Morning update after the 10 AM Austin Police press conference regarding the Austin bombing that occurred last night at around 8:00 PM near 4800 block of Dawn Song Dr, in southwest Austin, Texas.
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley described the victims of the attack as a 22-year-old and 23-year-old, both Anglo males.
Both victims are reportedly still in the hospital but were able to tell investigators that they were riding their bikes or walking their bikes on a grassy area between a roadway and a fence when the bomb went off.
Austin-Travis County EMS previously described both males’ injuries as serious, but not life-threatening.
Unlike the previous three devices, this last bomb appears to be triggered by the victims walking into a wire that was spread across an area adjacent to the roadway.
ATF Special Agent Frederick Milanowski stated that a trip wire bomb is a “victim-activated” device that goes off when tension is placed on the wire; someone walking into a wire, as well as a package being opened/picked up can cause this tension.
Chief Manley said the last three Austin bombings are ones that could be described as “targeted” however he stated that this latest bombing “changes everything” because the device could have hurt “anyone walking by.”
The lead FBI agent at the scene agreed that last night’s bomb was alarming because it had no target and the use of the trip-wire indicates that the perpetrator(s) are “sophisticated.”
Officials state that they believe that the perpetrator(s) to be a serial bomber (s), however further investigation is required in other to definitely state that these incidents are domestic terrorism or any other classification.
The neighborhood of Travis Country is expected to remain under lockdown until about 2 PM today; authorities say that this is being done as an “abundance of caution.”
Several neighbors coming down Republic of TX Blvd having to turn around. 5 more cars driven by ATF agents also just arrived at this end of the explosion scene. Travis Country on lockdown till 2pm. @KXAN_News pic.twitter.com/AeAU6X8wFa
— Yoojin Cho (@Yoojin_Cho) March 19, 2018
.@ATFHQ agent Fred Milanowski says they are confident this is the same person from the first 3 explosions. He believes the bomber brought in some type of yard sign to anchor the trip wire. The changing method is concerning to investigators. pic.twitter.com/76BK94fUHi
— Courtney Schoenemann (@CourtCBS) March 19, 2018