A San Antonio television station aired photos of the suspect in the serial Austin bombings that terrified people in the Texas community. Shortly thereafter, police cornered the suspect, Mark Anthony Conditt, in the case after shots were fired. The suspect is now dead, according to the police chief, after blowing himself up with a device in a car.
The suspect involved was a 24-year-old white male, the chief said. He did not provide a name, but NBC News ID’d the bomber through law enforcement sources as Conditt.
Here’s a photo of Conditt from a relative’s Facebook page:
That news broke early in the morning of Wednesday, March 21, 2018 after a frightening day that saw a package explode at a FedEx facility near San Antonio. Authorities immediately pegged it as related to the other bombings – which killed two promising young men and injured four other people – and they said the package exploded on a conveyor belt. Later in the day they said a blast at a Goodwill store was old military ordnance and not related, but the situation seemed to escalate throughout the day.
Here are the photos. It was not immediately clear whether the person of interest in them was the same person who is now dead.
The suspect may have “detonated an explosive device as police attempted to arrest him.” WFAA-TV reporter Jason Whitely wrote on Twitter around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, “The suspect in the #AustinBombings has been killed after FBI, Austin police tracked him down and engaged him in Round Rock within the last hour, according to state law enforcement officials. A device detonated –which they expected when they pursued him. Then shots.” Watch live coverage from CBS Austin here.
Tony Plohetsi, Austin-American Statesman reporter, reported on Twitter that the suspect was cornered after “police traced suspect using mix of cell phone technology, security video, store receipts.”
San Antonio 5 reporter Randy Beamer wrote, “BREAKING: Exclusive photos of Austin bombing ‘Person of Interest’ dropping off 2 packages at Austin @FedEx store. Believed to be wearing wig. Recognize him? Contact: @FBI @Austin_Police.” It could not be immediately learned whether the person featured in the photos was the same person reportedly under arrest in the bombings.
Kris Betts, KVUE-TV reporter, wrote on Twitter: “BREAKING: APD, FBI arresting suspect in Austin bombing. Suspect detonated device, shots were fired. #AustinBomber #austinPD #kvue.” However, few details were known about the situation as it was unfolding. Around the same time, Austin police wrote on Twitter,
The San Antonio television station wrote in its story on the photos, “CBS Austin obtained photos of the person investigators believe dropped off two suspicious packages on Sunday. Investigators say this is a person of interest and that the two packages are connected to the string of explosions in Austin.” The person was wearing a wig and gloves, it’s believed, the station said in its exclusive report.
The FedEx situation may have been a mistake by the bomber, though, as, according to the Texas television station, it led to people capturing images of the person of interest from surveillance video inside the FedEx store in Austin where two packages were mailed – including the one that exploded.
The serial bomber has struck at least six times in the month of March alone, shifting tactics as police urged public caution, and even using a tripwire to detonate a device over the weekend, injuring two young men in their 20s, one of whom was pushing a bicycle.