SAPD Chief McManus urges residents to be vigilant amid Austin explosions

McManus advises parents to educate children who are on spring break

By Adrian Garcia - Digital Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - In the wake of the recent explosions in Austin that have taken the life of two people and seriously injuring two others, San Antonio police Chief William McManus is urging the community to call officers if they see a suspicious package.

His message to San Antonio: “We would rather spend time out there and have it be nothing than someone opening that package and have it explode in their face. We would much rather have spent the time needlessly than have someone get hurt.”

ORIGINAL STORY: JUST IN: Austin police say three explosions over past 10 days related, no motive yet

On March 2, an explosion killed a 39-year-old man after he received a package that was hand-delivered to his northeast Austin home.

Days later, Austin police officers were dispatched on Monday around 6:44 a.m. for an explosion at a home on the city’s East Side.

The explosion resulted in the death of a 17-year-old teenage boy and seriously injuring a woman at the house.

Just hours later, police responded to a second explosion miles away from the location of the first explosion where first responders found a 75-year-old woman in critical condition.

Austin police Chief Brian Manley said at a news conference that all explosions occurred when the victims went outside their homes and picked up the packages from their front doorstep.

Manley said the U.S. Postal Service does not have a record of delivering packages to the Austin homes where the explosions occurred.

McManus said in a news conference he has been in contact with Manley, who shared that Austin PD has been receiving a lot of calls from people across the city reporting suspicious packages.

“Our advice at this point is that if you get a package from someone that you don’t know who it is, if it doesn’t look like it’s from a company but a random package, do not open it, call us and let us look at it,” McManus said. “The only way we can stop these things from happening is if we have information on (the packages)."

McManus said San Antonio residents can do themselves a favor by being vigilant and reporting any packages that seem suspicious to them.

After talking with Manley, McManus said the FBI, ATF and Austin PD believe all the explosions are connected with each other but do not know why they are being sent to the homes.

McManus said the community shouldn’t be worried by the explosions but rather “cautious” due to Austin being just 80 miles north of San Antonio.

“If you do not know who might have sent it, you’re not expecting it, do not pick it up, do not shake it, don’t listen to it, just call us (police) and we’ll come out and we’ll take care of it,” McManus said.

With this week being spring break for grade school students, McManus advised parents to educate their children about suspicious packages and what to do if they see one.

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