Marathon Bombing Suspect in Serious Condition at Hospital After Arrest

A manhunt that paralyzed Boston and gripped the nation ended Friday night when police apprehended Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after a shootout in Watertown, Mass.

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Nicolaus Czarnecki / ZUMA PRESS

Crowds cheer at the corner of Franklin Street as word spreads that police have apprehended Dzhokar Tsarnaev, the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, in Watertown, Mass., April 19, 2013

Updated: April 20, 2013

A manhunt that paralyzed Boston and gripped the nation ended Friday night when police apprehended Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after a shootout in Watertown, Mass. The 19-year-old suspect in Monday’s marathon bombing eluded authorities for more than 12 hours following a fierce firefight with police early Friday morning that left his brother and suspected accomplice, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, dead.

(MORE: First Pictures of Boston Bombing Suspect After Arrest)

Police cornered the younger Tsarnaev in the backyard of an idyllic white house on Franklin street after combing a 20-block area for most of the day without luck. A tense standoff ensued, as loud bangs rang through the streets and helicopters hovered overhead, Tsarnaev holed up in a boat stored behind the house. At roughly 8:45 p.m., word came over the police scanner: “Suspect in custody.” Tsarnaev, reportedly in serious condition from a gunshot wound, was taken to an area hospital.

The investigation into Monday’s attack, which killed 3 and injured more than 170, escalated quickly. The FBI released photos of the suspects late Thursday in hopes that the public might help identify the grainy pictures of two men believed to have planted pressure cooker bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. By 2 a.m. Friday morning, a MIT campus officer was shot dead and police were chasing the Tsarnaevs through the streets of Watertown, exchanging fire with the suspects as they dropped explosive devices out of the windows of a stolen car. Dzhokhar fled after Tamerlan was killed.

(MORE: The Brothers Tsarnaev: Clues to the Motives of the Alleged Boston Bombers)

Law enforcement officials and family members identified the brothers as ethnic Chechens who came to the U.S. from Russia. They lived near Boston and had been in the U.S. for about a decade, an uncle 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. But investigators have shed no light on the motive for the Boston Marathon bombing and said it was unclear whether any terrorist organizations had a hand in it.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev spent six months in Russia in 2012 and, according to the New York Times, law enforcement officials are retracing his steps to determine if he might have received instructions or training from extremists during that trip. But even before that, the FBI said it interviewed Tamerlan in early 2011 after a foreign government warned U.S. officials that “he was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer, and that he had changed drastically since 2010…”

The Tsarnaevs’ parents, who are currently in Dagestan, reportedly told Russian state TV that both boys were innocent and possibly “set up.”

As the sun rose Friday, police cordoned off a broad swathe of Watertown, searching house-by-house as officials advised all Boston area residents to remain inside their homes. Around midday, as the manhunt dragged on, the suspects’ uncle Ruslan Tsarni of Montgomery Village, Md., pleaded on television: “Dzhokhar, if you are alive, turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness.”

The search by thousands of law enforcement officers all but paralyzed the Boston area. 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.Some neighborhoods resembled a military encampment, with officers patrolling with guns drawn and aimed, residents peering nervously from windows and people near surrounded buildings spirited away.

The fear was palpable. Shanti Kapoor, a junior at Boston University who had been staying at friend’s apartment in Watertown, says she was picking up supplies at a 7/11 at Bigelow and Mt Auburn streets early Friday evening when she saw SWAT teams speeding by. “All the cops were running and saying, ‘It’s him! It’s him!’”

(PHOTOS: Police Manhunt in Watertown)

When the gunfire finally fell silent, police swept through the scene with dogs to check for bombs. As word spread of the arrest, applause broke out in the crowd that had gathered outside the police cordon. The Boston Police Department declared on Twitter that “Justice has won.”

“I have never loved this city and its people more than I do today. Nothing can defeat the heart of this city .. nothing,” Boston Mayor Tom Menino said in a statement. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick expressed relief, surely shared by his constituents, that the ordeal was finally over. “It’s a night when I think we’re all going to rest easy,” he said.

But Boston’s residents didn’t feel much like rest. Glad to be free from fear and a restrictive lockdown, revelers thronged Boston common throughout the night.  In Dorchester, where an 8-year-old boy killed in the bombing lived, people set off fireworks. Saturday’s sports games–the Bruins vs. the Penguins and the Red Sox vs. the Royals–turned into scenes of exuberant celebration. 

“We’ve closed an important chapter in this tragedy,” President Obama told reporters late Friday night at the White House, before adding that “unanswered questions” — why two men turned on their adopted city and country — remain.

The arrest, rather than the killing, of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may bring some answers to those questions, as well as closure to citizens of a city that spent a week in shock and terror. Lisa Coveney of Foxboro drove 25 miles to Watertown Friday to see an end to the saga. “I’m glad he’s alive,” she said of Tsarnaev, “because I want to get answers.”

– With reporting by Christina Crapanzano, Jay Newton-Small and Kate Pickert/Watertown, and Zeke J. Miller/Washington; the Associated Press contributed to this report

MORE: Was Boston Actually on Lockdown?

24 comments
buckfush09
buckfush09

 Does this mean we are going to find someone to go to war with?

cliffy56
cliffy56

look at the video of stretcher w/ man lying down going down the middle of racetrack  at first bomb site after blast. I believe the younger brother came back in and was there. Thought I saw him grab a wheelchair near the curb, run up into crowd a little, and then return wheelchair to curb... and someone may have either turned his hat around proper, or given him a red hat... please call the fbi with this info, if it has anything to do with your fears. contact me anytime also thnx. anything here is just speculation by me. I was not there

MarinaBohnen-pratt
MarinaBohnen-pratt

I need to know where I can find photos of the dead older brother and photos of the captured young man. I do not have a TV And the web is not giving this to me. I noticed one of the original photos released showed indication that the younger boy was wearing a false nose. Are there any other photos of his face taken during that period? Does anyone know what the younger boys injuries were? Was there any release on him in an ambulance or in custody? I would be very grateful if these things were posted. Thank you. NAMESTE, Marina

DavRi
DavRi

I think excluding Chechens  for a while would be a GREAT idea!  sorry!

theamericansnc.com
theamericansnc.com

Who are we, the inheritors of this great American tradition, to let hate mongers and terrorists stop us?We know who we are. The work is too significant to let a couple of murderous thugs stop us. They certainly cannot stop the hope that is inherent in our founding documents: not if shackles, whips, pseudo-science, active discrimination, benign neglect, restrictive covenants, attack dogs, fire-hoses, snipers, vigilante groups, lynch mobs, and a host of other more serious threats could not.If anyone wonders, it is the coalition of liberty-loving, "other"-respecting strangers, friends, students and colleagues that I am thinking of when I say I’m so proud to be an American. It is my relationship with these people that I reflect upon when I declare that I love my country. It’s why I named my blog, “The American.”  For more from a Bostonian's perspective on Boston Marathon terror attacks, check out the following blog

http://theamericansnc.com/

internetfavs
internetfavs

Stuart, I agree. Lots of free publicity.

internetfavs.com

Stuart
Stuart

Why is everyone so BLIND to a simple fact. This whole aproach was totally WRONG. This is exactly what these jihadists want. They want all this publicity, they are happy that they have upset the lives of so many people, that they have taken valuable time and money from the people. The whole operation should have been done in a more low tone manner, EVEN at the expense of having lower expectations of succes . It is more important to stop this than to bag a 19 year old deranged kid. What will happen next time around??? Will the entire East Coast of the US be hatched down for a week in order to catch these loonies?
Wake up people and don't play into their hands!

Mykalg73
Mykalg73

I wonder how many people are mourning the larger death toll in West, Texas?  Or even the much larger death toll in Iraq on the same day?

SvetaValueva
SvetaValueva

"Heavy Russian bombings"? I don't remeber that, I remember Russian boy-soldiers having their heads cut off on camera.

Shrek21003
Shrek21003

Thousands of people, men, women and children are dying in Syria..where is the ''justice''? Has it gone for a long walk? They are human too.

chrislee.va
chrislee.va

Justice has not won until the sentence is given.

JehudahBen-Israel
JehudahBen-Israel

Islamism is visiting the streets of America, again, yet some, naively, motivated by "politically correct" view of reality refuse to face reality for what it is, including both political and cultural leaders.....

DavRi
DavRi

@Mykalg73   Or the DEATH TOLL from UNregulated GUNS!  NINE everyday.

janpierdut
janpierdut

Who cares, those guys are in big trouble and it is not up to us to feel sorry for them.They practically did it by themselves.

daena.vassar
daena.vassar

@JehudahBen-IsraelIt isn't naive not to have a prejudice against someone's religion, not to make hating someone or groups of people, a foregone conclusion.  

You do understand, don't you, what it might feel like to have complete strangers hate you because you claim to be of a particular religion?

It is called bigotry and that is something this country is far better than.

Not naivete Mr. Israel.  Definitely not naive.  Your age-old continued vendetta against Islam in general also prevents a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Now believing there will be just one state for Israel, now that is naive.


carledgar
carledgar

@daena.vassar @JehudahBen-Israel   It's nothing to do with prejudice against someone's religion - it's to do with prejudice against violent culture, underpinned by Sharia and essentially fascistic and snit-semite.

daena.vassar
daena.vassar

@carledgar @daena.vassar @JehudahBen-Israel   You should learn to distinguish a broad religion from a smaller violent subset of the group.  

A blanket statement that the religion in itself is violent IS bigotry when you understand a larger group of people who are not violent but productive members.  Focus on violent acts and violent idealogy, not the entire thing.

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