BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A young girl and her parents were seriously injured Friday when a package they found outside their South Texas home exploded as they opened it inside, police said.
Their neighbor, Richard Solis, said he was drinking a cup of coffee in his driveway two doors down when he heard a loud "boom." He ran toward the two-story stucco home as flames and a plume of smoke poured out.
Solis heard a woman screaming and saw a badly burned man and little girl run out the front door. He said the man held what appeared to be a ball of fire in one hand and threw it out the door, Solis said.
"The guy yelled, 'the package said to the addressee,'" Solis recounted. Solis said he seemed in shock.
Brownsville police spokesman J.J. Trevino said the family found the package outside their home and opened it early Friday morning.
Trevino identified the three victims as Jesus Juarez, 26, Iviz Machado, 30, and their 5-year-old daughter, Andrea Juarez. All three suffered serious burns, police said.
Additional explosive devices in the package that did not explode were later detonated by the bomb squad.
"This hit too close to home," said Solis, a postal worker, adding that he did not know the family.
The motive or whether the family had received earlier threats was unknown, Trevino said. He said there was extensive damage inside the home and police were working closely with the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The Brownsville Herald reports the girl was airlifted to Shriners Hospital for Children in Galveston. Her parents were airlifted to Brooke Army Medical Center burn unit in San Antonio.
Late Friday, Trevino said he did not have information on the victims' conditions.
Police kept the street closed for a block in both directions Friday and said it would likely remain that way late into the night as the investigation continued.
The tall, two-story beige and orange stucco home was one of the larger ones in the suburban neighborhood on the north side of Brownsville.