Explosion in Austin Injures Two Men, 'Triggering' of Tripwire a Possibility

An explosion in Austin, Texas, injured two men on Sunday night, marking the fourth blast in the city in little more than two weeks.

Police said a package was left on the side of the road when two men were either biking or pushing bicycles along the path in Sunset Valley. An explosion occurred as they passed the package, injuring both men.

Authorities waited until daylight to process the scene, and residents living near the area were instructed to stay indoors until 10 a.m. on Monday.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said the latest explosion in Texas' capital could have been triggered by a tripwire, citing three previous explosions in the city. Authorities believe the series of blasts are connected.

"We're not believing that this was similar to previous ones, as in packages left on doorsteps. But instead, this was some type of suspicious package that was left on the side of the road, that detonated and injured these two men," Manley said.

"What we do understand now, is that the possibility exists this device was triggered in a different mechanism — that being a tripwire," he said.

The victims in the first three explosions, which happened in a span of 10 days, were African-American or Hispanic and residing in east Austin. Those explosions killed a man and a teenager, and injured two others.

Police have not yet discovered a motive, but have not ruled out the possibility those bombings could be hate crimes as the bombs stuffed inside packages and left on residents' doorsteps.

But unlike the victims of the previous blasts, the two men injured in Sunday's explosion are white, Manley told ABC's Good Morning America on Monday. Both men are expected to recover.

The fourth explosion in Austin came hours after police begged for the attacks to stop during a press conference.

"We believe that the recent explosive incidents that have occurred in the city of Austin were meant to send a message," Manley said in a news conference. "We hope this person or persons is watching and will reach out to us before anyone else is injured or anyone else is killed out of this event."

Manley has also asserted that Austin residents should remain alert and should contact authorities with any tips or odd observations, even if the information seems "inconsequential."

"We now need the community to have an extra level of vigilance and pay attention to any suspicious device — whether it be a package or a bag, a backpack — anything that looks out of place," Manley said Monday. "Do not approach items like that."

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The popular South by Southwest film, music and arts festival in the area wrapped up on Sunday, but a bomb threat on Saturday resulted in the cancellation of a concert featuring The Roots.

Photo credit: Getty / Suzanne Cordiero / AFP