Boston: Police responding to a tip from a local resident arrested the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing after a day-long manhunt led them to the wounded man hiding in a backyard.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was found after a resident in Watertown saw blood on a boat parked behind his home. The man looked under a plastic cover and saw a man inside the boat, covered in blood. The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody.
Officers responded, and they exchanged gunfire with the suspect and threw stun grenades into the boat in an attempt to flush him out. The suspect was later seized by a SWAT team after he did not respond to negotiators. Police said Tsarnaev was in a serious condition at a local hospital. “Captured!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody,” the Boston police department said on Twitter after Tsarnaev was taken away to applause from relieved residents.
A neighbour alerted police after finding Tsarnaev “covered with blood” in the boat where he had taken refuge, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis told reporters. A man had gone out of his house after being inside the house all day, abiding by our request to stay inside,” Mr Davis said, referring to the request officials made to residents to stay behind locked doors. “He walked outside and saw blood on a boat in the back yard. He then opened the tarp on the top of the boat and he looked in and saw a man covered with blood. He retreated and called us.”Over the course of the next hour or so we exchanged gunfire with the suspect, who was inside the boat, and ultimately the hostage rescue team of the FBI made an entry into the boat and removed the suspect, who was still alive,” he said. Mr Davis said that he was in a “serious condition,” and that had apparently been wounded in the shoot-out that left his brother dead.
As about 30 law enforcement officers — wearing helmets — walked away from the scene of what had been a tense standoff only minutes earlier, neighbours who had gathered on an adjacent street applauded and shouted, “Thank you! Thank you!”
President Barack Obama praised the law enforcement officials in a statement from the White House shortly after 10 pm, saying, “We’ve closed an important chapter in this tragedy.”
The president said he had directed federal law enforcement officials to continue to investigate what had happened, and he urged people not to rush to judgment about the motivations behind the attacks.”We will determine what happened. We will investigate any associations that these terrorists may have had. And we’ll continue to do whatever we have to do to keep our people safe,” Mr Obama said after the capture.
He said the bombing suspects had failed to achieve whatever it was they were seeking.”They failed because the people of Boston refused to be intimidated,” he said. “They failed because as Americans, we refuse to be terrorised.” Tsarnaev’s arrest ended a wrenching week in Boston, which began with the bombings that killed three and injured more than 170 at one of the city’s most cherished events – the worst attack on the United States since the September 11, 2001 atrocities. It ended with another stunning spasm of violence, which began late Thursday night. Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, are accused of killing a police officer, hijacking a Mercedes and engaging police in a shootout in which the elder Tsarnaev was killed.
On Friday night, the city’s ordeal ended with a flood of relief. At the scene, bystanders broke into applause. From a passing SWAT truck, an officer returned the sentiment: “Thank you,” he said over the loudspeaker. “It’s been a pleasure.” “We have a suspect in custody,” said Timothy Alben, the head of the Massachusetts State Police. “We’re exhausted, folks. But we have a victory here tonight.”
The height of those emotions revealed the depth of the damage already done. In a few days here, the Tsarnaevs had become a new lesson in the awful magnifying power of terrorism. Two brothers, armed with low-tech bombs and no apparent escape plan, had allegedly killed four people and held one of America’s great cities in terror.
Officials said they planned to question Tsarnaev about possible accomplices or other bombs before reading him his rights.
The FBI also confirmed that its agents in Boston had interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011 at the request of a foreign government. A law enforcement official said the request came from the Russian government, concerned about Tsarnaev’s potential ties to Chechen terrorists. But, after that interview, the FBI did not follow him further, officials said. As the manhunt ended on Friday, investigators turned to another task: determining how the two had been turned to violence. So far, authorities said they had no proof that anybody beyond the two Tsarnaev brothers was involved in the marathon attacks. “Why did young men who grew up and studied here, as part of our communities and our country, resort to such violence?” Mr Obama said in his statement.
The Tsarnaev brothers are of Chechen heritage. Both were born in the Caucasus region, a cauldron fought over by Chechen separatists, Russian security forces, Islamist extremists and organised crime. They had immigrated legally, and lived for years in the Boston area, where their father, Anzor, was a car mechanic. In the past, both men had embraced athletic passions, according to friends and neighbours. Tamerlan was an accomplished boxer, with a wife and child. Dzhokhar was a wrestler at the public high school in Cambridge, Massachusetts and went on to attend the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.
On Thursday evening, authorities released photos of the two men, who had been spotted carrying backpacks near the marathon’s finish line.Their targets, it turned out, had not fled the city or the country. A few hours later, they began a violent rampage just across the Charles River in Cambridge.
After his brother was killed in the shootout, Dzokhar Tsarnaev, it turned out, had fled to a house that was just outside that search zone. By 6pm, authorities conceded that they had not found him and couldn’t be sure where he was. They lifted the order to stay home. Just after that, the resident in Watertown walked outside and saw the blood. A police helicopter used infrared technology to spot movement underneath the plastic cover. Inside, Tsarnaev had been wounded by the firefight hours earlier. He may have been wounded again by the exchange of gunfire with officers that surrounded the boat.
Officers tried to negotiate his surrender. There was no response. Finally, a robot pulled back the cover, and the SWAT team pulled him out. He was wounded in the leg and neck. As the bystanders cheered, an ambulance carried Tsarnaev to Massachusetts General Hospital. In that same hospital, there are still 10 patients being treated for wounds inflicted by Monday’s bombing.