Another bomb has exploded in the Southwest area of Austin, Texas, injuring two. As of this writing, President Trump has said nothing.
The Sunday night explosion comes after three prior bombings, all in the Southern part of Austin, that took place on March 2 and March 12. The other bombings killed two people — 17-year-old Draylen Mason and 39-year-old Stephen House (A Youcaring crowdfunding site verified by Mason’s family raised nearly $100,000). It’s not yet known if this weekend’s bombing was perpetrated by the same people who carried out the three prior attacks.
Following Sunday night’s blast, Austin police chief Brian Manley asked residents within a half-mile radius of the explosion to stay indoors while local police and federal officials with the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) conducted a sweep of the area for more potential explosives.
“We have not had an opportunity to really look at this blast site to determine what has happened,” Chief Manley told local reporters, adding that due to the explosion happening at night, investigators would have to wait until the morning to fully inspect the site. “It’s obvious that there’s been an explosion, and it’s obvious it’s caused significant injuries to two people.”
As this New York Times graphic shows, the bombings in Austin have been slowly moving South and West through March, though investigators are still unsure as to who is behind the attacks or what their motive as. After the package bomb that killed Mason and House exploded, investigators said they hadn’t ruled out a hate crime as a potential motive.
Another homemade bomb explodes in Austin, injuring two, “just hours after officials made an unusual direct appeal to whoever was responsible for the deadly package explosions this month that have kept the capital of Texas on edge.” https://t.co/iqZhHj2zkE pic.twitter.com/PyRckGpHGb
— Pamela Colloff (@pamelacolloff) March 19, 2018
The Sunday night bombing happened just hours after Chief Manley implored the person or group behind the explosions to come forward.
“These events in Austin have garnered worldwide attention, and we assure you that we are listening,” Manley said. “We want to understand what brought you to this point, and we want to listen to you.”
“There’s the message behind what’s happening in our community, and we’re not going to understand that until the suspect or suspects reaches out to us to talk to us about what that message was,” he continued. “We still do not know what ideology may be behind this and what the motive was behind this.”
As of midnight on Monday morning, President Trump’s Twitter feed has been mum on the Austin bombings.
Michael Boone is a freelance journalist and columnist writing about politics, government, race, and media. He graduated from Texas Southern University’s School of Communication, and lives in Houston’s Third Ward.