A suspect in a series of bomb attacks in Austin, Texas, killed himself and injured a police officer by detonating an explosive device in his car after a SWAT team closed in on him, according to police (CNN).
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said the suspect, a 24 year-old white male, was responsible for the five attacks that took place in the Texan capital since March 2, killing two people and injuring several more. “This is the culmination of three very long weeks in our community,” Manley said.
U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted: “AUSTIN BOMBING SUSPECT IS DEAD. Great job by law enforcement and all concerned!”
AUSTIN BOMBING SUSPECT IS DEAD. Great job by law enforcement and all concerned!
However, Manley said authorities were still trying to determine the suspect’s motives and whether he had been working alone.
A parcel bomb injured one person after exploding at a FedEx depot near San Antonio, Texas, on March 20. Authorities found a second bomb in a different FedEx warehouse that did not detonate, potentially offering physical evidence that could lead to the perpetrator (Washington Post).
Police said that the detonated bomb and the undetonated bomb were both heading to Austin, according to an unnamed source speaking to NBCNews. The same source said that the two FedEx bombs were believed to be connected to the series of four previous explosions that have detonated in the Texan capital since March 2. Those explosions have killed two people, injured four more. On March 19, Austin police confirmed that the attacks were the work of a “serial bomber” (CNN).
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“We are clearly dealing with what we expect to be a serial bomber at this point,” said Austin police chief Brian Manley.
Unlike the last three bombs, which were left on residents’ doorsteps, the latest one was planted on the side of a road and was activated by a tripwire, Manley said (CNN). The police chief said the latest device shows “a higher level of sophistication, a higher level of skill,” but that investigators found similarities between all four devices.
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Earlier, local police were trying to determine whether the latest explosion, which injured two white males, was related to the previous three, which seemingly targeted non-white Austin residents (NBC News). Two separate explosions, 10 days apart, killed Stephen House, 39, and Draylen Mason, 17. Mason’s mother was also seriously injured. The third bombing left Esperanza Herrera, a 75 year-old Hispanic woman, in a critical condition.
Police have not yet discovered a motive, but have not ruled out the bombings could be hate crimes.