BOSTON — Police pinned down the Boston Marathon terror suspect in a cabin cruiser boat in a suburban Watertown backyard Friday night, exchanging gunfire before bringing him out wounded but alive, ending a day-long massive manhunt.
“We got him,” tweeted Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, adding later ”I am so happy. The people of greater Boston can sleep tonight.”
The capture occurred two hours after authorities held a news conference to announce the suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, had eluded the dragnet operation launched when he fled from a police shootout late Thursday night.
His older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, also a suspect, died in the shootout that featured 200 rounds of gunfire and the tossing of homemade pipe bombs at police.
The bloody, chaotic drama unfolded when the FBI late Thursday afternoon released video and photo images of the suspects from a surveillance camera at the marathon finish line sites, where two bombs exloded Monday, killing three and wounding 176, many gravely.
Heavily-armed police surrounded the suspect in the backyard boat, convincing him to surrender. Bomb squads were called in to make sure he was not wearing or carrying a hidden explosives. Once police were sure that wasn’t the case, he was handcuffed and taken into custody.
Authorities said he was covered in blood when he emerged from the boat. Col. Timothy Alben, head of the state police, said he was seriously injured and transported by ambulance to a hospital for medical treatment.
Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said authorities were tipped to the suspect’s location about 7 p.m. by the resident of the home where the boat was parked. He said the homeowner noticed blood on the sidewalk leading to the boat.
“He looked inside and saw a man covered with blood (from the Thursday night shootout),” said Davis. “He called police. He called 911.”