The Texas Department of Public Safety has released helicopter video of the final moments of Austin bomber Mark Conditt.
The video is from March 21 of this year, when authorities closed in on Conditt as a suspect in a series of bombings in the Austin area that left two dead and five seriously injured.
Shot in night vision, the video shows authorities following Conditt as he drove through the town of Round Rock, a suburb of Austin. They were able to track him through an unexploded bomb, which provided enough clues to link him to the other bombings.
The video shows authorities attempting to ram Conditt’s SUV, as he is driving on an interstate service road. When cops begin to approach the vehicle, Conditt sets off a bomb he had with him, sending a ball of flame shooting out of the SUV’s windows. Several officers standing alongside the car were not seriously injured.
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 video was shown at an open meeting of the Department of Public Safety, that discussed the use of helicopters in their work. The video was shown as part of a presentation.
Police still aren’t sure why Conditt picked the people he did as his bombing victims, but they continue to search his cell phone and computer for clues.
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.
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.
Here is the video.
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