August 10, 2013

'The hunt is over': Suspect's capture follows final shootout

Joy and relief fills the city streets as Suspect No. 2 is captured alive following two bloody shootouts, four tension-filled days and significant death and destruction.

Eileen Sullivan and Jay Lindsay / The Associated Press

WATERTOWN, Mass. — For just a few minutes, it seemed as if the dragnet that had shut down a metropolitan area of millions while legions of police went house to house looking for the suspected Boston Marathon bomber had failed.

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Investigators on Saturday work near the location where the previous night a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings was arrested in Watertown, Mass.

AP

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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.A 19-year-old college student wanted in the Boston Marathon bombings was taken into custody Friday evening after a manhunt that left the city virtually paralyzed and his older brother and accomplice dead. (AP Photo/Robert Ray)

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For complete coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings and manhunt, click here.

Weary officials lifted a daylong order that had kept residents in their homes, saying it was fruitless to keep an entire city locked down. Then one man emerged from his home and noticed blood on the pleasure boat parked in his backyard. He lifted the tarp and found the wounded 19-year-old college student known the world over as Suspect No. 2.

Soon after that, the 24-hour drama that paralyzed a city and transfixed a nation was over.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's capture touched off raucous celebrations in and around Boston, with chants of "USA, USA" as residents flooded the streets in relief and jubilation after four tense days since twin explosions ripped through the marathon's crowd at the finish line, killing three people and wounding more than 180.

The 19-year-old — whose older brother and alleged accomplice was killed earlier Friday morning in a wild shootout in suburban Boston — was in serious condition Saturday at a hospital protected by armed guards, and he was unable to be questioned to determine his motives. U.S. officials said a special interrogation team for high-value suspects would question him without reading him his Miranda rights, invoking a rare public safety exception triggered by the need to protect police and the public from immediate danger.

President Barack Obama said there are many unanswered questions about the Boston bombings, including whether the two men had help from others. He urged people not to rush judgment about their motivations.

Dzhokhar and his brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, were identified by authorities and relatives as ethnic Chechens from southern Russia who had been in the U.S. for about a decade and were believed to be living in Cambridge, just outside Boston. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died early in the day of gunshot wounds and a possible blast injury. He was run over by his younger brother in a car as he lay wounded, according to investigators.

During a long night of violence Thursday and into Friday, the brothers killed an MIT police officer, severely wounded another lawman during a gun battle and hurled explosives at police in a desperate getaway attempt, authorities said.

Late Friday, less than an hour after authorities lifted the lockdown, they tracked down the younger man holed up in the boat, weakened by a gunshot wound after fleeing on foot from the overnight shootout with police that left 200 spent rounds behind.

The resident who spotted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in his boat in his Watertown yard called police, who tried to persuade the suspect to get out of the boat, said Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis.

"He was not communicative," Davis said.

Instead, he said, there was an exchange of gunfire — the final volley of one of the biggest manhunts in American history.

The violent endgame unfolded just a day after the FBI released surveillance-camera images of two young men suspected of planting the pressure-cooker explosives at the marathon's finish line, an attack that put the nation on edge for the week.

Watertown residents who had been told Friday morning to stay inside behind locked doors poured out of their homes and lined the streets to cheer police vehicles as they rolled away from the scene.

Celebratory bells rang from a church tower. Teenagers waved American flags. Drivers honked. Every time an emergency vehicle went by, people cheered loudly.

"They finally caught the jerk," said nurse Cindy Boyle. "It was scary. It was tense."

(Continued on page 2)

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Additional Photos

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A police cruiser drives by as people react to news of the arrest of one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, Friday, April 19, 2013, in Boston. Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured in Watertown, Mass. The 19-year-old college student wanted in the bombings was taken into custody Friday evening after a manhunt that left the city virtually paralyzed and his older brother and accomplice dead. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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Law enforcement search for the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, Friday, April 19, 2013, in Watertown, Mass. Gunfire erupted Friday night amid the manhunt for the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, and police in armored vehicles and tactical gear rushed into the Watertown neighborhood in a possible break in the case. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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Police in tactical gear and riding in an armored police vehicle surround an apartment building in Watertown, Mass., on Friday as they hunt for the surviving suspect in the Boston marathon bombings.

AP

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This surveillance photo released via Twitter on Friday by the Boston Police Department shows a suspect entering a convenience store that police are pursuing in Watertown, Mass. Police say he is one of two suspects in the fatal shooting of an MIT police officer and tied to the Boston Marathon bombing.

AP

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Police in tactical gear arrive on an armored police vehicle as they surround an apartment building while looking for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings in Watertown, Mass., on Friday.

AP

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This photo released by the FBI early Friday shows what the suspects together, walking through the crowd in Boston on Monday, April 15, 2013, before the explosions at the Boston Marathon.

AP

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Police converge on a neighborhood where residents heard gunfire and explosions Friday 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.

AP

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Police officers aim their weapons Friday in Watertown, Mass., where residents of the Boston suburb have been advised to keep their doors locked and not let anyone in.

AP

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A woman looks out a window at her home as police start to search an apartment building while looking for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings in Watertown, Mass., on Friday.

AP

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Police officers guard the entrance to Franklin street where there is an active crime scene search for the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, Friday, April 19, 2013, in Watertown, Mass. Gunfire erupted Friday night amid the manhunt for the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, and police in armored vehicles and tactical gear rushed into the Watertown neighborhood in a possible break in the case. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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A gathering of people applaud as first responders leave the scene after the arrest of a suspect of the Boston Marathon bombings in Watertown, Mass., Friday, April 19, 2013. Two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing killed an MIT police officer, injured a transit officer in a firefight and threw explosive devices at police during their getaway attempt. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

 


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