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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Authorities Say Austin Bombing Suspect Blew Himself Up As SWAT Team Approached

Posted By on Wed, Mar 21, 2018 at 11:11 AM

  • Screenshot via KSAT / Facebook
The Austin bombing suspect is dead as of early Wednesday morning, according to multiple reports.

Several news outlets, citing law enforcement sources, have identified 24-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt, a Pflugerville resident, as the suspect. According to KSAT, SWAT officers closed in on Conditt at a hotel on I-35 in Round Rock. The officers were waiting on ballistic vehicles to arrive on the scene when Conditt drove away from the hotel. Authorities followed Conditt's vehicle, which ended up stopping in a ditch on the side of the road.

In a Wednesday morning press conference, APD Chief Brian Manley told reporters that Conditt detonated a bomb inside his vehicle as SWAT officers approached him. Conditt was killed and a SWAT officer was injured, according to KSAT. I-35 was closed off as of Wednesday morning.
Although the suspect is no longer alive, Manley told reporters that they can not be sure about his whereabouts or what he has been up to. Manley urged Austin residents to remain aware and continue calling authorities regarding suspicious activity.

Austin has remained on edge throughout three package explosions and one tripwire explosion in Austin since March 2. In the first attack, a package detonated and killed 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House. On March 12, 17-year-old Draylen William Mason was killed and his mother injured when a package detonated in their kitchen. That same day, a 75-year-old woman was also injured from a separate detonation. On Sunday night, two men were injured when a tripwire caused an explosion at a trailhead.

Closer to home, a package detonated at a FedEx facility in Schertz early Tuesday morning. Later that day, a package at an Austin FedEx facility was found, unexploded. Authorities believe both were related to the Austin bombings.

President Donald Trump acknowledged the suspect's death on Twitter early Wednesday morning. On Tuesday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted that Trump was mourning the Austin bombing victims. Authorities say their investigation will continue to determine Conditt's motive. Previously, authorities said they weren't ruling out the possibility of these bombings being hate crimes, since some of the victims were minorities. At this time, police say it's unclear whether Conditt had any accomplices.

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