Everything You Should Know About The Austin Bombings
On Wednesday (Mar. 21), suspect in the Austin bombings, Mark Anthony Conditt committed suicide by detonating a bomb in his vehicle once officers attempted to apprehend him. And though they’re almost certain that the 23-year-old in question was a suspect, they believe that he may have had accomplices and/or that he may have mailed or placed more packaged bombs before his death.
With no particular location having been targeted and Austin residents being warned to remain aware, police have yet to discover a pattern of locations, or whether the bomber(s) had certain motives. The set of incidents are still under an international spotlight.
Little is known about the incident outside of its sporadic nature. Over a three-week period, six people were injured and two others were killed. Due to the demographic variety of victims, police have changed their evaluation of the collective crimes after each singular event.
Here’s a timeline of the bombings:
Around 7 a.m., Austin police were notified about an explosion at the home of 39-year old Anthony Stephan House. Though rushed to the nearby Round Rock Hospital, House was declared dead less than an hour later.
Police announced that the incident was isolated, easing community beliefs that it may be a terrorist attack. They declared that it may have been a targeted strike when a package was left on a specific door. “Anytime we have a bomb go off like that and somebody dies, the first thing people think is terrorism. While we cannot completely rule it out at this point, we do not believe that terrorism is a motive in this death,” Assistant Chief Joseph Chacon said.
Austin police responded to a 6:45 a.m. call about an explosion in northwest Austin. A package was discovered by 17-year-old Draylen Mason on his doorstep. Mason opened the package on his kitchen counter and it exploded immediately, leaving him dead on impact and his mother injured, though she was brought to the hospital in stable condition.
Around noon, a 75-year-old Latino woman received a package that was addressed to someone else. It exploded, leaving her severely injured (she suffered an amputated leg), and in critical but stable condition. She was later identified as Esperanza Herrera.
Both House and Mason were relatives of prominent African Americans, The Washington Post reports. House's death was reclassified as a homicide and no longer considered an isolated incident. Police surmised that the sender of both the first and second packages was the same as all of the victims were persons of color. It was decided that there was too little information to rule that yet.
A tripwire incited the injuries of two white males, aged 22 and 23. Police knew then that they were dealing with a serial bomber and decided against racialized murder. Special Agent Christopher Combs declared that the tripwire changed any type of lead as it could have harmed anyone. The sophisticated variation amongst all of the bombs made investigators believe that the bomber(s) had extensive training.
Police introduced a $115,000 reward for anyone that could lead them to the suspect. Residents were advised not to leave their homes until 10 a.m. the next day.
At midnight, in a FedEX facility in Schertz, Texas, a package addressed to a location in Austin exploded on a conveyor belt. Another package shipped by the bomber was intercepted thanks to FedEx surveillance.
Police confirmed that the packaging facility wasn't the target. No one was wounded but one worker reported ringing ears.
The suspect in the bombings detonated a bomb in his car when police closed in on him. The suspect was identified as 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt.
When Conditt's home was later investigated, officials discovered a 25-minute cell-phone recording. The bomber referred to nearly seven bombs, though he doesn't discuss his motive. Police have asked Austin residents to be vigilant as they're not certain about whether Conditt had shipped any more bombs before his death.