The search for Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev began after the FBI released pictures of the two brothers at a press conference Thursday evening around 6 p.m., identifying them only as “suspect one” and “suspect two.”
It was a difficult decision for investigators whether to release the images and risk tipping off the suspects, or proceed without the help of the public, one that involved Attorney-General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller, according to The New York Times.
Less than 27 hours later, one brother was dead and the other wounded but captured after two gunbattles and a day-long manhunt and lockdown of the city. This is how the events unfolded.
Standoff in Watertown
MIT police officer Sean Collier was responding to a call of a disturbance on campus late Thursday evening when he was shot dead in his vehicle. From there, the two suspects stole separate vehicles.
- Just before 1 a.m. on Friday on a residential street in Watertown, Massachusetts, a single police officer encountered the two suspects each in their own vehicle.
- Five more police officers showed up and an intense shootout ensured, leaving one officer seriously wounded. “We estimate there was over 200 shots fired in a five- to 10-minute period,” Watertown police chief Edward Deveau told CNN on Saturday.
- During the shootout, Tamerlan got out of his car and continued to shoot at officers.
- A pressure cooker bomb like the ones used during the marathon was hurled at the officers and caused a large explosion, the chief said. Two homemade grenades also exploded and two others failed to go off.
- When Tamerlan ran out of ammunition, police officers tackled him and attempt to handcuff him, Chief Deveau said.
- Dzhokhar drove toward the group. Officers got out of the way, but Dzhokhar ran over his brother. He later died in hospital.
- Dzokhar fled in the car, but abandoned it a few blocks away and continued on foot.
- The city of Boston was shut down. Police issued a shelter-in-place advisory for residents of Watertown and announced they will conduct a door-to-door search in the area.
We haven’t caught him yet
At around 6 p.m., the mayors of Watertown and Boston, the Massachusetts governor, and the state police chief held a press conference. After a day of searching the city of Watertown and the surrounding area, they had not found the suspect. Authorities lifted the lockdown but advised residents to stay alert and report any suspicious activity.
Minutes later, a man living just outside the earlier police-search perimeter in the Franklin Street area of Watertown exited his home and noticed blood and a detached tarp on a boat in a backyard. He lifted the cover, saw a bloodied man inside and quickly called authorities.
- Watertown residents reported hearing gunshots
- Police established a perimeter around the boat, but kept their distance
- Ambulances and additional law enforcement officers were brought into the area
- Police use infrared heat-detecting scanners on a police helicopter to determine that the suspect was inside the boat and alive.
‘We know you’re in there!’
Police and the bombing suspect exchanged gunfire. The FBI tried to negotiate with him. “We know you’re in there. Come out on your own terms. Come out with your hands up,” a photographer from the Boston Globe newspaper heard them say.
- The suspect used homemade grenades against officers, according to police.
- A robot was used to remove the tarp from the boat.
- The FBI hostage rescue team entered the boat and removed Mr. Tsarnaev
- Mr. Tsarnaev was in serious condition and is transported to hospital.
- At around 8:45 p.m. ET, Boston Police announced that the suspect has been taken into custody
- Police and residents burst into applause upon hearing Mr. Tsarnaev had been captured