By Cameron Olenick & Reagan Ahlquist
Until a few weeks ago, a terror plagued the streets of Austin, Texas, striking fear into the homes of all Texans in the area. An anonymous terrorist had been placing explosives devices into packages and mailing them to people’s doorsteps. The trend however, was that these packages were only being sent to homes owned by minorities.
These bombs were homemade and were detonated using tripwires. The explosives caused two deaths and five injuries to Austin residents. The packages were all mailed, except for one which was placed directly onto a residential porch. Thankfully, the issue has been resolved. The bomber, Mark Anthony Conditt, committed suicide with one of his own explosive devices while being trailed by police in his van on March 21, 2018.
These bombs detonated over a three week period between March 2nd to March 20th. The first bomb was sent to the porch of a 39 year old African American man who opened the package and was killed by the explosion. The next two bombs were opened on March 12 and one bomb killed a 17 year old African American, and injured his mother. The other bomb that day ended up injuring a 75 year old hispanic woman. On March 18th, the fourth bomb went off via a tripwire in a neighborhood injuring two passing by men. This was the only bomb placed by the bomber himself, instead of being mailed. The final bomb that was sent out exploded in a FedEx packaging facility which left a 20 year old with minor injuries. Glenelg Senior, Robbie Baxter, says, “The bombings were tragic and heartbreaking. I do not know what motivates a person to do this”. Thankfully Conditt will not be terrorizing anymore since he blew himself up in his van after police were investigating him.
Although this crisis has been resolved, the impact it has left behind is tremendously substantial. Sophomore, Julie Thomas, said “I have family down in Texas and they were worried. You should not have to be afraid of opening a package on your porch.” Conditt murdered innocent civilians with his homemade bombs for reasons that appeared to be racially motivated. After his death, police searched his phone and recovered a twenty-five minute confession video where he admitted to building the bombs. No hate speech or motive was involved in the video, according to authorities. So the question remains, why did he target the people he did?