“We want to listen to you”: Austin hit by fourth explosion after police make appeal to bomber

Police near the site of a reported explosion in Austin.
Police near the site of a reported explosion in Austin.
Image: Reuters/Tamir Kalifa
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A string of bombings continues to rattle the city of Austin, Texas, with a fourth explosion occurring shortly after local police urged the individual or individuals behind the incidents to contact them in a televised news conference.

On Sunday (March 18) evening, Austin-Travis County EMS tweeted out that it was transporting two men in their 20s to a nearby hospital who had been injured by possibly two separate explosions.

Their hospitalizations come after three separate incidents in which individuals in Austin were killed or injured when handling packages containing explosive devices. The first incident occurred on March 2, killing a 39-year-old black male. The second and third bombings occurred within hours of one another on March 12, killing a 17-year-old black male and then injuring a 75-year-old Hispanic woman.

After the third incident, police said they believe the bombings are related but have not decided if they are hate crimes. The packages had been left outside the homes of the victims, but were not delivered by the postal service or delivery services, such as UPS or FedEx.

It’s not yet confirmed if tonight’s bombing or bombings were related to the earlier ones or carried out via packages. Just hours before, Austin police chief Brian Manley gave a public address appealing to whoever is behind the earlier bombings to communicate with authorities.

“The person or persons understands what that message is and are responsible for constructing or delivering the devices and 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,” Manley said at a news conference. “We want to understand what brought you to this point and we want to listen to you,” he added.

The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever’s responsible has been raised from $50,000 to $115,000.