Law enforcement officials believe that one suspect in Monday’s bombing of the Boston Marathon was killed Friday morning after a shootout and car chase with police, while the other is still on the loose. NBC’s Pete Williams reports that the two are brothers, 19 and 26, and are legal permanent residents who have been in the United States since 2002 or 2003. The first suspect, older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was taken into custody after the firefight and pronounced dead at Beth Israel Hospital at 1:35 AM. As many as nine thousand police officers are now conducting a door-to-door search for the younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and are asking more than 400,000 residents to stay in their homes.
On Thursday night killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) campus police officer in his car, and later carjacked a Mercedes SUV, kidnapping the owner of the car for 30 minutes before leaving that individual at a gas station in Cambridge. Pete Williams of NBC News reports that the suspects told the man that they killed a police officer and were the marathon bombers.
The brothers then led police on a chase to Watertown, MA, where they exchanged gunfire and threw bombs out of the vehicle window at law enforcement, including one made from a pressure cooker. They stopped the car in Watertown, where the first suspect got out, was shot and may have detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) strapped to his chest. The younger brother then drove on and later abandoned the car.
The second suspect — believed to be the man wearing a white hat in pictures released by the FBI on Thursday — is now wearing a grey hoodie, and police consider him armed, and dangerous. “We believe this to be a terrorist. We believe this to be a person who came here to kill people,” Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said in a press briefing Friday morning. A picture of suspect two from the Boston PD:
— Boston Police Dept. (@Boston_Police) April 19, 2013
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick told reporters Friday morning that one police officer was badly injured and is undergoing surgery. He also cautioned “all of Boston” to “shelter in place” and only answer the door for uniformed, identified police officers. Here is a picture one Twitter user posted of her yard:
— Falon Mihalic (@falonland) April 19, 2013
There may be several un-detonated explosive devices on the streets of Watertown and buses are now evacuating neighborhoods. Because of those risks, and in order to find the suspect, Police have shut down the public transportation system — including Amtrak rail service — and have asked all businesses in the area to remain closed until further notice. Police have also suspended taxi service in the city and surrounding suburbs.
On Friday just before 9:00 am, police brought in for questioning two other people, found near the brothers’ house. NBC’s Pete Williams also warns of a potential third suspect. The search has been rapidly expanding. A passenger on an Acela train traveling from Boston to New York City before the rails were shut down alerted authorities that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev might be on the train. Police stopped the train at the Westport, CT station, then searched and cleared it.
One of the Tsarnaevs was a registered student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, according to a release from the school this morning. That campus, along with all other Universities, schools, and businesses in the area, remain closed.
On Friday afternoon, an official from the Boston Police Department told the press that there had been “no apprehension” yet, but that there will be a “controlled explosion” conducted at a house on Norfolk Street in Watertown — believed to be the suspects’ home — “out of an abundance of caution.” Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino also reiterated the request for citizens in the Boston area to stay indoors.
Late Friday, police lifted the “stay indoors” order, and Gov. Patrick announced that Boston’s transit system will reopen. No suspect has been apprehended, and police did not indicate that they have any new leads on finding Tsarnaev.