Woman who knew accused Austin bomber surprised by suspect's actions

Posted at 8:44 PM, Mar 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-21 21:55:09-04

Nationwide news became personal for Lisa Sanders today, as she watched a familiar face pop up on her TV screen.

"I was hoping it wasn't the same kid," Sanders said. "I didn't see a picture of him for a little while, but when I saw the picture of him I knew it was him."

Police believe 24-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt is responsible for a series of bombings that happened in and near Austin throughout this month.

"I heard his name and it didn't register that it might be the same Mark because it was so opposite of what he really was about," Sanders said.

Sanders has known the suspect for about 10 years. She said he was close with her son and would frequently come by her home to visit with him. 

"All of the kids in Pflugerville were my kids who came over here and stayed," Sanders said. "He was one of my kids."

She describes Conditt as a kind young man who never showed any signs of aggressive or dangerous behavior, but the package bombs he's suspected of creating claimed the lives of two people and injured five others. 

"You don't really know someone until you see the deep seeded part of them," Sanders said. "You know, we all have our good side and we all have our dark side."

As Sanders watched her once quiet neighborhood fill up with law enforcement, she said she began to pray for all those affected. She hopes they find peace in the coming days.

"The families that have lost in the bombings are going through their own pain," Sanders said. "But at the same time, his parents, Mark's parents, are going through their own tragedy."

Sanders tragically lost her own son in an accidental shooting about a year ago. She hasn't seen Conditt since. She also hasn't spoken to his family.

Copyright 2018 KXXV. All rights reserved.