Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev: In custody, found alive in back of a boat in Watertown

Dzhokar A. Tsarnaev, 19. Credit: FBI
Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, remains at large. Credit: FBI

Police have taken Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev into custody alive after a tense couple of hours on Franklin Street in Watertown.

As the State Police left the scene and an ambulance carrying Tsarnaev passed by, onlookers applauded and yelled “thank you” to police.

The incident unfolded mere minutes after the Boston police lifted the “stay in place” order in Boston, when reports of  “rapid” gunfire were reported from Watertown.

Hundreds of police, as well as SWAT teams, were deployed to a backyard on 67 Franklin St., in Watertown where Tsarnaev, 19, one of two brothers allegedly responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings, was found in the back of a boat being stored in a back yard.  Eye witnesses report hearing what sounded like multiple gunshots. Police moved in slowly in fear of explosives.

WHDH-TV 7News Boston (video clip of the gunshots)

The other suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26,  died in a shootout with police Thursday night, after a dramatic chase. A graphic photo of the man’s corpse was leaked online. (Warning: the photo is very graphic.)

During the pursuit, the suspects fired on police and threw explosives from their vehicle. Authorities recovered more than 200 bullet casings.

The chase ended in Watertown with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev escaping on foot. SWAT teams searched door-to-door all day Friday.

“We do not have an apprehension of our suspect this afternoon,” said Mass. state police Col. Timothy Alben. “But we will have one. We’re committed to that.”

Alben said Watertown residents would see greater police presence over the weekend, and should be reassured by that.

Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick lifted a lock down order on Boston and several other communities, including Brookline, Newton, Arlington, Cambridge and Somerville, just after 6 p.m.

Patrick thanked residents for their cooperation, but urged everyone to remain alert, and to call 911 or the FBI if they saw Tsarnaev

“I want to reemphasize the point that people have got to be vigilant. This is a dangerous person who we believe has killed people,” said Alben. He told the suspect to give himself up “to stop any further violence towards anyone.”

Alben said there was no direct evidence that the suspect at large remains in Boston, although he is believed to still be in Massachusetts.

MBTA service resumed Friday evening, after being suspended most of the day.

Authorities had planned to carry out a “controlled explosion” at the suspects’ home on Norfolk Street in Cambridge, but that was later cancelled. State police said no explosives were found at that location.

A map of last night's events in Boston manhunt. Credit: Reuters
A map of last night’s events in the Boston manhunt. Credit: Reuters

“We believe this to be a terrorist,” said Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev early Friday. “We believe this to be a man who has come here to kill people. We need to get him in custody.”

Around 10:20 p.m. Thursday, an MIT police officer, Sean Collier, was killed. An MBTA transit police officer, Richard Donohue, was critically hurt.

Fifteen police officers were being treated at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for injuries sustained during the chase, according to ABC News. For a timeline of events overnight, click here.

The brothers had been in the United States for several years, Reuters said. National security and law enforcement officials were leaning toward the theory that the Marathon bombings were motivated by Islamist extremism, in part because of Internet postings and comments the brothers allegedly made.

A Twitter account reported to belong to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was active after the marathon blasts, including a reply to a post about the bombings that read “fake story.”

The suspects father gave an interview from his home in Makhachkala, saying his sons were set up. The suspects’ uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, spoke to reporters outside his Maryland home Friday, telling Dzhokhar, “If you’re alive, turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness.”

“[I] never ever imagined that somehow the children of my brother would be associated with [the marathon bombing],” Tsarni said. “It is an atrocity. We are devastated. We’re shocked.”

An aunt, Maret Tsarnaeva, denied the brothers were involved.

“I know these two nephews — smart boys, good boys — they have no motive for that,” Tsarnaeva told reporters at her home in Toronto. “They have no ideas to be going to this kind of act. It’s just not the case, it cannot be true.”

Metro spoke with Somerville mechanic Gilberto Junior, who said he regularly worked on the vehicles of the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects. Junior said fugitive suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev came into his shop Tuesday.

“He was very nervous and said, ‘I need the car right now,’ and took the car,” said Junior, adding that “he was biting his fingernails.”

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev received a scholarship from the City of Cambridge in 2011 as a senior at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, according to the Boston Globe. He kept a profile on a Russian social media site.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was an amateur boxer. He told a photographer during a 2010 interview, “I don’t have a single American friend, I don’t understand them.” A Massachusetts driver’s license recovered from his body showed he lived in Cambridge, Mass., according to NBC News.

WCVB-TV in Boston was one of the many stations providing a live feed of its television coverage Friday online. Reuters was aggregating its coverage from Twitter and its news wires.

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBos


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