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Community Leaders Gather For Memorial A Year After Austin Bombings

Gabriel C. Pérez
Mayor Steve Adler speaks at a memorial service at City Hall on the anniversary of the Austin bombings.

"The first thing we need to do is remember and give a prayer" for the victims of the serial bombings last year, Austin Mayor Steve Adler told community leaders and others gathered at City Hall on Thursday for a memorial service on the anniversary of the bombings.

“For many of us, we’re looking back and remembering a year later, but for some in our community, it’s something that we’re with every day,” he said.

Adler said the attacks "frayed" the community, but it pulled together.

"I think that the real legacy of this moving forward is making sure that everyone knows their neighbors," he said. "We’re less suspicious of what we don’t know or understand, and we have to recognize that there are those around us that may need a little more support.”

Adler thanked first responders and said the video of law enforcement apprehending the bomber, who killed himself by detonating a bomb in his car, showed the dedication of law enforcement. He said more than 1,000 people worked on the case "24/7," which is one reason it wrapped up so quickly.  

Credit Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said he's praying for peace for the families of the victims.

The bombings killed two people and seriously injured four others. After a three-week manhunt, the bomber killing himself as law enforcement surrounded him in Round Rock. An officer was injured in the explosion.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said Thursday he's "praying for peace" for the families and victims of the bombings. He also thanked local and federal agencies who took part in the investigation.

"When our community was at its worst, under attack, law enforcement was at its best and demonstrating a level of cooperation that we have not seen prior to this," said Manley, who had been interim police chief at the time.

Pete Winstead, president of the Greater Austin Crime Commission, said Manley's handling of the investigation showed he was right person for the permanent role.

Winstead said the commission is now looking to make sure the city has funding for more police officers.

“I think we need to remember this day and not forget that it could happen here," he said.

DaLyah Jones contributed to this report.

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