Neighbor says Austin, Texas bombing suspect seemed 'smart'

Lynn Cook
March 25, 2018

Conditt said in the recording he felt as though he was disturbed since childhood, according to the Statesman. He reportedly killed himself Wednesday in an explosion inside his auto.

Conditt tried to drive away before he plowed into a ditch, then set off a bomb as SWAT officers ran toward the auto.

Austin police chief Brian Manley said police tracked the suspect to a hotel about 32 kilometres north of Austin and followed him when he pulled to the side of the road and detonated a device, killing himself.

Police said Conditt was killed after detonated a bomb inside his vehicle as officers closed in on him to arrest him early Wednesday morning.

The man was killed after he detonated an explosive as officers approached his auto following a chase in Round Rock, north of the Texas state capital.

Authorities boasted of uncovering a "treasure trove of information" about the dead 23-year-old - but officials warn explosives may still be out there, and other collaborators may be on the loose. The force blew one officer back and killed the suspect.

Mary Conditt, 83, said she last saw her grandson in December when he traveled with his family to her house for Christmas.

He said police flew drones over Conditt's home for about six hours between Tuesday evening and early Wednesday morning. After Conditt died, Thomas was eventually released.

The March 2 blast killed Anthony Stephan House, a 39-year-old man with a background in finance and an 8-year-old daughter.

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Though Mark Anthony Conditt is dead, police said they are not yet sure if the terror that struck Austin is over.

Authorities have not identified the two men who were hurt Sunday, saying only that they are in their 20s and white. It all ended when police say Conditt set off a bomb in his SUV as the S.W.A.T. team moved in. Manley said it described the differences among the bombs in great detail.

Withers said Thomas lived with Conditt for more than three months in a home Conditt was renovating with his father.

One day later, police said they believed the bombings were all connected and said they believed they were dealing with a "serial bomber".

Police said the 23-year-old left a video recording on his phone, characterizing it as a "confession".

Reyes says that when Goodwill received the box, they decided it wasn't appropriate for donation.

Some critics have also taken exception to media coverage that included Conditt's friends and family describing him as nerdy and kind.

Pflugerville resident Jay Schulze said he was jogging on Tuesday night when he was stopped by police and asked about the bombings. Another bomb severely injured Esperanza Herrera, a 75-year-old Hispanic woman. "I don't know how many ways to say it but everyone is caught off guard by this", Conditt's uncle, Mike Courtney of Lakewood, Colorado, told The Associated Press.

But investigators say the recording provides few clues as to Conditt's motives - and they've refused to release it, citing the ongoing investigation.

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The 23-year-old suspect had evaded capture for almost three weeks as he left a path of package bombs across the Texas capital, killing two and injuring several more. The first explosions were from packages left on doorsteps.

Officers then recovered footage of Conditt wearing a blond wig and gloves as he turned over packages to send at a FedEx store in south Austin. And when his auto moved, they followed and forced him off the road, setting up the confrontation that ended in an explosion.

For some Austin residents, authorities' hesitancy to describe the explosions as acts of terrorism was particularly infuriating, and failed to recognize the extent to which the bombings paralyzed the city.

Cornered by police Wednesday, Mark Conditt detonated explosives inside his vehicle before dawn and ended a bombing campaign that killed two, injured several others and injected anxiety into a city renowned for its creativity and cool. The New York Times shed light on Conditt's "tight-knit" and "deeply religious" family.

On the night of the fourth bombing, one of the victims was riding a bike in the street and the other was on a sidewalk when they hit the tripwire.

"Someone else may get hurt, I don't want to see that happen", Rubel said.

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Anita Ward, a nurse at Austin Med Spa, tells the Austin American-Statesman that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Austin police told her daughter Tuesday morning that she was the intended recipient of the bomb.

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