At a Glance | March 26

Suspected Serial Bomber in Texas Capital Kills Himself, Leaves ‘Confession’ Video

The suspect in a string of explosions over nearly three weeks in Austin, Texas, died on March 21 when he detonated explosives inside his car as police approached the vehicle. Mark Anthony Conditt (right), who lived in an Austin suburb, is accused of planting five devices across Austin and San Antonio since March 2, resulting in two people being killed and five suffering injuries. Three of the explosions came from packages left on residential doorsteps, another was set off by a tripwire, and the final blast occurred at a FedEx distribution center. Another package containing an explosive was intercepted before delivery. Authorities used cell phone data and surveillance footage to home in on Conditt as a suspect and determine his location. Police followed him as he drove away from a hotel, eventually forcing the 23-year-old to stop before setting off a bomb inside his vehicle. Investigators are still uncertain of a motive; however, a 25-minute recording was found on Conditt’s phone, which Austin Police Chief Brian Manley described as “the outcry of a very challenged young man, talking about challenges in his personal life that led him to this point.” Manley stated Conditt did not mention terrorism or hate, and did not say why he chose his victims.

Franklin Township Teen Charged With Bringing Loaded Semi-Automatic Handgun to School

A Franklin Township (Somerset County) teen faces charges after police found a loaded firearm in his backpack while on school premises. Officials at the Franklin Township Alternative School were alerted on March 15 that the 17-year-old male student had a firearm and narcotics while attending class at the middle school. Police were contacted, and the teen was escorted with his belongings to the Franklin Township Police Department. Upon receiving a search warrant, detectives discovered a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic handgun. Drug paraphernalia was also found on the student. Somerset County Prosecutor Michael Robertson said there were no known threats to students or faculty following the initial investigation. The teen was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon by a person under the age of 21, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He is being held at the Middlesex County Juvenile Detention Center pending a detention hearing. This follows a similar incident on February 27, when authorities followed up on a tip to discover a loaded 9 mm handgun in the backpack of a 17-year-old at Franklin Township High School.

Suspected Gunman, Student Killed in Shooting at Maryland High School

Two students, including the suspected gunman, died and another was injured following a shooting at a high school in Lexington Park, Maryland, on March 20. Shortly after entering Great Mills High School that morning, Austin Wyatt Rollins, 17, shot 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey in the head and 14-year-old Desmond Barnes in the leg. The school resource officer, Deputy Blaine Gaskill, exchanged gunfire with Rollins, who died hours later at the hospital. Whether the shooter was killed from a fatal shot by Gaskill or with his own weapon is still being investigated. According to the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, Rollins and Willey, who died on March 22 after being taken off life support, were involved in a relationship that had recently ended. Barnes, who was discharged from the hospital after being treated for his wound, was not believed to be a target. The sheriff’s office determined that the Glock 9 mm pistol used in the shooting was legally owned by Rollins’ father.

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