A serial bomber suspected of targeting neighbourhoods around Austin, Texas, has died, officials confirmed on Wednesday morning.
Local law enforcement officials tracked down the suspect with the help of state and federal officials.
Since March 2, five bombs have gone off in and around Austin. A sixth unexploded bomb was found at a FedEx facility in the city.
The bombs have killed two people and injured four others. Police said they believe the incidents are all related “because of the specific contents of these devices.”
In light of the explosions, which have so far followed a similar pattern in areas surrounding Austin, law enforcement officials said people should not handle any unexpected or suspicious packages, and instead call 911.
Here’s a timeline of all the suspicious packages and bombs that have been discovered, and the death of the suspect:
March 2, 6:55 a.m: A package left on the front porch of a home overnight explodes, killing 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House.
House’s death was initially deemed “suspicious.” It was later classified as a homicide.
Source: Fox News
March 12, 6:44 a.m: Another package explodes inside a home about 12 miles away from the first bomb.
Seventeen-year-old Draylen Mason was killed, and his 40-year-old mother was injured in the blast.
Mason, a gifted musician, reportedly brought the package to the kitchen to open it when it exploded. He was transported to the hospital where he later died from his injuries.
March 12, 11:50 a.m: Hours later, another package bomb explodes, injuring 75-year-old Esperanza Morena Herrera.
March 12: Following the third explosion, Gov. Greg Abbot offers a $US15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the bombings. The Austin Police Department adds an additional $US50,000 reward.
Six days later, the Austin Police Department raised their reward to a combined total of $US115,000.
March 15: Police considered the possibility that the bombings may be motivated by hate because all of the victims at the time were people of colour.
“We cannot rule out hate, but we’re not saying it’s hate,” Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said.
March 18, 8:30 p.m: Two white males in their 20s are injured after triggering a trip-wire explosive device placed on a street. The two men were hospitalized.
Austin Police Chief, Brian Manley, said in a media briefing that because the device was rigged with a trip wire, they believe the bombing suspect has “a higher level of sophistication” and skill than they initially expected.
March 20, 12:30 a.m: A fourth package bomb explodes on a conveyor belt at a FedEx facility in Schertz, Texas, about 65 miles away from Austin. One person was injured.
March 20, around 6:00 a.m: Law enforcement officials discover an unexploded device at another FedEx center in Austin.
The Austin Police Department definitively says on Twitter that the two packages on Tuesday were “connected to the four previous package explosions.”
March 20, 5:20 p.m: Police respond to an incendiary device in south Austin. A man in his 30s suffered injuries. The Austin Police Department and the ATF said the incident was unrelated to the ongoing package-bombing investigation.
Hundreds of special agents from the FBI and ATF are in Austin to help with the investigation.
APD is asking the public to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious. If you come across ANYTHING that looks suspicious, DO NOT touch, handle or disturb it. Keep a safe distance and call 9-1-1 immediately. pic.twitter.com/BfFQZ95Kfe
— Austin Police Department (@Austin_Police) March 20, 2018
March 21, 2:46 a.m.: Austin police say they are “working an Officer Involved Shooting” in an area north of Austin.
March 21, around 3:30 a.m.: Local journalists report that the bombing suspect has died. Austin police and FBI officials had been following the suspect in a car.
#BREAKING: 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.
— Jason Whitely (@JasonWhitely) March 21, 2018
The suspect detonates a bomb in the car he was in. A police officer then fires at the suspect. The suspect dies in the blast.
BREAKING: Sources say the suspect killed himself using an explosive device.
— Tony Plohetski (@tplohetski) March 21, 2018
March 21, 7:55 a.m: Austin police confirm the death of the bombing suspect. The suspect is later identified Mark Conditt.
Police are still trying to figure out where Conditt was in the past 24 hours and are concerned that there may be other devices yet to be detonated.
March 21, 4:15 p.m: FBI and ATF agents discover homemade explosives and bomb components at Conditt’s home. People living within a five-block perimeter of the home are told to evacuate.
Source: The Austin American-Statesman
March 21, 6:11 p.m: Officials announce that they have found a 25-minute recording of Conditt confessing to the bombings. The recording was found on Conditt’s phone.
Source: The Austin American-Statesman
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