The serial bomber who terrorized residents of Austin, Texas is dead after blowing himself up with an explosive device as a SWAT team approached his car early Wednesday morning.
A tactical SWAT team tracked the 24-year-old white male suspect to a hotel in Round Rock, a city in the Austin area, police said at a press conference.
Authorities tracked his vehicle until he pulled over on Interstate 35 and detonated an explosive device inside his vehicle as a SWAT team approached the car, according to Austin Police Chief Brian Manley.
Manley said a SWAT team “tried to apprehend him on the side of a highway,” when an explosive device went off inside the vehicle, knocking one officer back. The officer sustained “minor injuries,” Manley said.
Another member of the SWAT team fired his weapon and, as is standard practice, he was placed on administrative duty, officials said.
“The suspect is deceased and has significant injuries from a blast that occurred from detonating a bomb inside his vehicle,” Manley said.
The incident happened at around 3 a.m. East Coast time, according to NBC News affiliate KXAN.
The suspect’s death was welcome news to residents of Austin whose daily lives were disrupted by a series of bombings that killed two people and injured nearly a dozen more.
President Donald Trump praised law enforcement for their hard work in tracking down the suspect.
“AUSTIN BOMBING SUSPECT IS DEAD. Great job by law enforcement and all concerned!” Trump tweeted early Wednesday.
The police, FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are at the scene, the ATF tweeted.
Even though the suspect is dead, officials warned local residents to be on the lookout for suspicious packages that might contain explosives.
Over 500 federal and local law enforcement officers joined in the manhunt for the suspect after bombs started going off around the Austin area beginning on March 2nd.
officials said an old hand grenade that exploded in a Goodwill store inside a strip mall in Austin on Tuesday, March 20, was not related to the series of bombing incidents. The old grenade, which was among items donated to the Goodwill, exploded in the hands of a Goodwill employee in his 30s, injuring him.
A reward for $250,000 was offered for information leading to the capture of the bombing suspect.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images