1 Boston bombing suspect dead, 1 in custody
Update (8:45 PM): Looks like it’s finally over. Authorities found Dzhokar Tsarnaev hiding in a tarp-covered boat in a Watertown backyard and surrounded him. Shots were fired, along with what sounded like concussive grenades. It sounds as if the bomber might have already been wounded before taking refuge in the boat. According to police, he has been captured alive. There are reports that three people have been arrested in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing, and it looks like this is meant to mean three people other than Dzhokar Tsarnaev. [Update: It was later reported that these three other people, evidently college students, were taken into protective custody, not detained as suspects or persons of interest in the case.]
Update (4:35 PM): CBS News is reporting that Officer Donahue’s condition has been stabilized.
Update (3:45 PM): The Associated Press relates word from Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) that “the brothers had a cache of pipe bombs, grenades and improvised explosive devices before they confronted police.” CNN confirms that “investigators are recovering a significant amount of homemade explosives” from locations in Watertown.
Update (1:55 PM): A tribute page for slain campus police officer Sean Collier has been set up here. He was very well-liked on campus, to judge from these tributes. “He knew I was watching the marathon on Monday and was one of the first people text me to make sure I was okay,” says one. “He’s a genuine hero and the best of what our campus represents.”
Update (12:20 PM): Some information about the bombers’ family members is gathered here, including the debut of our newest media celebrity, straight-talking Uncle Ruslan. “They are losers!”
The situation has stabilized somewhat in Watertown at this hour. It’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on. Blackhawk helicopters have been seen in the sky overhead. CNN reports forensic teams moving through a home near the big concentration of police vehicles that’s been dominating news cameras for hours; the previously closed intersection nearby has been re-opened. Someone is said to be in custody, but it’s not clear who it might be.
Late reports indicate that the older brother, Tamerlan, spent six months in Russia last year, for reasons as yet unknown.
Update (9.50 AM): Some conflicting reports about the third suspect… although earlier there was news of someone else being taken into custody, NBC News now says that another suspect in the case, besides the fugitive Dzhokar, is believed to have taken a train to Connecticut, and is now surrounded by police there.
Update (9:46 AM): The campus police officer slain by the terrorists this morning has been identified as 26-year-old Sean Collier. Prayers for his family and loved ones.
Update (9:03 AM): Overheard on Boston police scanners: “He is posting online, ‘I will kill all of you as you killed my brother.'” However, I have also heard that the Twitter account posting these messages is a fake. Richard Donahue, the officer wounded during the shootout, is now reportedly in critical condition.
Update (8:41 AM): It looks like something is going down in Watertown. Helicopters, police cars, and armored vehicles are moving in; there have been reports of an explosion, and an area is being cordoned off. NBC News says the police have surrounded the at-large suspect. It looks as if a third individual, possibly a woman based on some reports, has been arrested.
The FBI has released a new photo of fugitive Dzhokar Tsarnaev:
Update (8:21 AM): The officer injured during the gunfight with the Tsarnaevs is reported to be Richard H. Donahue Jr., 33, currently in surgery for treatment of his wounds. A CNN reporter just said the Tsarnaev brothers were Muslims. They are said to have been legal permanent residents of the United States for at least a year; NBC News claims the dead terrorist, Tamerlan, held that status since 2007. I’ve heard reports that Dzhokar drove over his injured brother in his haste to escape.
Tamerlan was evidently featured in a photo essay about a boxing competition he competed in, from which the following quote has emerged: “I don’t have a single American friend, I don’t understand them.”
Update (7:53 AM): A photo of Dzohkar Tsarnaev making the rounds on Twitter. NBC News says he was born July 22, 1993 in Kyrgyzstan.
Update (7:44 AM): Twitchy.com has a link to a YouTube channel bearing the name of the dead terrorist, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. It’s filled with terrorist and Islamist videos.
Update (7:28 AM): Amazing story from Bloomberg News: one of the Boston Marathon bombing victims, famously photographed as he was taken from the scene in a wheelchair, helped identify the bombers. Jeff Bauman was waiting for his girlfriend to finish the race when one of the suspects dropped his bomb-filled bag right at his feet. Bauman’s legs were destroyed in the subsequent explosion, but he’s been fighting through the pain to work with the FBI on a description of the bomber he saw.
“He woke up under so much drugs, asked for a paper and pen and wrote, ‘bag, saw the guy, looked right at me,’” Chris Bauman said yesterday in an interview.
[…] While still in intensive care, Jeff Bauman gave the FBI a description of the man he saw, his brother said. Bauman’s information helped investigators narrow down whom to look for in hours of video of the attack, he said.
Also, a reporter at the Boston Globe live blog just said that a person with the same name as the at-large bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, “appears on a list of recipients of $2,500 City of Cambridge 2011 City Scholarships. The scholarships are given to seniors at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School who are pursuing higher education.”
One of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects has been killed in a gun battle with police, following a wild chase in which explosive devices were reportedly thrown from the fleeing suspects’ car. A campus police officer at M.I.T. has also been killed. The second suspect is still at large, leading to a massive manhunt. To put things in context of the photos released by the FBI yesterday, the backwards-hat guy is still on the loose, while the suspect in the black hat has been killed:
A summary of events so far, from the New York Times:
The pursuit began after 10 p.m. Thursday when two men robbed a 7/11 near Central Square in Cambridge. A security camera caught a man identified as one of the suspects, wearing a gray hoodie.
About 10:30, police received reports that a campus security officer at M.I.T. was shot while he sat in his police cruiser. He was found with multiple gunshot wounds, according to a statement issued by Middlesex Acting District Attorney Michael Pelgro, Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert Haas, and MIT Police Chief John DiFava. The officer was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
A short time later, police received reports of an armed carjacking of a Mercedes SUV by two males in the area of Third Street in Cambridge, the statement said. “The victim was carjacked at gunpoint by two males and was kept in the car with the suspects for approximately a half hour,” the statement said. He was later released, uninjured, at a gas station on Memorial Drive in Cambridge.
Police immediately began to search for the vehicle and pursued it into Watertown. During the chase, “explosive devices were reportedly thrown from car by the suspects,” the statement said,and the suspects and police exchanged gunfire in the area of Dexter and Laurel streets.
According to eyewitnesses, the bomb thrown at police appeared to be a pressure-cooker model. At one point, the suspects riddled a police SUV with bullets as it rushed them and blew it off the road, causing it to crash into parked cars. According to the Times account, at least one Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officer was wounded during the exchange of fire. The injured suspect was taken from the scene and died at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston.
Information on the suspects from NBC News:
The suspects are brothers with the last name Tsarnaev, law enforcement officials told NBC News. The suspect at large, Dzhokar Tsarnaev, is 19 and has a Massachusetts driver’s license, they said. Law enforcement officials told NBC News that both men had international ties, had been in the United States about a year and had military experience.
At the time of this writing, I’m hearing reports that the suspect at large has been found and cornered by the police. I’m also hearing reports that one of the suspects was wired with a suicide bomb. It looks like they might have been preparing for another attack when they were discovered.