The search for the suspected Boston Marathon bombers ended Friday night to the sound of flash-bang grenades and neighborhood cheers as the second of two Chechen brothers was cornered, captured and taken away in an ambulance.
The suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joe-HARR tsar-NAH-yev), 19, was discovered hiding in a boat just outside the area where police had been conducting door-to-door searches all day, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said Friday night.
"A man had gone out of his house after being inside the house all day, abiding by our request to stay inside," Davis said, referring to the request officials made to residents to stay behind locked doors. "He walked outside and saw blood on a boat in the back yard. He then opened the tarp on the top of the boat and he looked in and saw a man covered with blood. He retreated and called us.
"Over the course of the next hour or so we exchanged gunfire with the suspect, who was inside the boat, and ultimately the hostage rescue team of the FBI made an entry into the boat and removed the suspect, who was still alive," he said. Davis said that he was in "serious condition," and that he had apparently been wounded in the shootout that left his brother dead.
A federal law enforcement official said he would not be read his Miranda rights, because the authorities would be invoking the public safety exception in order to question him extensively about other potential explosive devices or accomplices.
A police officer at the scene said Tsarnaev was covered in blood when he was captured. An ambulance was there. The Boston Police Department announced on Twitter: "Suspect in custody. Officers sweeping the area." And Mayor Thomas M. Menino posted, "We got him."
As about 30 law enforcement officers — wearing helmets — walked away from the scene of what had been a tense standoff only minutes earlier, neighbors who had gathered on an adjacent street applauded and shouted, "Thank you! Thank you!"
President Barack Obama praised the law enforcement officials who brought the suspect into custody in a statement from the White House shortly after 10 p.m., saying, "We've closed an important chapter in this tragedy."
The discovery of Tsarnaev came just over 26 hours after the FBI circulated pictures of him and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev (tam-arr-lann tsar-NAH-yev), and called them suspects in Monday's bombings, which killed three people and wounded more than 170.
The case unfolded quickly — and lethally. Law enforcement officials said that within hours of the release of the pictures, the two men shot and killed a campus police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, carjacked a sport utility vehicle, and led police on a chase, tossing several pipe bombs from their vehicle.
Then, early Friday morning, the men got into a pitched gunbattle with the police in Watertown. More than 200 rounds were fired, and a transit police officer was critically wounded. When the shootout ended, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, a former boxer, had been shot and fatally wounded. He was wearing explosives when he was killed, several law enforcement officials said. But his younger brother, Dzhokhar, managed to escape — running over his brother as he sped away, the officials said.
The disappearance of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and fears that he could be armed with more explosives, set off one of the most intense manhunts in recent memory. SWAT teams and Humvees rolled through quiet residential streets. Military helicopters hovered overhead. Bomb squads were called to several locations. And Boston — New England's largest city — was essentially shut down.
Transit service was suspended all day. Classes at Harvard University, MIT, Boston University and other area colleges were canceled. Amtrak canceled service into Boston. The Red Sox game at Fenway Park was postponed, as was a concert at Symphony Hall.
Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts urged residents to stay behind locked doors all day — not lifting the request until shortly after 6 p.m., when transit service in the shaken, seemingly deserted region was finally restored.
The rapid developments began Thursday night, when the two men are believed to have fatally shot an MIT police officer, Sean Collier, 26, in his patrol car, the Middlesex County district attorney's office said.
Soon after that, a man was carjacked nearby by two armed men; when he was released he told investigators that the men who took his vehicle said they were responsible for marathon bombings, a law enforcement official said. Police went off in search of his car, and a frenzied chase began.
Police and the suspects traded gunfire and "explosive devices were reportedly thrown" from the car by the suspects, the district attorney's office said. A transit police officer, Richard H. Donohue, was shot and critically wounded.
After a pitched gunbattle with police, the older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was fatally shot; the younger brother, Dzhokhar, managed to get away.
A Watertown resident, Andrew Kitzenberg, 29, said he had looked out his third-floor window to see two young men of slight build in jackets engaged in "constant gunfire" with police officers.
A police SUV "drove towards the shooters," he said, and was shot at until it was severely damaged. It rolled out of control, Kitzenberg said, and crashed into two cars in his driveway.
Meanwhile, Kitzenberg said, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev got back into his car, turned it toward officers and "put the pedal to the metal."
The car "went right through the cops, broke right through and continued west."
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was critically injured with multiple gunshot wounds and taken to Beth Israel Deaconess hospital in Boston, where he was pronounced dead at 1:35 a.m., officials said.