For the first time in Austin’s history, the city faced attacks from serial bomber. Catching him presented a serious challenge to investigators. They met the challenge with an unprecedented unified response.
“This was the best of the best,” Governor Greg Abbott told KXAN. He credited teamwork between local, state, and federal law enforcement for finding and stopping the bomber. More than 500 federal agents reported to central Texas to help in the search. The coordinated effort led to quick results.
“It’s amazing what you can accomplish when one’s worried about who gets the credit,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Fred Milanowski.
News of the bombings became national news after a tripwire bomb in southwest Austin sent two men to the hospital. Reporters swarmed into neighborhoods to cover the crime scenes. Lauren McGaughy, who reports for the Dallas Morning News, said covering this story brought up questions on a professional and personal level.
“There’s a lot of questions about how the media should be covering tragedy and crime right now,” McGaughy said in an appearance on KXAN’s State of Texas program. “We saw it in Sutherland Springs when that town was inundated by hundreds and hundreds of people who really put the people out there who were already experiencing a trauma.”
McGaughy says the coverage brings up a question facing the media at large. “What is our real role as media and how can we make sure that we’re doing it better to be sensitive to everyone involved?”
“As a mom, this was just really difficult,” said Emily Ramshaw, editor-in-chief at The Texas Tribune. She had to balance professional and personal concerns while coordinating the Tribune’s coverage.
“This was just so acute to be thinking about how to cover this story, how to make sure my journalists were safe and how to make sure my own family was navigating this,” Ramshaw told KXAN. “A lot of us were very shaken up over the last couple of weeks.”