UPDATE (10:33 p.m.): Following the capture tonight of the second Boston Marathon bombing suspect in the backyard of a Watertown, Mass., home, residents of the neighborhood lined the streets to cheer on members of the various law enforcement agencies who helped make their community safe again.
“Tonight we can sleep a bit easier,” said U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, who will now be responsible for prosecuting the case.
According to Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found hiding out in a boat after the boat’s owner ventured out of his home just before 7 p.m., saw blood around the boat, looked in and saw the suspect, and called 911. Law enforcement personnel rushed to the scene, exchanged gunfire with the suspect, and after a nearly two-hour standoff, removed him from the boat.
Davis said Tsarnaev was hospitalized in serious condition.
“Justice is being served for the victims of these crimes,” said FBI special agent Richard DesLauriers at a press conference held shortly after the capture.
Shortly after 10 p.m., President Obama addressed the nation from the White House, saying the capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev “closed an important chapter in this tragedy.”
Obama said the nation owes a debt of gratitude to law enforcement officials and the people of Boston.
“We will determine what happened,” he said. “We will investigate any association that these terrorists may have had, and we’ll continue to do whatever we have to do to keep our people safe.”
UPDATE (8:46 p.m.): Boston police have confirmed that Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been apprehended in a Watertown, Mass., neighborhood.
UPDATE (8:23 p.m.): The Associated Press reports that a law enforcement official has confirmed that Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is holed up in a boat in a backyard on Franklin Street in Watertown, Mass.
UPDATE (8:19 p.m.): Less than an hour after shots were heard in Watertown, Mass., this evening, a round of blasts could be heard. A state police spokesman said only that the activity was related to the search for 19-year-old college student Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Boston Mayor Tom Menino told WBZ-TV the suspect was holed up in a boat parked in a backyard.
UPDATE (7:10 p.m.): There are reports of gunshots in Watertown, Mass., with emergency and military vehicles responding. Less than an hour after lifting a citywide lockdown, authorities are now telling residents in the Watertown area to stay indoors.
UPDATE (6:55 p.m.): Massachusetts and Boston authorities have lifted a citywide “stay indoors” request as law enforcement continues to search for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said at a press conference this evening that authorities “feel confident, based on what we know, we can return to living our lives.” The governor, who also said that mass transit service would resume, warned Boston residents to “remain vigilant.”
Massachusetts State Police Col. Timothy Alben, added, “We cannot continue to lock down an entire city or state.”
State police will join the Watertown police to beef up patrols in that community through Monday, adding 10 state police patrols in three shifts.
In the early morning shootout in Watertown that left 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev dead, his brother Dzhokhar, 19, escaped on foot after abandoning a car, according to Alben, who believes the suspect is still in Massachusetts because of his ties to the area.
Watertown Police Chief Edward Deveau attempted to reassure residents in his community that “saturated patrols” along with the help of state police would help them “move forward as a community.” But he added, “Please say a prayer for those police officers.”
UPDATE (4 p.m.): Boston officials say police teams have searched about 70 percent of Watertown, Mass., where they believe Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could be hiding out. Officials continue to urge residents to stay inside and keep their doors locked, only admitting identifiable police officers.
Businesses in the area remain closed and the transit system has been shut down all day. Every school in the Boston area, including colleges, also remain closed.
Several events planned for this evening have been postponed, including the Boston Red Sox and Bruins games and a performance of the Big Apple Circus.
UPDATE (2:30 p.m.): Police have taken a computer from the home of the Boston bombing suspects' sister. Police have not released the woman's name but said she lives in West New York, N.J., with her husband. The cordoned off a three-story brick building where she lived. Earlier today, a woman at that address told a local newspaper she was sorry for the victims of the bombings and didn't know what got into her brothers. She also said she didn't know whether to believe that they were responsible for the attack at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Meanwhile in Dartmouth, police have evacuated the campus of the University of Massachusetts at Dartmoth, where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev attended class and lived in the dorm. They have not said what, if anything, they expect to find in his room or elsewhere on campus.
UPDATE (1:30 p.m.): In an ironic twist, federal authorities confirmed this afternoon that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev became a United States citizen on Sept. 11, 2012. Officials say the date was a coincidence as new citizens cannot choose the day of their citizenship ceremony. Dzhokhar's brother Tamerlan only had a green card.
UPDATE (12:45 p.m.): During a brief news conference, police officials said they would continue going door-to-door in Watertown, looking for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. They also said they just received some new leads within the last few minutes that they hoped would yield results.
Later this afternoon, investigators warned residents of Cambridge to expect a controlled explosion at a home in the area. Officials did not say what they planned to blow up but confirmed they wanted to enter the structure and needed to clear it to protect investigators’ safety. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died in a shootout with police, had explosive devices on his body. The brothers also threw explosives at police during a high-speed chase.
UPDATE (12:30 p.m.): Searches of several buildings in the Watertown area have resulted in no arrests so far. Police activity remains high, with SWAT teams patrolling the streets and Blackhawk helicopters hovering over the area.
More details about the life of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the suspect who remains at large, are emerging, adding to the confusion about what motivated his alleged involvement in Monday’s bombings. Tsarnaev attended the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. Friends and classmates described him as a typical American college student who never talked about politics, preferring pop culture to current news. On Twitter and Facebook, friends urged Tsarnaev to turn himself in.
UPDATE (11 a.m.): Police have converged on an area in Watertown and have called for a Russian interpreter, according to media reports. Law enforcement officials moved media away from the area, suggesting they fear another bomb blast. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, whom police shot earlier today, had explosives on his body when officers reached him. Because Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev has been in the United States for about 10 years and speaks fluent English, reporters are speculating officials might be trying to interview a friend, associate or family member. But officials believe Dzhokhar was recently in the area.
ORIGINAL REPORT (8:30 a.m.): A massive manhunt is underway in Boston as police prepare to go door-to-door to find one of two men identified overnight as suspects in Monday’s twin bombings.
One, identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died during a shootout with police late Thursday. His brother Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, escaped the firefight and is on the run.
Boston officials put the city and surrounding towns on lockdown this morning, canceling transit service and pleading with residents to stay inside and lock their doors. They have described Tsarnaev as armed and extremely dangerous.
After the bombings near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, analysts speculated about whether the person or people responsible would end up having ties to an international terror operation or some kind of homegrown group. Few expected the men to come from a former Soviet republic mired in a a fight for independence from Russia.
According to investigators, the brothers are from a region near Chechnya and have been in the United States for about a year. They are here legally, but officials have not said why or under what circumstances they came to Boston.
The search for them began hours after the FBI released photographs of the men at the scene of both bombings. During a Thursday evening news conference, FBI officials described the men as armed and dangerous and urged anyone who knew them to call the police.
It is not clear yet whether a tip led to the police pursuit, but the suspects first exchanged fire with a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer on campus in Cambridge. He later died of his injuries. The two suspects then stole a car at gunpoint, later releasing the driver unharmed. The men then exchanged fire with police and threw explosive devices at officers pursuing them through the suburb of Watertown.
During the firefight, a transit police officer was wounded. One of the suspects also was critically injured and later died.
Officials first ordered a lockdown for Watertown but later expanded it to the entire Boston area.