Boston Bomb Suspect Captured Alive in Backyard Boat
WATERTOWN, Mass. April 19, 2013
The alleged Boston Marathon bomber who hid from authorities for more than 12 hours was captured tonight by police, sending cheers up through the Watertown neighborhood where he was found.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was found by a homeowner lying in a boat in the man’s backyard around 7 p.m.
Gunfire broke out in the immediate aftermath of the discovery, but quickly stopped as police hunkered down for a standoff with Tsarnaev that lasted a little more than an hour and a half.
Around 8:45 p.m., Tsarnaev was taken into custody and transported away from the scene in an ambulance, as law enforcement officials and onlookers clapped and cheered.
Tsarnaev had been shot by police during gunfire nearly 24 hours earlier. Sources said Tsarnaev was bleeding badly.
A senior Justice Department official told ABC News that federal law enforcement officials are invoking the public safety exception to the Miranda rights, so that Tsarnaev will be questioned immediately without having Miranda rights issued to him.
The federal government’s high value detainee interrogation group will be responsible for questioning him.
The Miranda exemption exists to protect the public safety from another attack, according to the official.
“We got him,” Boston Mayor Tom Menino tweeted immediately after Tsarnaev was arrested. “I have never loved this city & its people more than I do today. Nothing can defeat the heart of this city .. nothing.”
The Boston police department also sent out a tweet in the aftermath trumpeting, “CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody.”
Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, are believed to be behind the bombing of the Boston Marathon on Monday that killed three individuals and injured more than 170.
Tamerlan was killed by gunfire Thursday night in a shoot-out with police. Dzhokhar fled the shoot-out on foot into the Watertown neighborhood, which was the subject of an intense manhunt today involving hundreds of law enforcement personnel. The entire city of Boston was placed on lockdown for the dragnet.
At a new conference around 6 p.m., Gov. Deval Patrick lifted the lockdown order, saying they had not found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Watertown.
Shortly after the order came down, Watertown homeowner David Henneberry walked into his backyard and saw something amiss with his boat, according to Henneberry’s neighbor, George Pizzuto.
“He looked and noticed something was off about his boat, so he got his ladder, and he put his ladder up on the side of the boat and climbed up, and then he saw blood on it, and he thought he saw what was a body laying in the boat,” Pizzuto said. “So he got out of the boat fast and called police.”
He said that Henneberry was being interviewed by police about what he saw, and that power was cut to the Henneberry’s house.
“That boat’s his baby. He takes care of it like you wouldn’t believe. And they told him it’s all shot up,” Pizzuto said. “He’s going to be heartbroken.”
Henneberry notified police, and minutes later gunfire erupted and dozens of law enforcement officers rushed to secure a perimeter around Franklin Street in Watertown, where residents were immediately warned to stay indoors and “shelter in place.”
Erik Thompson, who lives across the street from the Henneberry’s home, said he heard gunshots and saw law enforcement rush to the scene.
“There was some gunfire earlier which was almost immediately stopped. People were yelling to cease fire, and it seems to be focused on some homes across the street from where I am, which I think is the western side of the street,” Thompson said.
“There’s still a significant presence of law enforcement there,” he said. “It’s like D-Day.”
The governor lifted an order that kept people in Watertown, Boston and surrounding suburbs inside all day.
The officials had said at the press conference that they thoroughly searched Watertown and had not found any sign of Tsarnaev.
Earlier in the day, police in took three individuals into custody in connection with the search for Tsarnaev.
Lt. Robert Richard of New Bedford, Mass., said three “college age” individuals were taken in for questioning by the FBI. New Bedford is less than 15 miles north of Dartmouth, Mass., where Tsarnaev attends college.
Following a late-night shootout with police that involved more than 200 rounds of ammunition and explosive devices, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, abandoned his car and slipped away on foot.
His older brother and alleged accomplice in the bombings, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in the gunfire. The pair are believed to have dropped two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday, killing three and injuring more than 170.
Massachusetts State Police Superintendent Col. Timothy Alben said at a press conference this afternoon that the Tsarnaev brothers opened fire and threw explosives at cops around 10:30 p.m. Thursday as they fled from Cambridge to Watertown. But he said law enforcement were forced to choose between providing first aid to those in need and securing a perimeter to contain the suspect.
“Unfortunately we did not have enough people to provide first aid” to the injured “and establish a perimeter,” the colonel said.
Gov. Deval Patrick ordered everyone in Watertown, Boston and surrounding suburbs to stay indoors, shut down public transportation and taxi service for the day as the search for Tsarnaev proceeded.
Heavily armed officers and military-style vehicles conducted a door-to-door search of Watertown, but the search turned up nothing, Alben said.
Police did find evidence of homemade pipe bombs and a pressure cook at the scene of the shootout, they said.
Shortly after 6 p.m. today, the governor lifted the “shelter in place” order and reopened the city’s mass transit system. He asked residents to remain vigilant.
Law enforcement also pulled back its tactical operations, saying that they were confident the neighborhood of Watertown would be safe with added patrols from neighboring communities and the state police.
They said they had chased “various leads” all over Massachusetts, but had not yet apprehended the suspect. They asked the public to continue contributing tips to Tsarnaev’s possible location.
“Remember there is still a very very dangerous individual at large, but we feel confident based on what we know of the investigation to that extent, we can return to living our lives. In the areas where the stay-indoors request has been in effect, that request has been lifted, but remain vigilant,” Patrick said.
Alben said that he believed Tsarnaev was still in the Boston area, that most of his contacts were in the city and that police were not aware of any vehicle that he may have taken.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is believed to be armed with an automatic rifle and a cache of other weapons.
“I’m worried about apprehending this particular subject, he’s a very violent and dangerous person,” Alben said.
The Tsarnaev brothers are suspected of having placed two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday, killing three and injuring more than 170. There is no known motive for the bombings.
The hunt for the brothers heated up Thursday night after they were reported to have robbed a convenience store, although police said today that the report was false. Police have recovered surveillance video of the Tsarnaevs buying gas in Cambridge.
They are believed, however, to have ambushed and killed MIT security officer Sean Collier as he sat in his patrol car Thursday night.
They later hijacked a Mercedes SUV Thursday night and told the driver that they were the Marathon bombers, police said. The vehicle was spotted by police about 12:50 a.m. today, sparking a chase and gunbattle that included the brothers tossing explosives at the pursuing cops, police said.
Thank you to ABC News for this article.