Austin Bombing Suspect Blows Himself Up as SWAT Closes In - NBC 7 San Diego
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Austin Bombing Suspect Blows Himself Up as SWAT Closes In

Authorities had zeroed in on the suspect in the last 24 to 36 hours and located him at a hotel

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    Raw: Austin Police News Conference on Bombing Suspect Killed

    Authorities in Austin say the suspect blew himself up in his vehicle overnight as a SWAT team closed in on him in a suburban Austin hotel parking lot. They haven't released his name and say they don't know his motives, but they described him as a 24-year-old white man. (Published Wednesday, March 21, 2018)

    The suspect in a series of bombing attacks in Austin blew himself up early Wednesday as authorities closed in, a dramatic end to a weekslong siege of the Texas capital, where two were killed and four injured in a series of blasts.

    Two law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation confirmed to NBC News the suspect's name is 24-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt.

    Authorities had zeroed in on Conditt in the last 24 to 36 hours and located him at a hotel on Interstate 35 in the suburb of Round Rock, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said at a news conference. They were waiting for ballistic vehicles to arrive when his vehicle began to drive away, Manley said. Authorities followed the vehicle, which stopped in a ditch on the side of the road, the police chief said.

    When members of the SWAT team approached, Conditt detonated an explosive device inside the vehicle, the police chief said. The blast knocked back one officer, while a second officer fired his weapon, Manley said.

    Conditt, who suffered significant injuries from the blast, was killed. 

    Authorities said it was too soon to say if Conditt worked alone. They also said they don't know his motive.

    "AUSTIN BOMBING SUSPECT IS DEAD. Great job by law enforcement and all concerned!" President Donald Trump soon after a police news conference.

    Chief Manley also tweeted, "I can't thank the men and women of #AustinPD or our Federal partners enough for their tireless work in restoring peace to our community."

    Earlier Wednesday, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said that federal and local authorities had converged on an area where the bombing suspect was holed up in the capital city.

    FBI agent Chris Combs, head of the agency's San Antonio office, said, "We are concerned that there may be other packages that are still out there."

    Isaac Figueroa, 26, said he and his brother heard sirens and helicopters early Wednesday and drove toward them, then cut through nearby woods on foot after they hit a police roadblock.

    Suspect in Austin Bombing Attacks Blows Himself UpSuspect in Austin Bombing Attacks Blows Himself Up

    The suspect in a series of bombing attacks in Austin blew himself up early Wednesday as authorities closed in, a dramatic end to a weekslong siege of the Texas capital, where two were killed and four injured in a series of blasts.

    (Published Wednesday, March 21, 2018)

    Figueroa said they saw a silver or gray Jeep Cherokee that was pinned between black and white vehicles and "looked like it had been rammed off the road." He said he saw police deploy a robot to go examine the Jeep.

    The suspect's death followed a day of rapid-fire developments in the case.

    On Tuesday, a bomb inside a package exploded around 1 a.m. as it passed along a conveyer belt at a FedEx shipping center in Schertz, northeast of San Antonio and about 60 miles southwest of Austin. One worker reported ringing in her ears and was treated at the scene.

    Later in the morning, police sent a bomb squad to a FedEx facility outside the Austin airport to check on a suspicious package. Federal agencies and police later said that package had indeed contained an explosive that was successfully intercepted and that it, too, was tied to the other bombings.

    Authorities also closed off an Austin-area FedEx store where they believe the bomb that exploded in Schertz was shipped. They roped off a large area around the shopping center in the enclave of Sunset Valley and were collecting evidence.

    The Schertz blast came two days after a bombing wounded two men Sunday night in a quiet Austin neighborhood about 3 miles from the FedEx store. It was triggered by a nearly invisible tripwire, suggesting a "higher level of sophistication" than agents saw in three package bombs previously left on doorsteps, according to Fred Milanowski, the agent in charge of the Houston division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

    Authorities have not identified the two men who were hurt Sunday, saying only that they are in their 20s.

    During an Oval Office meeting Tuesday, President Donald Trump said whoever is responsible for the bombings "is obviously a very sick individual or individuals" and that authorities are "working to get to the bottom of it."