ROUND ROCK, Texas — The suspect in a series of bombing attacks in Austin blows himself up early Wednesday as authorities closed in, a dramatic end to a weekslong siege of the Texas capital, where two were killed and four injured in a series of blasts.
Authorities had zeroed in on the suspect in the last 24 to 36 hours and located his vehicle at a hotel on Interstate 35 in the suburb of Round Rock, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley says at a news conference. They were waiting for ballistic vehicles to arrive to move in for an arrest when his vehicle began to drive away, Manley says. Authorities followed the vehicle, which ran into a ditch on the side of the road, the police chief says.
When members of the SWAT team approached, the suspect detonated an explosive device inside the vehicle, the police chief says. The blast knocked back one officer, while a second officer fired his weapon, Manley says.
Authorities identify the suspect only as a 24-year-old white man and wouldn’t say if he was from Austin.
Austin has been targeted by four package bombings since March 2 that killed two people and seriously wounded four others. A fifth parcel bomb detonated at a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio early Tuesday.
Manley says the suspect is believed to be responsible for all the major Austin bombings. Authorities also say they didn’t know his motive.