Crime

Package sent to and from Austin explodes at Schertz FedEx sorting facility

SCHERTZ, Texas (KXAN) - A package exploded at a FedEx distribution center northeast of San Antonio shortly after midnight Tuesday. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says the package, which was sent from Austin to be sorted in Schertz, was also bound for Austin, where four other package bombings have occurred in the past three weeks.

Schertz Police Chief Michael Hansen said, "We're confident neither this facility nor any location in Schertz is a target," during a press conference Tuesday morning.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are all investigating at the FedEx ground sorting facility in Schertz, Texas in the 9900 block of Doerr Lane.

Schertz police say the package was moving on a conveyer belt in the sorting area of the facility when it exploded around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday. A female employee who was nearby suffered a concussion and reported ringing in her ears.

"It sounded like a cannon was shot," said FedEx employee Colby Forster. Forster says he was within eyesight of the explosion and saw smoke coming from the area. 

"One of us unloaded the box, it went up into the conveyor system and as soon as the metal arm hit the box it exploded," said Forster. The metal arm Forster is referring to helps push packages along the conveyor belt. 

A 911 caller stated the medium-sized package contained metal and nails, but the ATF would not confirm that Tuesday morning.

About 75 employees were there at the time. The building was evacuated while authorities worked to make sure the building was safe to reenter. Helicopter video from the scene show packages taken out of trucks and being surveyed.

Family of the FedEx workers are still trying to comprehend what happened. KXAN also spoke with Forster's mother, "It's really sad that our world has come to this, that you just want to kill and hurt random people," said Kelley Forster. "Before you do anything else, get help. There is someone who will help you."

FedEx released a statement Tuesday afternoon stating the suspect sent a total of two packages through FedEx. The second package has been identified and handed over to authorities. Austin police have not confirmed the package at the Austin FedEx facility on McKinney Falls Parkway is the second package in question.

Investigators believe the suspect shipped the packages from the FedEx store on Brodie Lane in south Austin. The store was closed Tuesday and cordoned off with police tape.

Federal agents say this package may be linked to attacks by the person believed to be a serial bomber in Austin. Schertz is about 75 miles southwest of Austin.

The latest attack was Sunday night, in which two men in their 20s were hurt when they set off a tripwire that detonated a bomb in southwest Austin. Three other package explosions in the past three weeks have killed two people and hurt two others. 


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