Breaking News!!: Round Rock, TX: Suspect in a series of package bombing attacks in and around Austin, Texas is dead after blowing himself up.
Authorities say the suspect in a series of package bombing attacks in and around Austin, Texas is dead after blowing himself up inside a vehicle on Interstate 35 near Old Settlers Boulevard in Round Rock, Texas around 2:00am CT on Wednesday, March 21st, 2018.
A multi-agency investigation that spanned numerous locations and 2 cities over the span of several weeks led authorities to the suspect.
Investigators recently identified a white man in his early 20’s as a person of interest and then a suspect, and found the vehicle he was known to drive at a hotel in Round Rock, Texas.
Law enforcement took up positions around that hotel and was waiting for Austin Police Department’s tactical team to arrive to take the suspect into police custody when he started to drive away.
** Picture from NBC affiliate KXAN Channel 36: **
Officials followed, and the man pulled to the side of southbound Interstate 35.
When SWAT approached, the man detonated a bomb, which knocked a SWAT officer back and gave him minor injuries.
Another officer who is an 11 year Austin Police Department veteran fired at the suspect.
He will be placed on administrative duty, per Austin Police Department policy.
According to Austin Police Department Chief Brian Manley, the suspect died and had “significant injuries” from the bomb.
Round Rock police say while northbound Interstate 35 is open, southbound Interstate 35 will be closed for the next 4 to 6 hours, possibly until 9:00am CT due to the investigation.
Police activity is also going on in the parking lot of a Red Roof Inn at 1990 North Interstate 35, just south of Chisholm Parkway.
According to the Round Rock Police Department, there is no immediate danger to the public.
Round Rock Independent School District confirmed school will be open today, but students will be excused if they arrive late because of the traffic.
Officials do not yet have a motive for the bombings in and around Austin, Texas but say they believe he is connected to all of them.
The first bombing happened on Friday, March 2nd, 2018 at a home located at 1112 Haverford Drive in northeast Austin.
Authorities say 39 year old Anthony Stephan House died when he picked up a package on his front porch.
The second and third bombing happened 10 days later on Monday, March 12th, 2018.
The first explosion rocked Oldfort Hill Drive in east Austin at 6:44am CT.
Authorities say 17 year old Draylen Mason died at the scene well his mother was taken to the hospital with injuries.
The second explosion that day happened on Galindo Street in southeast Austin.
Authorities say 75 year old Esperanza Morena Herrera was critically injured and remains hospitalized.
The fourth bombing happened in southwest Austin in the Travis Country neighborhood at around 8:30pm CT on Sunday, March 18th, 2018.
Authorities say 2 men in their 20’s were injured when a tripwire bomb exploded on Dawn Song Drive.
This case showed the serial bomber using a different method since the first three cases involved packages left at homes.
The fifth explosion happened on Tuesday, March 20th, 2018 in Schertz at a FedEx sorting facility.
That explosion led authorities to another suspicious package at the FedEx facility in southeast Austin.
According to Austin Police Department Chief Brian Manley, they aren’t releasing who those packages were being sent to, but says law enforcement has been in touch with them.
Later that day, local and federal authorities confirmed the serial bomber sent two packages from the FedEx shipping store on Brodie Lane.
The suspect’s name won’t be released until the medical examiner identifies him and his next-of-kin is notified.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Austin Police Department, are on scene.
According to Austin Police Department Chief Brian Manley, the Austin Police Department will conduct an internal investigation into the officer-involved shooting, the Texas Rangers will also investigate, and the police monitor will be involved as well.
Austin Police Department Chief Brian Manley also warned the public that officials do not yet know what the suspect did in the past day, and they don’t know if there are any more devices in the community.
Law enforcement officials warn residents in and around Austin, Texas to be vigilant and report anything suspicious.
** ZachNews sends our thoughts, prayers, and condolences to the family and friends of the victims in the package bombings in and around Austin, Texas. **
More information is still coming into ZachNews.