March 12 (UPI) — Police in Austin, Texas, said Monday two deadly explosions that targeted two homes this month may be related — and warned residents to be cautious of suspicious packages left on their doorsteps.
A 17-year-old boy was killed and a woman was injured Monday morning after a package exploded at their East Austin home.
A similar incident on March 2 killed Anthony Stephan House, 39, at his home, not far away.
In both instances, officials said the explosive packages were left at the doorsteps overnight and the residents opened them in the morning.
“There are similarities, and we cannot rule out that these two incidents are in fact related,” Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said at a news conference Monday.
The U.S. Postal Service said Monday’s package did not go through any of its facilities.
Manley warned residents to not open or take suspicious packages into their homes, encouraging them instead to call 911. Both attacks are being investigated by local and federal authorities.
Manley said police can’t yet rule out hate crimes because residents of both targeted homes were African Americans.
“We will not tolerate this in Austin,” the police chief said.