The mother of one of Austin bomber Mark Anthony Conditt's roommates recently told Associated Press that police ambushed her son, and took him into custody Tuesday night to be questioned about the Austin bombings.
Jennifer Withers said her 26-year-old son, Colin Thomas, came back to his Pflugerville home from work Tuesday night only to be met with police who wanted to take him in for questioning. Thomas, who is black, was handcuffed and taken into custody by SWAT officers.
She said that her son was held overnight and no one in the family was notified of his whereabouts. The 23-year-old Austin bomber died Wednesday after detonating a bomb during a standoff with police as they surrounded the bomber's vehicle.
Thomas was released Thursday along with another unnamed roommate; neither of the men have been charged by Austin Police.
According to Withers, her son lived with Conditt for about three months. She said her son was close to a family at the Christian church he attended, and that family introduced him to Conditt’s family, who are also Christian. There have been reports claiming that Conditt was part of a conservative Christian survivalist group as well.
After meeting Conditt through church, Withers said her son, the third roommate and Conditt all got along well.
“Collin said they all would sit around and chat and talk,” Withers said.
Conditt has been accused of delivering homemade package bombs that killed two prominent black members of Austin. Anthony Stephan House, 39, and Draylen Mason, 17, lost their lives from two of Conditt's opened packages that were delivered to their homes in the early part of March.
The Associated Press reports that Conditt was discovered with the help of FedEx surveillance footage. Dressed in a disguise, Conditt sent off two parcels while wearing a blonde wig and gloves.
One was addressed to an Austin Med Spa, and was intercepted at a processing center without exploding. Police located the terrorist at a hotel by tracking his cellphone's signals.
Several other bombs were detonated prior to the police standoff: one wounded a Latinx woman and another injured two white men. Police discovered a 25-minute recording on a cellphone found with bombing suspect. In that recording, Conditt goes into detail about the bombs he made. Austin Police Chief Brian Manley says he considers it a “confession.”