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Boston bombing manhunt ends with 1 dead, 1 in custody



Published: Sat, April 20, 2013 @ 12:01 a.m.

RELATED: Valley native sees tension, relief in Boston neighbors

Associated Press

WATERTOWN, Mass.

A Massachusetts college student wanted in the Boston Marathon bombing was captured hiding out in a boat parked in a backyard Friday and his older brother lay dead in a furious 24-hour drama that transfixed the nation and paralyzed the Boston area with fear.

The bloody endgame came four days after the bombing and just a day after the FBI released surveillance-camera images of two young men suspected of planting the pressure-cooker explosives that ripped through the crowd at the marathon finish line, killing three people and wounding more than 180.

The two men 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, Mass. But investigators gave no details on the motive for the bombing.

Early Friday morning, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a ferocious gunbattle and car chase during which he and his younger brother hurled explosives at police from a stolen car, authorities said. The younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, managed to escape.

During the getaway attempt, the brothers killed an MIT policeman and severely wounded another officer, authorities said.

After a tense tumultuous all-day manhunt and house-to-house search by thousands of SWAT team officers with rifles and armored vehicles, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was cornered in a homeowner’s yard, where he exchanged gunfire with police while holed up in a boat, authorities said.

He was taken away on a stretcher and was hospitalized in serious condition with unspecified injuries, police said.

Just before 9 p.m., Boston police announced via Twitter that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was in custody. They later wrote: “CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody.”

A cheer went up from a crowd of bystanders in Watertown.

“Everyone wants him alive,” said Kathleen Paolillo, a teacher.

Boston Mayor Tom Menino tweeted “We got him,” along with a photo of himself talking to the police commissioner.

Police said three other people were taken into custody for questioning at an off-campus housing complex at the University of the Massachusetts at Dartmouth where the younger man may have lived.

Up until the younger man’s capture, it was looking like a grim day for police. As night fell, they announced that they were scaling back the hunt because they had come up empty-handed.

But then a break came in a Watertown neighborhood when a homeowner saw blood on his boat, pulled back the tarp and saw the bloody suspect inside, police said.

Chechnya has been the scene of two wars between Russian forces and separatists since 1994, in which tens of thousands were killed in heavy Russian bombing. That spawned an Islamic insurgency that has carried out deadly bombings in Russia and the region, although not in the West.

The older brother had strong political views about the United States, said Albrecht Ammon, 18, a downstairs-apartment neighbor in Cambridge.

Ammon quoted Tsarnaev as saying that the U.S. uses the Bible as “an excuse for invading other countries.”

Also, the FBI interviewed the older brother at the request of a foreign government in 2011, and nothing derogatory was found, according to a federal law enforcement official who was not authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The official did not identify the foreign country or say why it made the request.

The search for the younger brother all but paralyzed the Boston area for much of the day. Officials shut down all mass transit, including Amtrak trains to New York, advised businesses not to open, and warned close to 1 million people in the entire city and some of its suburbs to stay inside and unlock their doors only for uniformed police.

“We believe this man to be a terrorist,” Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said. “We believe this to be a man who’s come here to kill people.”

Around midday, the suspects’ uncle Ruslan Tsarni of Montgomery Village, Md., pleaded on television: “Dzhokhar, if you are alive, turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness.”

Authorities said the man dubbed Suspect No. 1 — the one in sunglasses and a dark baseball cap in the surveillance-camera pictures — was Tamerlan Tsarnaev, while Suspect No. 2, the one in a white baseball cap worn backward, was his younger brother.

Exactly how the long night of crime began was unclear. But police said the brothers carjacked a man in a Mercedes-Benz in Cambridge, just across the Charles River from Boston, then released him unharmed at a gas station.

They also shot to death a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer, 26-year-old Sean Collier, while he was responding to a report of a disturbance, investigators said.

The search for the Mercedes led to a chase that ended in Watertown, where authorities said the suspects threw explosive devices from the car and exchanged gunfire with police. A transit police officer, 33-year-old Richard Donohue, was shot and critically wounded, authorities said.

Some 200 spent shells were found afterward.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev somehow slipped away. He ran over his already wounded brother as he fled, according to two law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation. At some point, he abandoned his car and ran away.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev died at a Boston hospital after suffering what doctors said were multiple gunshot wounds and a possible blast injury.

The brothers had built an arsenal of pipe bombs, grenades and improvised explosive devices and used some of the weapons in trying to make their getaway, said Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., a member of the House Intelligence Committee.


Comments

1fatfrank(11 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

Let him have a good lawyer and a fair trial. Then we know two things: One, police caught the right people; and two, the US is a country that respects the rule of law. Knowing both of these things, we can sleep better.

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2polhack(127 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

Right you are fatfrank. I suggest we all fly our flag today to celebrate both points, to commemorate those murdered and wounded, and to acknowledge that though our noses may occasionally be bloodied we will not be cowed by terrorists.

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3JoeFromHubbard(1022 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

The desired outcome to a bad situation has been realized.

Now, lets drop the story and move ahead with life.

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4gdog4766(1462 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

I'm a little surprised at the mother claiming the FBI set these two up. But I gotta laugh at the father back home threatening us if the second boy was harmed. If you find so much wrong with us stay away. And Im beginning to have trouble not condemning the religion of Islam as a whole. Because anymore after all these attacks there is never a condemnation of it by Muslim clerics here and abroad. The attacks are done by them in the name of Islam yet never condemned by people who claim their religion is against violence.

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5papa1(646 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

in a world where terrorist bomb innocent people in other countries with total disregard for life and never get caught we are lucky to live in the u.s. where these bastards get caught so quickly. God Bless America!!!

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