Boston, Suburbs on Lockdown; a 'Terrifying Scene'

All transit has been suspended; residents urged to remain in their homes. Police are conducting a door-to-door manhunt for second bombing suspect.

Image
Reuters

Cities Editor's Note (5:33 p.m. ET): We're wrapping up updates on this page, but see continued coverage on The Atlantic Wire.

Following a chaotic night of mayhem and a police shootout, one of the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings was shot and killed by police. The second suspect, who is his younger brother, has been identified as 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and is on the loose. The city of Boston and beyond has been placed on total — though not totally unprecedented — lockdown as police continue, after a long and uneasy day with few answers, the manhunt for the missing bomber, focusing on the suburb of Watertown.

This is a breaking story and we'll continually update throughout the day and night, but for a full recap of last night's drama, the first update at the bottom of this post provides a summary of events. You can also see more related stories at The Atlantic Wire's Boston Marathon hub.

THE LATEST

(4:34 p.m. ET) There will be a press briefing at 5:30 p.m. with Mayor Menino, Gov. Deval Patrick and state police officials. We expect it to be carried by CBS News.


 

Also, the brothers did not rob the 7-11 convenience store that drew attention to Cambridge in the bloody confusion of late Thursday night, reports local TV, citing state police.

(4:14 p.m. ET): According to NBC News, the Boston manhunt is only concerned with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. There are no other suspects police are looking for there, reports NBC. 

NBC also updated the count of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs):

(3:58 p.m. ET): The Connecticut police have a issued a new vehicle alert. They had been issuing vehicle alerts all morning saying that there could be vehicles in the state connected to the manhunt.

(3:35 p.m. ET): Update from Watertown, where police continue their house-to-house sweep.

(3:30 p.m. ET): One of the doctors who worked on Tsarnaev before he died says they attempted CPR and "massive blood transfusion" but he "suffered from massive, penetrating injuries and was pronounced dead at 1:35 a.m." He said they didn't treat him any differently than any other trauma patient, saying "We're going to treat them as best as we can, because you really don't know who it is until the dust settles."

(3:22 p.m. ET): The father of the two suspects continues to speak out from Russia and says that he believes his sons were "framed." Meanwhile, another friend Dzhokhar Tsarnaev says inanother interview that he thought that the suspect in the photo released by the FBI looked like his friend, but so was convinced he was not guilty that he tried to warn him that authorities might (mistakenly) think he was the bomber.

(3:02 p.m. ET): The Red Sox have officially canceled tonight's home game at Fenway Park, and the Bruins have canceled their game as well.

(2:54 p.m. ET): CBS News says a classmate of the missing suspect claims to have seen and spoken to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the campus of UMASS Dartmouth on Thursday.

(2:48 p.m. ET): The aunt of the two suspects gave a long and rambling interview to media in Canada (where she lives), providing background on the family, but also making odd insinuations that her nephews may have been set up or framed.

(2:35 p.m. ET): The White House has just released this photo of President Obama being briefed on the bombing investigation in the Situation Room earlier today, at around 10:30 a.m.

(2:30 p.m. ET): The pro-Russian governor of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, issued a statement via Instagram earlier, disavowing the bombers and actually finding a way to blame America for its own problems

Any attempt to make the connection between Chechnya and Tsarnaevys if they are guilty, [is] in vain. They grew up in the United States, their attitudes and beliefs were formed there. It is necessary to seek the roots of evil in America. 

(2:26 p.m. ET): This AP photo taken seems to show that the car has already been found and the CT police alert is out of date. State Police have recalled the alert.

(1:50 p.m. ET): Police in Connecticut have issued an alert for a new car, a 1999 Green Honda Civic with Massachusetts registration number: 116 GC7. Officers are instructed to direct calls to the Mass. authorities who say it is "a suspect vehicle could POSSIBLY be occupied by a wanted suspect."

In other car news, a mechanic in Somerville, Mass, says that the wanted suspect dropped a car for repairs two weeks go, but came in on Tuesday (after the bombing) to pick it up and was nervous. ("He was biting his fingernails, and was shaky") Even though the repairs weren't finished, he took the car without the rear bumper attached.

(1:35 p.m. ET): Despite the "shelter in place" warning, officials say that if you are not at your home, you are free to go home. No one is expected to lock themselves down at work, though public transit is still not working. Taxi service has been restored, however.

(1:28 p.m. ET): The AP reports that the FBI has cordoned off the home of the sister of the two suspects in the town of West New York, New Jersey. She has told them she is not very close and has not spoken to them on a regular basis.

(12:56 p.m. ET): The Boston Globe has a nice interactive map that shows both the timeline of last night's events, and their locations, so you can see how and where events unfolded.

(12:51 p.m. ET): The FBI says (per CBS) that when they posted the video of the suspect last night their website got 300,000 hits per second.

(12:41 p.m. ET): According to Pete Williams of NBC and CNN, both brothers became naturalized U.S. citizens last year, on (of all days) September 11. The deceased brother, Tamerlan, reportedly spent six months out of the country last year, spending some of that time in Russia.

(12:40 p.m. ET): The press conference with Gov. Patrick and Mayor Menino just ended. Governor Patrick says the "stay indoor" request remains in place. A police spokesperson says they continue to canvass the Watertown neighborhood and have covered "60 or 70 percent of what we want to cover." Also, later today there will be a controlled explosion in Cambridge, at the suspects' apartment on Norfolk St. Other than that, there is no new information, other than to say there is no suspect in custody. The Massachusetts State Police chief did say that news leads have developed in the last few minutes and they are pursuing them.

(12:20 p.m.): More background on the many different story: Alexander Abad-Santos has everything we know about the missing suspect; Philip Bump has a look at Boston's state of emergency; Elspeth Reeve takes a look at the anti-Muslim reaction; J.K. Trotter has a short primer on Chechnya; Esther Zuckerman takes at the reaction from Russia; and has details on the fourth victim of the bombers; and Rebecca Greenfield examines how the online witch hunt fingered innocent suspects.

(12:14 p.m. ET): Police say the that the two brothers spent the night in the missing Honda CRV (which has since been recovered), and were using it to get around until they hijacked the Mercedes SUV used in the late-night pursuit.

(12:00 p.m. ET): Pete Williams of NBC says the cops are still looking for "possibly" three people—Tsarnaev and two "possible accomplices."

(11:48 a.m. ET): The FBI has released a new wanted poster featuring Tsarnaev.

(11:23 a.m. ET): Ruslan Tsarni, the uncle of the bombing suspects spoke with reporters, saying his family is "ashamed." His brother, the suspects' father, is now back in Russia. The family are ethnic Chechens. When asked what provoked the attack, his answer was simple: "Being losers." He also said that "any connection to Islam … is a fake," though he admitted he hasn't seen his nephews in years. The suspects, he insists, have never been to Chechnya.

He gave a message to his nephew:

If you're alive, turn yourself in. And ask for forgiveness from the victims from the injured. Ask forgiveness from these people. … He brought a shame on our family. He brought a shame on the entire Chechen ethnicity.

On Instagram, the president of Chechnya blames the suspects' American upbringing for their alleged crimes.

(11:21 a.m. ET): Boston Mayor Thomas Menino will shortly address the public.


 

(11:19 a.m. ET): According to pool reports, President Obama met with senior White House staff until 10:45 a.m., discussing the situation in Boston. Secretary of State John Kerry also spoke to the media.

Amtrak has suspended all service in Boston "indefinitely," according to a press release.

(10:55 a.m. ET): Police have shut down Arsenal Street, a main artery in Watertown. Media have been asked to move back from a cluster of police cars and officers that are stopped in the middle of the street. An NBC reporter at the scene says there are snipers on nearby rooftops.

(10:46 a.m. ET): UMass Dartmouth, which earlier confirmed that one of its students was involved in the bombing investigation, has been closed and is evacuating, according to an update on its website. There is at least one report that police are on campus.

(10:17 a.m. ET): The Boston Globe indicated that Connecticut State Police were trying to locate a vehicle associated with the manhunt: a gray Honda CRV, unknown model year, with a Massachusetts license plate of 316 ES9. The police have now revoked the request, saying that the vehicle has been found in Boston.

(10:11 a.m. ET): The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth has confirmed that one of the suspects sought in relation to the bombing was registered as a student at the school.

UMass Dartmouth confirms that Boston Marathon bombing suspect is a registered studentbit.ly/14BGVcA twitter.com/jaredbkeller/s…

— Jared Keller (@jaredbkeller) April 19, 2013

Meanwhile, ABC News captured footage of the Mercedes SUV the bombing suspects hijacked as it was being towed away. Brian Williams describes the vehicle as "bullet-riddled."

(9:53 a.m. ET): There are reports that there may be a third person of interest who boarded a train headed from Boston to Connecticut. Conflicting reports, including one from MSNBC, suggest that the train has been stopped near the city of Norwalk.

(9:40 a.m. ET): Police have released the name of the MIT officer who was killed by the suspects last night: Sean Collier, who was 26 and lived in Somerville.

(9:38 a.m. ET): Law enforcement sources say that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had an "explosive trigger" on his body when it was examined at the morgue, leading to concerns that his brother may also have a bomb or suicide vest on his body.

(9:32 a.m. ET): A little background on Watertown from The Atlantic Wire's Richard Lawson, who grew up near by.

Watertown is a blue collar town just across the Charles River from a part of Boston called Brighton. It’s not a particularly attractive place, but has a some strong cultural identities, partly owed to its large Armenian population.  There are many small family-run businesses in the area, plus two shopping malls not far from the house currently surrounded by police and FBI agents. One is in the converted Watertown Arsenal, a sprawling complex that also houses a well-regarded regional theater. Though not a wealthy town by any measure -- especially compared to immediate neighbors like Newton, Belmont, and Cambrige -- Watertown is not a dangerous place. It’s a town of tight-knit families and communities, as you’d find in much of the Greater Boston area.

(9:16 a.m. ET): The Associated Press has spoken to the father of the two suspects, who lives in the Russian city of Makhachkala. He said: "My son is a true angel. Dzhokhar is a second-year medical student in the U.S. He is such an intelligent boy. We expected him to come on holidays here." A second uncle has also emerged, who spoke to the local CBS station and said his nephews were from Kyrgyzstan and came to U.S. 7-8 years ago.

(9:06 a.m. ET): A few new images have been released about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, including a new official wanted notice from the and more recent images from the FBI.

(8:53 a.m. ET): Police have forced media crews to move back, clearing the area completely. Some have also shut off their live feeds, to prevent the suspect from watching police movements on TV. Many networks have also gone to delay, in case something terrible happens on live TV.

(8:41 a.m. ET): WPIX 11 in NY has a live remote from Watertown, where there furious police activity, happening as we speak. (It's streaming online.) Reporter say there was the sound of a loud explosion moments ago, and police have their guns drawn. Police yelling "Come Out!" on a bullhorn.

(8:30 a.m. ET): Pete Wilson of WBZ-TV in Boston has already interviewed the uncle of the two suspects. When told what has happened to his nephews, he called one of them a "loser" and said the one who was killed "deserved it." The uncle says the suspects came to the U.S. in 2000 or early 2001, but he has not spoken to them much since 2005. He says the last he heard of him was when Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had graduated from high school. When asked "What's going through your mind?" the uncle responds, "I wish they never existed."

(8:13 a.m. ET): An update from NBC's Lester Holt, who is on the scene in Watertown.

(7:59 a.m. ET): Governor Deval Patrick is updating that situation right now. Authorities are asking the entire city of Boston to "shelter in place" and not leave their homes for the time being.

(7:57 a.m. ET): Here's everything we know about the missing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, so far.

(7:46 a.m. ET): Pete Williams has updated his report to say Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was actually born in Kyrgyzstan, not Chechnya.

(7:42 a.m. ET): Wesley Lowery, reporter for The Boston Globe is on the scene in  Cambridge, where police are reportedly moving in on an apartment shared by the brothers. He reports that a woman in the apartment (or the apartment building) is being arrested.

(7:34 a.m ET): Police in Watertown are continuing their sweeps as most of the Boston are remains on lockdown.

(7:31 a.m. ET): The New York Times says the other brother has been identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, but gives his age as 26. Again, he would the be the suspect in the black hat, who is now deceased.

(7:28 a.m. ET): There's another new wrinkle in the case as NPR is reporting that a third arrest has been made of "an accomplice, not a suspect."

(7:23 a.m. ET): Your new "Wanted" poster (via CBS):

(7:20 a.m. ET): Police near Kenmore Square in Cambridge are reportedly about to do a controlled explosion. The suspects allegedly dropped several bags before, during, and after the chase.

(7:19 a.m. ET): CBS News says the suspects were identified using "State Department records."

(7:13 a.m. ET): Overseas reporters are already reaching out to their sources in Chechnya. This is Miriam Elder, the Moscow correspondent for the Guardian.

(6:46 a.m.): The AP is the first to report a name:

Police work a crime scene Friday, April 19, 2013, in Watertown, Mass. A tense night of police activity that left a university officer dead on campus just days after the Boston Marathon bombings and amid a hunt for two suspects caused officers to converge on a neighborhood outside Boston, where residents heard gunfire and explosions.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(6:43 a.m.): Pete Williams says the suspects have been identified, but is being told not reveal their names yet. He does say they are brothers and live in Cambridge. One is 19, one is 20. The AP says they are from a Russian region near Chechnya.

(6:28 a.m.): And another shot, from the other side of the house. No word from police on what the situation is at this house.

(6:22 a.m.): There were reports earlier that police on radio scanners said the Sunil Tripathi, possibly identifying him as the suspect. Tripathi is a student at Brown University who has been missing for over a month, but according to (again) Pete Williams, Tripathi is not one of the two suspects.

(6:18 a.m.): A resident of Watertown just tweeted this picture that appears to show SWAT teams surrounding a house with guns trained.

(6:16 a.m.): More from Pete Williams: The man whose SUV was hijacked told police that the suspect told him that they had just killed a police officer and they were the same men involved in the Boston Marathon bombing.

(6:04 a.m. ET): Pete Williams of NBC is reporting that two suspects have not been positively identified, but it is believed that they are "foreign nationals" who might have received military training and have been in the country for over a year. Williams adds that they are "legal permanent residents" and may be from Chechnya, but were living in Turkey before coming to the U.S. Boston police commissioner Ed Davis tweeted the most recent surveillance photo of the missing suspect that was taken last night, before the shootout.

Davis also said this about the suspect in a statement to the press: "We believe this to be a terrorist. We believe this to be a man who’s come here to kill people. We need to get him in custody."

(5:45 a.m. ET): Here's what we know at the moment. Around 10:30 last night, the suspect in the white allegedly robbed a convenience store in Cambridge. Not long after, an MIT campus police officer was shot and killed while in his police cruiser. (NBC News describes the shooting as an "ambush.") Shortly after that, two men carjacked an SUV, briefly holding the driver hostage. Police began a pursuit, during which the suspects began firing at police and reportedly throwing explosives out of the car. The chase led police to Watertown, Massachusetts, where a gunfight ensued. One of the two suspects was shot and wounded. (And also possibly injured by a bomb blast that he strapped to him. NBC also reports that the suspect may have been run over by a police vehicle.) A transit police officer was also shot and wounded in melee. 

The suspect was captured and transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Doctors there say they attempted to revive him, but he died of his wounds.

According to The Boston Globe, the deceased suspect is the suspect wearing the black baseball cap in the photo released by police on Thursday night. The other suspect (the one in the white hat) is still on the loose, possibly in the outlying Boston-area suburb of Watertown. An active manhunt is underway.

The entire city of Boston, and especially the neighboring city of Watertown, are going into lockdown mode. Watertown residents are being advised to stay in their homes and not answer the door to anyone but a clearly identified police officer. ALL vehicle traffic in and out of Watertown is suspended. Businesses are closed and citizens are advised to stay home work. About 5:45 a.m., the MBTA, Boston public transit authority, announced that all bus and train service is suspended until further notice. Harvard University and MIT in Cambridge have canceled classes for Friday. The missing suspect is being described as a "terrorist" police believe is actively trying to hurt people.

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic Wire.



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