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Boston locked down for massive manhunt; one bombing suspect killed by police, the other at-large




By , and , Updated: Friday, April 19, 10:39 PM


WATERTOWN, Mass. — A massive manhunt was underway Friday morning in Boston and its suburbs, after one suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings died in a confrontation with police and the second was identified as a 19-year-old immigrant from Kyrgystan who, a classmate said, attended high school in Cambridge, Mass.

The two suspects are brothers, authorities said, and are believed to have lived in the United States with their family for several years. State Department officials said the family appears to have arrived in the country legally.

Boston, Watertown and several other suburbs were in an unprecedented state of lockdown on Friday, with mass transit canceled, schools and business closed and residents ordered to stay indoors.
Law enforcement officials said they believed the at-large suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, may be strapped with explosives. They were taking extreme precautions in an effort to avoid further loss of life.
A campus security officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was killed in a confrontation with the suspects Thursday night, and a transit officer was critically wounded.
“This situation is grave. We are here to protect public safety,” Police Commissioner Ed Davis said. “We believe this to be a terrorist. We believe this to be a man here to kill people.”
(See the latest updates on the manhunt here.)
The suspects were introduced to the world via photos and video footage Thursday night. The one who was killed was identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26.
The brothers’ alleged motive in the bombings, which killed three people and injured more than 170, remains unknown, but their family appears to have immigrated from the Southern Russian republic of Chechnya, and two law enforcement officials said there is a “Chechen connection” to the bombings.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was born in Kyrgystan, law enforcement authorities said. He has a Massachusetts driver’s license. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was born in Russia and became a legal U.S. resident in 2007.
All public transportation was shut down in the greater Boston area Friday morning, officials said, and no vehicle traffic was permitted in or out of Watertown during the massive manhunt.
Residents of Boston, Watertown, Newton, Waltham and elsewhere were asked to stay inside, with their doors locked. Colleges and universities announced they would close for the day, and businesses were instructed not to open. Streets were ghostly quiet. Thousands of officers searched house-to-house, and some areas were evacuated.
A Massachusetts State Police spokesman says police closed down a stretch of Norfolk Street in Cambridge, where they think Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his family lived. “We don’t know if he’s there. There is a possibility the suspect is there,” the spokesman, David Procopio, said.
Procopio said the manhunt was triggered after the brothers apparently robbed a 7-Eleven store on or near the MIT campus, about 10:20 p.m. Thursday night. They allegedly shot the Sean Collier, a 26-year-old MIT campus police officer, as he sat in his car. Collier, of Somerville, joined the force in January, 2012 after working as a civilian for the Somerville Police Department, officials said.
Soon after the shooting, the brothers are believed to have carjacked a Mercedes SUV from Third Street in Cambridge. The driver of the car was forced to stay in the vehicle for about 30 minutes, police said, then released at a gas station on Memorial Drive. He was unharmed.
“The guy was very lucky that they let him go,” Procopio said.

Police were trying to activate the tracking device on the Mercedes when other patrol officers spotted the vehicle in Watertown and tried to do a traffic stop, Procopio said. The suspects fled, throwing what Procopio called “IEDs” at police. Shots were fired, and multiple explosive devices were thrown from the vehicle. Some exploded, which led to panic and concern in the town.
Richard J. Donohue, 33, a three year veteran of the transit police force, was shot in the chase and is being treated at Mount Auburn Hospital, authorities said.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev — who was pictured in a black baseball cap in photos released Thursday evening— was fatally injured, law enforcement officials said.
He had been shot multiple times in the torso and also sustained injuries from some sort of explosives, said doctors at Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, where he was taken. He was in cardiac arrest when he arrived at the hospital, and could not be revived.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev— suspect No. 2, according to authorities — fled the vehicle on foot, which prompted the massive search.
“We have an active search going on by tactical teams. He’s considered armed and dangerous,” Col. Timothy P. Alven.
Procopio said that after the night of mayhem police have five active crime scenes around the Boston area. “We’ve got crime scenes we haven’t even been able to process yet,” he said.
A high school classmate of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Deana Beaulieu, described him as a quiet boy who had been on the wrestling team at Cambridge Rindge & Latin High School.
They attended school together since the 7th grade, first at Cambridge Community Charter School, then the high school, she said. He graduated in 2011.
Tsarnaev lived on Norfolk Street with his family, including an older brother and sister.
State Department officials said the Tsarnaev family appears to have arrived legally in the United States, though they did not specify when they arrived or the type of visas the family members had received.
Chechens have dispersed across the former Soviet republics and other countries in the region, but officials said there are not large numbers of them in the United States.
Chechnya has been racked by years of war between local separatists and Russian forces and extensive organized crime since the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. The extent of the possible connection remained unclear.
Friday morning, the streets in and around Watertown were deserted, save for the enormous police presence. Outside the Arsenal Mall, hordes of reporters waited outside a staging area that was taking on the appearance of an armed camp, with State Police marching in formation, dozens of motorcycle police officers and the arrival of two large transit buses filled with police wearing neon safety vests. Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms swept the area with a bomb-sniffing dog.
We’ve got every asset that we can possibly muster on the ground right now,” Gov. Deval L. Patrick said. “We are going to need the public to help us help them stay safe.”
Michael Demirdjian, 47, a postal worker from Watertown, said he was on his way back from Logan Airport early Friday when he suddenly found himself surrounded by police cars.
“It was amazing,” he said. “There were police cruisers all around. Thirty to forty cruisers followed us to my house.”
He made it to his house, on Spruce Street, but “it was in the zone and they wouldn’t let us in.”
He said he saw police going from house to house with dogs, searching, the area blazing with flashing emergency lights. Heavily armed police told him he could not enter.
“They said ‘no way.’ I want to go home but it looks like it’s not going to happen,” said Demirdjian, who had been awake all night. “I’d like for them to get this thing under control as soon as possible.”
Sari Horwitz in Washington and Annie Gowen in Watertown, Mass. contributed to this report.


Posted by hnm on Friday, April 19, 2013. Filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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