APD police chief reflects on Austin bombings one year later

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — One year after the series of bombings that terrorized the city of Austin and its surrounding areas for weeks, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley is reflecting on the events.

“Sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday,” said Manley. “That was a surreal time, it was a scary time for us as a community and it doesn’t matter what part of Austin you lived in — or even in the suburbs — our community was really in fear.”

The bombings began March 2, 2018, and continued through the month, concluding March 21 when the perpetrator, Mark Anthony Conditt blew himself up in a vehicle on Interstate 35 in Round Rock.

Conditt’s various package bombs — delivered seemingly at random to strangers’ doorsteps — claimed the lives of two and injured five. 

Austin police’s investigation utilized looking for commonalities in the makeup of the bombs and their packaging, which led to the discovery of video of Conditt purchasing a large haul of nails from Home Depot in Round Rock.

Police ultimately tracked him to a Round Rock hotel and followed behind his car onto the I-35 frontage road where he was pulled over and detonated a bomb in the vehicle, injuring one officer and killing himself. 

“I think it highlights that no matter how safe your city is, you could just be a heartbeat away from a tragic act,” said Manley. “Whether it be the shootings that we’ve seen around this country in schools, or restaurants or movie theaters, or what we endured here: the tragic loss of life due to a serial bomber.”

At 10 p.m., KXAN’s Brittany Glas has the full interview with APD Chief Brian Manley and more on the aftermath of the Austin bombings one year later.

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