Mark Anthony Conditt, a 24-year-old white man, has been named as the suspect in the Austin bombings. Conditt, considered to be a “serial bomber”, died on Wednesday, March 21 by detonating a bomb inside his car. The bombings, which began on March 2, killed two people and left terrorized Texas for 19 days.
Austin police confirmed they obtained surveillance images showing the suspect at a FedEx store in Austin, later identifying the car and spotting it at a hotel in Round Rock, Texas.
According to CNN, officers waited for tactical units to arrive on the scene, the man began to drive away and later stopped on the side of the road. Conditt stopped on the side of the Interstate 35 frontage road, detonating a bomb as officers approached, knocking one of the officers to the ground and injuring him. Another officer, a member of the SWAT team, fired at the suspect. That officer will be placed on administrative duty, which is standard practice while the investigation is underway.
Mark Anthony Conditt, who suffered “significant injuries,” died inside the vehicle. At this time, it is believed that Conditt lived in Pflugerville, Texas.
ABC 13 reports that authorities are now questioning two former roommates of Conditt’s at a home in Pflugerville and they are cooperating with investigators. Furthermore, the roommates are not considered suspects.
The first explosion killed 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House on March 2. The second blast on March 12 killed 17-year-old Draylen Mason. The third blast happened several hours later and critically injured a 75-year-old woman.
Those three blasts all happened after someone left explosives-laden packages on the victims’ doorsteps. In the fourth blast, a device was triggered by a tripwire, injuring two white men in a predominantly white area.
Police have not ruled out the possibility that those bombings could be hate crimes. They urged residents to pay attention to their surroundings, and not approach or touch anything that looks suspicious.
Three of the four bombings involved cardboard packages left in front yards or on porches. Those three explosions — the first on March 2 and two more happening on March 12 — killed or wounded three African-Americans and one Hispanic person.
During a press conference, Police Chief Brian Manley warned residents to remain vigilant:
“This is the culmination of three very long weeks for our community,” Manley said. “We don’t know where the suspect has spent his last 24 hours, and therefore we still need to remain vigilant to ensure no other packages or devices have been left in the community.”
At this time, Conditt’s motive for the bombings is unknown:
“That’s the one thing we don’t have right now, is a motive behind this,” Manley said. “We do not understand what motivated him to do what he did, and that will also be part of the continuing investigation as we try to learn more about him.”
In total, two people were killed and six people were injured due to Conditt’s serial bombings. At 6:28 a.m. this morning, President Trump tweeted about the incident “AUSTIN BOMBING SUSPECT IS DEAD. Great job by law enforcement and all concerned!”