Black community in Austin on edge after three bombings in 10 days

In just 10 days there’s been three bombings in Austin, yet it’s unclear if they are racist hate crimes targeted towards people of color. Regardless residents of color in Austin say they feel under threat. 

“We cannot rule out hate, but we’re not saying it’s hate,” Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said Thursday, according to CNN.

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“This moment cannot be something that divides us,” said Travis County Democratic Party Chairman Vincent Harding. “This cannot be a white issue or black issue or an east issue or west issue. This must be a human issue, this must an Austin issue for all of us.”

The victims

Anthony Stephan House was reportedly a family man and loving father to an eight-year-old daughter before his life was tragically cut short by a package bomb.

House was a 39-year-old senior project manager for Texas Quarries and by all accounts the Texas State University graduate had much to live for.

Esperanza Herrera, a 75-year-old Hispanic woman suffered potentially fatal injuries and was rushed to the hospital.

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Police identified Draylen Mason as the 17-year-old that was also killed in a second attack.

Draylen Mason is reportedly one of four victims so far in a string of attacks that involves bombs left outside of the homes of minority families.

According to The Daily Mail, Draylen Mason was an aspiring musician. His grandfather Norman Mason was a renowned dentist with strong community ties. Mason’s grandmother LaVonne Mason broke ground as the co-founder of the Austin chapter of the National Urban League.

The Violin Channel reports that Draylen Mason was an honor roll bass student at the East Austin College Prep, where he studied with William Bill Dick. Mason was also a member of the Interlochen Center for the Arts, the Austin Youth Orchestra and the Austin Soundwaves.

Mason’s mother was reportedly also injured in the blast.

The impact

Residents are suspicious of packages being delivered to their homes. CNN reports none of the cardboard packages was delivered by the US Postal Service or delivery services such as UPS or FedEx, police said. The packages were left in the overnight hours.

FBI teams are investigating along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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Manley said anyone receiving a package they don’t recognize should call 911. “Under no circumstances should you touch them, move them or handle them in any way,” he said.