Austin Bomber Apprehended

By Isabella Frangiosa


Photo by CNN.

As of Wednesday, Mark Conditt, the man responsible for the Austin serial bombings, is dead. Conditt, a 23-year-old white male, blew himself up in his car when law enforcement and SWAT teams tried to approach the vehicle. Only one member of the SWAT team was injured in the explosion.

Serial bombings are when a series of planned and organized bombings are carried out by the same person or people. Conditt had been leaving bombs in unmarked packages that detonated when handled or opened.  

The first bombing took place on March 2, at the residence of Anthony House, who was killed after he attempted to pick up a box that was left on his doorstep.

The second and third bombings both took place on March 12, when Draylen Mason was killed and his mother was critically injured after trying to open a package in their kitchen. Later that very same day, a 75-year-old Hispanic woman tried to pick up a package left on her front doorstep and was injured.

The fourth bombing, taking place on March 18th, happened differently from the other three. The package was left on the side of the road. It was also triggered by a tripwire, and when people drove by the bomb was detonated. Two men were seriously injured.

The last and fifth bombing took place on Tuesday this week when a package in a FedEx shipping center addressed to Austin went off. Only one employee was injured.

However, later on, police got a call about another suspicious package at a different FedEx facility in Austin. They arrived before the bomb could go off, and no one was injured.

Police began receiving information about Conditt, making him a person of interest, and then ultimately, a suspect.

“There were several leads that led us to this person,” Brian Manley, chief of police in Austin said. These leads include a surveillance video that shows Conditt bringing packages to a FedEx store. Law enforcement then tracked his car to a hotel, where they waited for more backup.

However, before backup could arrive, Conditt left the hotel, got into his car, and drove away. Police and SWAT followed him until he pulled over to the side of the road and blew up his car.

As of now, there is no evidence linking Conditt’s victims together, or any possible motives besides race. While two victims were white, the two dead and all other injured were African American or Hispanic.  

Currently, police are looking into whether Conditt was working alone or with an accomplice. They are interviewing his roommates as well as going through his social media and internet history to try and find any sort of indicating factors that would have led him to commit such atrocious acts.

While looking into the wreckage of his car, police found Conditt’s phone on him. While going through it, they discovered a 25 minute video confession of Conditt admitting to the bombings. There was no mention of motive, and police believe that they won’t be able to find one.

“I know everybody is interested in a motive and understanding why. And we’re never going to be able to put a (rationale) behind these acts,” stated Manley.

Right now, it is a scary time for everyone. In wake of the recent school shootings, both in Florida and Maryland, it seems the entire nation is on edge. However dark the times may seem, we cannot let ourselves live in fear. The person responsible for these bombings was stopped before they could hurt anyone else, and we must use this fragment of hope to strengthen our resolve and continue to move forward.