Suspected Austin Serial Bomber Identified After Blowing Himself Up

AUSTIN, Texas (CN) – The suspect in a string of deadly bombings that terrorized Austin has been identified as Mark Anthony Conditt, 24, who blew himself up next to a Texas frontage road as SWAT officers approached his vehicle.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said the suspect detonated a bomb inside his vehicle early Wednesday after a pursuit with FBI and police, who had the man under surveillance. The blast resulted in minor injuries to one SWAT officer, and caused another one to fire his weapon.

“The suspect is deceased and has significant injuries from a blast that occurred from detonating a bomb inside his vehicle,” Manley said Wednesday morning. “This is the culmination of three very long weeks for our community.”

At least two people are dead and five more have been wounded this month by bombs left at various locations around Central Texas.

The first explosion happened March 2, when Anthony Stephan House, 39, handled a box left on his front porch. Ten days later, 17-year-old Draylen William Mason was killed after his mother opened a package left at their doorstep. Later that Monday morning, a 75-year-old woman was injured when she handled a package left near her home.

Then on March 18, an explosion triggered by a trip wire left two men seriously wounded.

On Tuesday, a package destined for Austin exploded at a FedEx sorting facility in nearby Schertz, leaving one employee with minor injuries. A second package located at a separate FedEx facility in Austin was secured by law enforcement without exploding.

FBI officials said the two bombs found on Tuesday are connected to the four earlier package explosions.

Police waited at a hotel parking lot in Round Rock, about 20 miles north of Austin, after identifying the suspect’s vehicle Tuesday night. While awaiting the arrival of police tactical teams, Corditt fled the hotel and authorities followed.

Moments later, Corditt pulled his vehicle into a ditch and detonated a bomb that killed him as members of the Austin Police Department SWAT Team approached him. The SWAT officer with minor injuries had been knocked back by the blast. The officer who fired his weapon has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

The city’s police chief still warned residents to “remain vigilant.”

“We don’t know where this suspect has spent his last 24 hours,” he said. “If you see something that’s out of place, if you see something that gives you concern call 911 so we don’t experience any more tragedies in our community.”

President Donald Trump praised the efforts of law enforcement in an early morning tweet on Wednesday: “AUSTIN BOMBING SUSPECT IS DEAD. Great job by law enforcement and all concerned!”

Conditt was reportedly a resident of Pflugerville, about 20 miles outside of Austin. Authorities were working Wednesday to determine a motive for the deadly bombing spree.

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