The suspected Austin bombings domestic terrorist’s death has spurred the first victim’s family to speak out after the city was plunged into terror.
For the grief-stricken family of Anthony Stephan House, their fear has not stopped. Reports of Mark Anthony Conditt‘s possible additional heinous plans to hurt residents, mainly targeting Black people, have only prompted more concern from House’s relatives.
“Supposedly the Austin bomber blew himself up when officers were attempting to arrest him,” Norrell Waynewood, House’s brother, wrote on Facebook Wednesday, referring to the reported suicide of Conditt in Round Rock, Texas. “Let’s hope this is the guy and that people are once again safe.”
House, a 39-year-old African-American project manager, husband and a father of an 8-year-old daughter, was tragically killed when a packaged bomb arrived at his doorstep on March 2. He, without perhaps consciously knowing it, had likely saved his daughter’s life when he sent her back inside the home to brush her teeth that early morning. But her morning routine was cut horribly short when she discovered House’s body on the lawn in what was described as a gruesome and horrifying scene.
This was the first bombing in the Austin attacks before police knew that multiple other explosions would rock the city, killing two people and injuring several residents in the span of 19 days. However, police mischaracterized House’s death, blaming the incident on him when it first happened, Waynewood told the Daily Beast.
“When it first happened, we didn’t feel like police were taking our family seriously,” he said after Austin Police Department Assistant Chief Joseph Chacon told reporters that House could have constructed and detonated the bomb. “…Once he [House] was painted as doing it to himself, people lost respect for him. People stopped offering to help out at the funeral, stopped giving money, stopped helping.”
After the incorrect police response and Conditt’s suicide, House’s family does not feel confident that the terror is over.
“My mom does not feel safe,” Waynewood said. “His [House] wife and his daughter do not feel safe. They’ve left their homes.”
Relatives are worried Conditt may have had potential accomplices and doesn’t believe police have kept him informed about the investigation, he added.
A GoFundMe page has been started for House’s daughter by Waynewood with help from House’s mother. Seventeen-year-old Draylen Mason, a promising bassist who reportedly had a connection to House and other prominent African Americans in Austin, was also killed in the Austin bombings in a second incident on March 12.