Newly released chopper video shows takedown of Austin bomber


Five months after law enforcement officers cornered Austin bombing suspect Mark Conditt in Round Rock, state officials on Friday released helicopter video showing the dramatic and deadly confrontation.

The footage marks the first substantial piece of evidence made public in a case that terrorized Austin during a 19-day stretch in March, leaving two people dead and five injured.

The video shows police vehicles getting into position behind Conditt’s small SUV at a red light at Old Settlers Boulevard and the Interstate 35 frontage road.

As Conditt heads south, officers move in, ramming the SUV from behind with a van. The impact causes the SUV to run into the back of another police vehicle positioned in front of Conditt.

Officers rush out of the van and begin furiously beating on the passenger-side window. An officer can be seen delivering three hard strikes to the window before an explosive blast consumes the SUV, forcing officers to back away as smoke pours out.

“Got an explosion. Got an explosion inside the vehicle,” an officer says.

The primary force of the blast appears to shoot out of the driver’s side of the SUV. The footage captures a bright flash and debris shooting out well onto the main lanes of the highway.

Texas Department of Public Safety commissioners watched the video in a meeting that was open to the public concerning operations of the agency’s air unit.

Austin police SWAT team members found Conditt in the early morning hours of March 21 and began an effort to stop him.

Though the blast blew the officers back, but none were seriously injured. Police Chief Brian Manley has praised the officers’ actions, saying that they put their lives at risk to stop Conditt.

The case remains under investigation by Austin police and the FBI, who are still conducting forensic examinations of Conditt’s cell phone and computers.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Jury gives life sentence to man suspected of numerous attacks on women
Jury gives life sentence to man suspected of numerous attacks on women

A man accused of a series of attacks against women in North Austin was sentenced to life in prison on Friday. Nicodemo Coria-Gonzalez, 27, was convicted of aggravated sexual assault this week in connection to an attack on a 56-year-old woman along an isolated dirt path in April 2016. DNA evidence linked Coria-Gonzalez to the crime. After the conviction...
3D-printed gun creator Cody Wilson arrested in Taiwan
3D-printed gun creator Cody Wilson arrested in Taiwan

Two days after authorities filed sexual assault charges against Cody Wilson, the Austin man at the center of the national debate over 3D-printed guns, Taiwanese law enforcement officials took him into custody in that country’s capital with plans to return him to the United States. Wilson was arrested in the Wanhua District of Taipei, Taiwanese...
Cold front could bring heavy rain to Austin area Saturday, Sunday
Cold front could bring heavy rain to Austin area Saturday, Sunday

A cold front moving into the Austin area Saturday morning will likely bring thunderstorms to the region, making for a wet kick-off at the Longhorns’ home football game this afternoon. But it won’t actually be very cold, National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Platt said. Temperatures should still reach the mid-80s all weekend, with...
Texas agency dumps proposal to raise retired teachers’ health premiums
Texas agency dumps proposal to raise retired teachers’ health premiums

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas officially decided Friday to ditch a proposal to raise health insurance premiums for retired teachers under age 65. The system’s board over the summer had considered raising premiums for about 68,000 retirees and their dependents by $50 a month in 2019. But amid pressure from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, board...
Paxton’s office warns AISD in flap over church’s gay-marriage beliefs
Paxton’s office warns AISD in flap over church’s gay-marriage beliefs

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office on Friday warned Austin school district officials against blocking a Christian church that opposes gay marriage from using district facilities, saying such action would violate state law and the First Amendment. Celebration Church of Georgetown has been holding services most Sundays since Aug. 26 at...
More Stories