"We Got Him": Boston Manhunt Ends with Suspect Captured Alive
A sad and difficult week that began with the tragic bombing of the Boston Marathon and included the shutdown of a major American city, ends with a triumphant moment when a wanted suspect is taken alive.
A sad and difficult week that began with the tragic bombing of the Boston Marathon and included the shutdown of a major American city, ends with a triumphant moment when a wanted suspect is taken alive. After a chaotic 24-hour manhunt that left wanted suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev dead, his brother and accomplice, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was captured following another shootout with police. Tsarnaev, who was shot at least twice by police, was found hiding in the city of Watertown and is now in custody and being treated at a local hospital.
There were be a lot more developments on this throughout the weekend, but you read all our updates on Friday's dramatic lockdown of Boston, including the final standoff with police, below. You can also see all of our related stories at The Atlantic Wire's Boston Marathon hub.
This still frame from video shows Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev visible through an ambulance after he was captured in Watertown, Mass., Friday, April 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Robert Ray)
THE LATEST (10:39 p.m.): Finally, it's official. What a sad, dramatic, incredibly moving week.
(10:37 p.m.) Here's a few more pictures from tonight's scene in Watertown.
(9:55 p.m. ET): President Obama is expected to speak from the White House soon. The video is streaming below.
Some quotes from Obama: "Our nation is in debt to the people of Boston... [They] responded with resolve and determination." The president included a tribute to Officer Sean Collier, who killed in the line of duty. "Why do young men who grew up and studied here resort to such violence?" The victims and survivors "deserve answers. ... We will investigate any associations that these terrorists might have had. ... What ever they hoped to achieve, they already failed."
(9:35 p.m. ET): Police are updating the media right now. Police Chief Alben: "We have a victory." Police Commissioner Ed Davis says the man who found Tsarnaev in the boat hadn't checked on the boat sooner, because didn't leave his house all day, until the police lock down was lifted. When asked about more suspects, Davis says "The threat has been removed." The suspect is in serious condition. Here is a new (unconfirmed) image of the suspect being arrested.
(9:00 p.m. ET): Here's aquick rundown of how the final hours of the manhunt went down. Around 7:00 p.m., shortly after the "shelter in place" condition was lifted, police received a call about a boat that was parked in the backyard of a nearby house. (The house was a couple blocks outside of the Watertown lockdown area, and was not part of the police sweep that took place during the day.) The owner of the boat, which was covered by a tarp, noticed a ladder nearby that was not usually there, and when he went to inspect the boat he noticed blood and a body inside and called police.
When police approached the boat a huge volley of gunfire rang out. It was eventually determined that bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was hiding inside the boat and had likely been there most of the day. Fearing that he might have explosives or a can of gas inside the boat, police set up a perimeter and approached cautiously with the hope of taking him alive. Police threw a series of flashbangs into the boat, and eventually called in a hostage negotiator. However, about two hours after the standoff began, the wounded suspect was taken into custody, alive and conscious. He was placed in ambulance and taken to a local hospital.
The INTERPOL Orange Notice, requested by the US authorities, contains photographs of the devices and identifying information including the fingerprints of the two suspects, 19-year-old Dzhokar Tsarnaev, currently being sought by authorities in the US, and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, aged 26, who died after a shoot-out with police in Boston in the early hours of Friday.
An orange alert is issued by Interpol to "warn of an event, a person, an object or a process representing a serious and imminent threat to public safety." An expert on CNN indicated that this is a normal response following such an event.
(6:27 p.m. ET) In one of the weirder updates on a weird day, it turns out that Tsarnaev didn't just head to campus on Wednesday, as we noted earlier. He also apparently went to a party.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had passed an apparently normal day at the school Wednesday, according to a UMass official, working out at the gym, then sleeping in his single-unit room at the Pine Dale Hall dorm that night, while law enforcement officials were frantically scanning photos and video trying to identify him and his brother. …
A student, who didn’t want to be identified, said she saw Dzhokhar Tsarnaev at a party Wednesday night that was attended by some of his friends with whom he played intramural soccer.
“He was just relaxed,” she said.
(6:13 p.m. ET) Governor Deval Patrick has lifted the shelter-in-place order in and around Boston, and the city's subway system will go back into action. Despite that change, the day-long search of Watertown didn't turn up a suspect — or, apparently, many leads. Patrick emphasized that this wasn't a setback, it merely put them back "where we were as of Monday night or Tuesday morning," with the exception that one suspect is dead and the other is known.
Col. Timothy Alben of the Massachusetts State Police indicated that his officers scoured 20 streets in Watertown over the day, checking on residents and, in some cases, searching houses. But, he said, "we cannot continue to lock down an entire city or an entire state." The agency also followed a number of leads around the eastern part of the state, but "none of them have been fruitful." Alben couldn't say whether or not Tsarnaev was still in the area, but his "ties" are in the area. It's not believed that Tsarnaev has a vehicle at his disposal. The suspect escaped on foot after the firefight, and has not been seen since.
The chief of the Watertown police department also spoke. He, like Alben, asked citizens to be vigilant, and noted that there would be a number of additional state police patrols over the weekend. "There's a lot of events tomorrow in Watertown," he said, "and we're going to have them."
(6:01 p.m. ET)Talking Points Memo found what appears to be a video of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and friends in someone's basement. While not verified, a short period into the clip, someone that looks quite a bit like Tsarnaev begins doing "The Robot."
The video was uploaded by Yushun Tsou, who appears to have been on the wrestling team with Tsarnaev.
(3:30 p.m. ET): One of the doctors who worked on Tsarnaev before he died says they attempted CPR and "massive blood transfusions," but he "suffered from massive, penetrating injuries and was pronounced dead at 1:35 a.m." The doctor says they didn't treat him any differently than any other trauma patient, saying "We're going to treat them as best as we can, because you really don't know who it is until the dust settles."
(3:22 p.m. ET): The father of the two suspects continues to speak out from Russia and says that he believes his sons were "framed." Meanwhile, another friend of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev says in another interview that he thought that the suspect in the photos released by the FBI looked like his friend, but so was convinced he was not guilty that he tried to warn him that authorities might (mistakenly) think he was the bomber.
(2:48 p.m. ET): The aunt of the two suspects gave a long and rambling interview to media in Canada (where she lives), providing background on the family, but also making odd insinuations that her nephews may have been set up or framed.
(2:30 p.m. ET): Thepro-Russian governor of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, issued a statement via Instagram earlier, disavowing the bombers and actually finding a way to blame America for its own problems
Any attempt to make the connection between Chechnya and Tsarnaevys if they are guilty, [is] in vain. They grew up in the United States, their attitudes and beliefs were formed there. It is necessary to seek the roots of evil in America.
(2:26 p.m. ET): This AP photo taken earlier seems to show that the car has already been found and the CT police alert is out of date. MA State Police have recalled the alert.
(1:50 p.m. ET): Police in Connecticut have issued an alert for a new car, a 1999 Green Honda Civic with Massachusetts registration number: 116 GC7. Officers are instructed to direct calls to Mass. authorities, who say "a suspect vehicle could POSSIBLY be occupied by a wanted suspect."
In other car news, a mechanic in Somerville, Mass, says that the wanted suspect dropped a car off for repairs two weeks go, but came in on Tuesday (after the bombings) to pick it up and was nervous. ("He was biting his fingernails, and was shaky.”) Even though the repairs weren't finished, he took the car without the rear bumper attached.
(1:35 p.m. ET): Despite the "shelter in place" warning, officials say that if you are not at your home, you are free to go home. No one is expected to lock themselves down at work, though public transit is still not working. Taxi service has been restored, however.
Schwartz runs the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. He noted the MBTA remains shut down so take a taxi, call a friend - go home.
(1:28 p.m. ET): The AP reports that the FBI has cordoned off the home of the sister of the two suspects in the town of West New York, New Jersey. She has told them she is not very close to her brothers and has not spoken to them on a regular basis.
(12:56 p.m. ET): The Boston Globe has a nice interactive map that shows both the timeline of last night's events, and their locations, so you can see how and where events unfolded.
A woman watches police as they search for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects in Watertown, Massachusetts April 19, 2013. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)
(12:51 p.m. ET): The FBI says (per CBS) that when they posted the video of the suspect last night their website got 300,000 hits per second.
(12:41 p.m. ET): According to Pete Williams of NBC and CNN, both brothers became naturalized U.S. citizens last year on (of all days) September 11. The deceased brother, Tamerlan, was reportedly out of the country for about six months last year, spending some of that time in Russia.
(12:40 p.m. ET): The press conference with Gov. Patrick and Mayor Menino just ended. Governor Patrick says the "stay indoors" request remains in place. A police spokesperson says they continue to canvass the Watertown neighborhood and have covered "60 or 70 percent of what we want to cover." Also, later today there will be a controlled explosion in Cambridge, at the suspects' apartment on Norfolk St. Other than that, there is no new information, other than to say there is no suspect in custody. Massachusetts State Police chief Timothy Alben did say that new leads have developed in the last few minutes and they are pursuing them.
(12:14 p.m. ET): Police say the that the two brothers spent the night in the missing Honda CRV (which has since been recovered), and were using it to get around until they hijacked the Mercedes SUV used in the late-night pursuit.
(12:00 p.m. ET): Pete Williams of NBC says the cops are still looking for "possibly" three people—Tsarnaev and two "possible accomplices."
Father of #Boston terror suspects claims sons felt more American than Russian. Father tells@CBSNews sons weren't very religious.
(11:23 a.m. ET): Ruslan Tsarni, the uncle of the bombing suspects, speaking with reporters, says the family is "ashamed." His brother, the suspects' father, is now back in Russia. The family are ethnic Chechens. When asked what provoked the attack, his answer was simple: "Being losers." He also said that "any connection to Islam … is a fake," though he admitted he hasn't seen his nephews in years. The suspects, he insists, have never been to Chechnya.
He offered this message to his nephew:
If you're alive, turn yourself in. And ask for forgiveness from the victims from the injured. Ask forgiveness from these people. … He brought a shame on our family. He brought a shame on the entire Chechen ethnicity.
(11:21 a.m. ET): Boston Mayor Thomas Menino will shortly address the public.
(11:19 a.m. ET): According to pool reports, President Obama met with senior White House staff until 10:45 a.m., discussing the situation in Boston. Secretary of State John Kerry also spoke to the media.
Sec Kerry: "[Obama] has said we're going to find those responsible...We're part of the way there, & the president intends to finish the job"
Amtrak has suspended all service in Boston "indefinitely," according to a press release.
(10:55 a.m. ET): Police have shut down Arsenal Street, a main artery in Watertown. Media have been asked to move back from a cluster of police cars and officers that are stopped in the middle of the street. An NBC reporter at the scene says there are snipers on nearby rooftops.
(10:46 a.m. ET): UMass Dartmouth, which earlier confirmed that one of its students was involved in the bombing investigation, has been closed and is evacuating, according to an update on its website. There is at least one report that police are on campus.
(10:17 a.m. ET): The Boston Globe indicated that Connecticut State Police were trying to locate a vehicle associated with the manhunt: a gray Honda CRV, unknown model year, with a Massachusetts license plate of 316 ES9. The police have now revoked the request, saying that the vehicle has been found in Boston.
(10:11 a.m. ET): The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth has confirmed that one of the suspects sought in relation to the bombing was registered as a student at the school.
Meanwhile, ABC News captured footage of police towing away the Mercedes SUV the bombing suspects hijacked last night. Brian Williams describes the vehicle as "bullet-riddled."
(9:53 a.m. ET): There are reports that there may be a third person of interest who boarded a train headed from Boston to Connecticut. Conflicting reports, including one from MSNBC, suggest that the train has been stopped near the city of Norwalk. (Update, 11:44: Rachel Maddow was told Amtrak service ends at New Haven, suggesting that the Norwalk reports are incorrect.)
(9:32 a.m. ET): A little background on Watertown from The Atlantic Wire's Richard Lawson, who grew up near by.
Watertown is a blue collar town just across the Charles River from a part of Boston called Brighton. It’s not a particularly attractive place, but has a some strong cultural identities, partly owed to its large Armenian population. There are many small family-run businesses in the area, plus two shopping malls not far from the house currently surrounded by police and FBI agents. One is in the converted Watertown Arsenal, a sprawling complex that also houses a well-regarded regional theater. Though not a wealthy town by any measure -- especially compared to immediate neighbors like Newton, Belmont, and Cambrige -- Watertown is not a dangerous place. It’s a town of tight-knit families and communities, as you’d find in much of the Greater Boston area.
(9:16 a.m. ET): The Associated Press has spoken to the father of the two suspects, who lives in the Russian city of Makhachkala. He said: "My son is a true angel. Dzhokhar is a second-year medical student in the U.S. He is such an intelligent boy. We expected him to come on holidays here." A second uncle has also emerged, who spoke to the local CBS station and said his nephews were from Kyrgyzstan and came to U.S. 7-8 years ago.
On CNN, uncle of Boston suspect: Nephew is from Kyrgyzstan. Been in US for 7-8 years. Says he called him yesterday, said "forgive me."
(8:41 a.m. ET): WPIX 11 in NY has a live remote from Watertown, where there furious police activity, happening as we speak. (It's streaming online.) Reporter say there was the sound of a loud explosion moments ago, and police have their guns drawn. Police yelling "Come Out!" on a bullhorn.
(8:30 a.m. ET): Pete Wilson of WBZ-TV in Boston has already interviewed the uncle of the two suspects. When told what has happened to his nephews, he called one of them a "loser" and said the one who was killed "deserved it." The uncle says the suspects came to the U.S. in 2000 or early 2001, but he has not spoken to them much since 2005. He says the last he heard of him was when Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had graduated from high school. When asked "What's going through your mind?" the uncle responds, "I wish they never existed. They don't deserve to live on this Earth."
(8:13 a.m. ET): An update from NBC's Lester Holt, who is on the scene in Watertown. We also have more on the state of tension in Boston right now, which is on total lockdown. Bus, train, and taxi service have all been suspended, to both protect the citizens and prevent the suspect from moving.
Bus loads of Boston police officers arriving in Watertown. A ring of blue to cut off bomber's avenues of escape. twitter.com/LesterHoltNBC/…
(7:59 a.m. ET): Governor Deval Patrick is updating that situation right now. Authorities are asking the entire city of Boston to "shelter in place" and not leave their homes for the time being.
Police have also released the name of the injured transit officer, who is Richard H. Donohue Jr. He was shot last night by the suspects and is still in the hospital.
(7:57 a.m. ET): Here's everything we know about the missing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, so far.
(7:46 a.m. ET): Pete Williams has updated his report to say Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was actually born in Kyrgyzstan, not Chechnya.
(7:42 a.m. ET): Wesley Lowery, reporter for The Boston Globe is on the scene in Cambridge, where police are reportedly moving in on an apartment shared by the brothers. He reports that a woman in the apartment (or the apartment building) is being arrested.
Now in Cambridge, outside of apartment believed to be shared by suspects. State police have street blocked off twitter.com/WesleyLowery/s…
Police work a crime scene Friday, April 19, 2013, in Watertown, Mass. A tense night of police activity that left a university officer dead on campus just days after the Boston Marathon bombings and amid a hunt for two suspects caused officers to converge on a neighborhood outside Boston, where residents heard gunfire and explosions.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
(6:43 a.m.): Pete Williams says the suspects have been identified, but is being told not reveal their names yet. He does say they are brothers and live in Cambridge. One is 19, one is 20. The AP says they are from a Russian region near Chechnya.
(6:28 a.m.): And another shot, from the other side of the house. No word from police on what the situation is at this house.
(6:22 a.m.): There were reports earlier that police on radio scanners said the Sunil Tripathi, possibly identifying him as the suspect. Tripathi is a student at Brown University who has been missing for over a month, but according to (again) Pete Williams, Tripathi is not one of the two suspects.
(6:18 a.m.): A resident of Watertown just tweeted this picture that appears to show SWAT teams surrounding a house with guns trained.
(6:16 a.m.): More from Pete Williams: The man whose SUV was hijacked told police that the suspect told him that they had just killed a police officer and they were the same men involved in the Boston Marathon bombing.
(6:04 a.m. ET): Pete Williams of NBC is reporting that two suspects have not been positively identified, but it is believed that they are "foreign nationals" who might have received military training and have been in the country for over a year. Williams adds that they are "legal permanent residents" and may be from Chechnya, but were living in Turkey before coming to the U.S. Boston police commissioner Ed Davis tweeted the most recent surveillance photo of the missing suspect that was taken last night, before the shootout.
Davis also said this about the suspect in a statement to the press: "We believe this to be a terrorist. We believe this to be a man who’s come here to kill people. We need to get him in custody."
(5:45 a.m. ET): Here's what we know at the moment. Around 10:30 last night, the suspect in the white allegedly robbed a convenience store in Cambridge. Not long after, an MIT campus police officer was shot and killed while in his police cruiser. (NBC News describes the shooting as an "ambush.") Shortly after that, two men carjacked an SUV, briefly holding the driver hostage. Police began a pursuit, during which the suspects began firing at police and reportedly throwing explosives out of the car. The chase led police to Watertown, Massachusetts, where a gunfight ensued. One of the two suspects was shot and wounded. (And also possibly injured by a bomb blast that he strapped to him. NBC also reports that the suspect may have been run over by a police vehicle.) A transit police officer was also shot and wounded in melee.
The suspect was captured and transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Doctors there say they attempted to revive him, but he died of his wounds.
According to The Boston Globe, the deceased suspect is the suspect wearing the black baseball cap in the photo released by police on Thursday night. The other suspect (the one in the white hat) is still on the loose, possibly in the outlying Boston-area suburb of Watertown. An active manhunt is underway.
The entire city of Boston, and especially the neighboring city of Watertown, are going into lockdown mode. Watertown residents are being advised to stay in their homes and not answer the door to anyone but a clearly identified police officer. ALL vehicle traffic in and out of Watertown is suspended. Businesses are closed and citizens are advised to stay home work. About 5:45 a.m., the MBTA, Boston public transit authority, announced that all bus and train service is suspended until further notice. Harvard University and MIT in Cambridge have canceled classes for Friday. The missing suspect is being described as a "terrorist" who police believe is actively trying to hurt people.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.