fremont5126
Van Buren49712
Decatur4894
Ringgold4389
Audubon4158
Wayne41421
Adams2963
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Clear
wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: -1°
Feels Like: -12°
Mason City
Clear
wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 1°
Feels Like: -10°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 0°
Feels Like: -6°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: -1°
Feels Like: -8°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 1°
Feels Like: -12°
Get ready for a midweek warm-up!
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events