The suspected serial bomber who died north of Austin, Texas, on Wednesday morning was Mark Anthony Conditt, a 23-year-old who grew up in the area, public records show. Conditt died from an explosion that police say he triggered when a SWAT team was closing in on him.
There has been intense interest in the bombing spree, which killed two black men and injured several other people. Anthony House, 39, died after picking up a box on his porch on March 2, and Draylen Mason, 17, was killed (and his mother was injured) in a similar incident on March 12.
Interest now turns to Conditt, the chief suspect in the string of deadly bombings that struck fear and anxiety into thousands of people.
Here’s what we know about Mark Conditt, based on information culled by NPR’s researchers, who consulted public records and publicly available social media accounts:
Conditt’s most recent address was in Pflugerville, Texas, northeast of downtown Austin — and less than 5 miles from the the 1100 block of Haverford Drive, where the first bomb struck on March 2.
Surveillance footage shows Conditt bringing packages to be shipped — and attracting particular notice because of a distinctly obvious disguise: a light-colored wig and gloves.
Conditt was the oldest of three children; he has two sisters. Their parents were Danene Conditt, 56, and Pat Conditt, 57, who also live in Pflugerville.
Conditt was home-schooled by his mother, Danene. A Facebook account in that name shows a celebratory note that was posted in February 2013 stating, “I officially graduated Mark from High School on Friday. 1 down, 3 to go. He has 30 hrs of college credit too, but he’s thinking of taking some time to figure out what he wants to do…. maybe a mission trip. Thanks to everyone for your support over the years.”
Conditt attended Austin Community College; it’s not certain whether he graduated.
He is believed to have been unemployed. However, records show he was formerly an employee of Crux Manufacturing, which bills itself as a “manufacturing solutions company” in Pflugerville, Texas, that specializes in engineering and precision manufacturing.
The Facebook page for Pat Conditt shows a video posted in the summer 2009 of him playing in a lake with his children during a trip to North Carolina. At the start of the video, a boy who appears to be Mark Conditt is seen smiling as he places a scoop of mud on top of his dad’s head — a makeshift crown.
Pat Conditt’s Facebook page has also begun to attract comments about his son, including remarks defending or commiserating with him and his wife.
“I am so sorry for your loss,” a woman named Gail Fitches wrote. “I have read your wife’s FB page, and I can tell your family gave their all to each other and you and your wife were good parents, who were involved with their children, working hard to give them a good life. It is not your fault, and my heart aches for you and your family. :'( It is obvious that you both gave your all to your family and that you both are good parents. My prayers will be with your entire family. .You have a double heartache, and may God help you and your family through this difficult time.”
This is a breaking news story. As often happens in situations like these, some information reported early may turn out to be inaccurate. We’ll move quickly to correct the record and we’ll only point to the best information we have at the time.