Watertown, MA-- Police cornered and captured Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Friday night, ending a tense, five-day drama that had gripped much of the Boston area with fear and gridlock.
Police arrested the 19-year-old at about 8:45 p.m., after finding him holed up in a boat stored in the backyard of a Watertown residence. He was led to an ambulance and driven away from the scene.
Tsarnaev's capture came two hours after Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick ended a Boston-area lockdown after a massive, day-long search of suburban Watertown, which seemingly failed to flush out the teenager. Dozens of bystanders cheered and applauded and police left the scene.
"I had a feeling he was out there," say Julie Der Torossian, 13, whose house backs up to the house where the suspect hid. "It's so quiet. It's the perfect place to hide."
Closure for many in the area began at about 7 p.m., when gunshots erupted in a Watertown residential neighborhood after Tsarnaev discovered in a covered boat resting on a towing trailer alongside a clapboard home on Franklin Street. He had been wounded in a early Friday morning firefight with police that killed older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26.
"We're exhausted, but we have a victory here tonight,'' said Col. Timothy Alben, State Police Superintendent. U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said charges against Tsarnaev have not yet been determined.
Police were tipped off by a resident who saw blood spatters on the boat, climbed up a ladder to open the tarp cover and discovered the suspect. Hundreds of police on the scene surrounded the area, initially approaching with caution for fear that Tsarnaev was wearing or holding explosive devices.
For most of the day, hundreds of police conducted a methodical, house-to-house sweep in Watertown for Tsarnaev.
Hours earlier, Tamerlan Tsarnaev died after a dramatic car chase and shootout with police during which the more than 200 rounds of ammunition were fired. As they were pursued, the brothers threw several pipe bombs and a grenade at police as they attempted to flee in a carjacked SUV.
Tamerlan, badly wounded, was left at the scene by his younger brother, who apparently backed over him as he sped away in a carjacked Mercedes SUV.
State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev later abandoned the stolen vehicle in Watertown and fled by foot.
Authorities believe there are no other accomplices in Monday's twin bombings, which killed three and wounded 176 people near the finish line of the Marathon. Several victims lost limbs in the bombings, and some remain in critical condition at area hospitals. Investigators have not found any formal links to an international terror group.
The brothers' acts continue to befuddle authorities, family and friends. Students at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where Dzhokar was a student, say they saw him on campus following Monday's bombings.
During the overnight and early-morning pursuit of the brothers, a federal official familiar with the case said authorities recovered a handful of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), including one in the possession of Tamerlan Tsarnaev. All of the devices appeared to be homemade explosives, including pipe bombs. Several were detonated by police Friday afternoon.
Police took Tamerlan Tsarnaev to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center following the exchange of gunfire with police at about 1:20 a.m. Friday. Dr. David Schoenfeld said medical personnel tried to revive him. He had multiple gunshot wounds and burn and gaping blast wounds that appeared to have come from an explosive device strapped to his body.
.Dzhokar's escape prompted Gov. Patrick to order the city of Boston and its surrounding suburbs locked down and its residents to remain in their homes for much of Friday. The Boston Red Sox and Bruins postponed Friday night games. Businesses in Watertown, Newton, Waltham, Belmont, Cambridge and the Alston and Brighton neighborhoods of Boston were requested to close, while residents were told to remain indoors until the suspect was caught. Massachusetts also shut down mass transit, including buses and trains, in Boston and surrounding suburbs, Kurt Schwartz, director of Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said.
The Tsarnaev family is believed to have moved to the USA in 2003. They had lived in Kazakhstan for several years after fleeing war-torn Chechnya. Tamerlan attended Bunker Hill Community College in nearby Charlestown as a part-time student for three semesters from 2006 to 2008. He studied accounting.
In an telephone interview from Russia with the Associated Press, the brothers' father, Anzor Tsarnaev, said Dzhokhar is "a true angel" and "an intelligent boy." In subsequent media interviews, he said his sons had been framed for Monday's bombings.
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