A number of bombings have taken place in Texas since March 2nd, 2018, leading to the deaths of two people and injuring 5 others. The bombings have been clustered around the capital, Austin, except for the most recent bombing which took place at a FedEx distribution centre in Schertz, Texas, which the FBI has said is probably linked to the incidents in Austin. The incident details are as follows:
- 2nd March 2018 - An African American male was killed when a package which had been left on his doorstep exploded in Harris Ridge, Austin.
- 12th March 2018 - An IED, believed to have been hand delivered by the perpetrator(s) killed an African American teenager and injured a woman at their home in Old Fort Hill Drive, Austin.
- 12th March 2018 - An IED believed to have been hand delivered by the perpetrator(s) injured an elderly Hispanic woman at her home on Galindo St, Austin. COMMENT: In all three of these initial attacks, the devices detonated shortly after being handled by the victims. This could suggest a sophisticated trigger mechanism, as oppose to a simple timer, or that the perpetrator(s) was monitoring the devices and initiated the IED through radio controlled means. COMMENT ENDS
- 18th March 2018 - On the evening, two Caucasian males were wounded in a blast while biking or walking their bikes in the East Oak Hill area of West Austin. Authorities believe that the device in this instance may have been activated by a trip wire, showing an increased level of sophistication in the devices. While the methodology of this bombing is different between to first three attacks, authorities are investigating the incidents as related.
- 20th March 2018 - The fifth and most recent bombing took place in the early hours of March 20th at a FedEx distribution centre in Schertz, Texas, northeast of San Antonio. The explosion left a female employee with a non-life-threatening percussion injury from the blast. The device detonated as it was being moved from an elevated conveyor belt to a lower section. The device contained shrapnel consisting of nails and pieces of metal. Reports on the ground have said that the package was destined for Austin.This incident is again a deviation from the initial methodology of hand delivered packages, and instead used a delivery service. The explosive devices in the first four incidents have similarities in parts used, and the FBI, ATF, and local law enforcement are investigating if this most recent incident has similar components.
The recent bombings have left the city on edge, particularly minorities who are said to be feeling targeted based on the victimology of the first three incidents. Authorities are looking into race as being a motive, but are not ruling anything out at this stage. The bombings were compounded by a bomb threat on Sunday at the SXSW festival which led to the cancellation of the night’s events. A 26-year-old man was arrested in connection with that incident.