‘Suspicious package’ 911 calls spike drastically after explosions


Police said “suspicious package” calls spiked drastically in Austin on Monday after one package explosion killed a 17-year-old in East Austin in the morning and a second similar explosion in Southeast Austin injured a woman hours later.

As of 4:45 p.m., Austin police had received 63 “suspicious package” calls since news of the first explosion broke about nine hours earlier, officials said. In comparison, Austin police received two calls of that type last Monday.

The officers who responded to these calls did not find anything dangerous, interim Police Chief Brian Manley said.

“I can’t fault people for being careful. … I’m sure that number is likely to grow,” said Austin police spokeswoman Tara Long.

The U.S. Postal Service told investigators that Monday’s deadly packages did not come through their facilities, so the packages were likely left by someone at the doorstep, Manley said.

Monday’s explosions were the second and third in the last 10 days. The first one happened in Northeast Austin on March 2 and killed 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House. Interim Police Chief Brian Manley said Monday investigators believe the three incidents are related.

Austin police urged people in a news conference Monday to call 911 if they receive an unexpected or suspicious package.



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