But after all the gunfire, the younger Tsarnaev had vanished. Officers, their guns drawn, moved through the neighborhood of wood-frame homes and cordoned off the area as daylight approached.
At Kayla DiPaolo’s house on Oak Street, she scrambled to find shelter in the door frame of her bedroom as a bullet came through the side paneling on her front door. At 8:30 a.m., Jonathan Peck heard helicopters circling above his house on Cypress Street and looked outside to see about 50 armed men.
“It seemed like Special Forces teams were searching every nook and cranny of my yard,” he said.
Unable to find Tsarnaev, authorities announced they were shutting down not just Watertown, but all of Boston and many of its suburbs, affecting more than 1 million people. Train service was cancelled. Taxis were ordered off the streets. Filming of a Hollywood movie called “American Hustle” — the tale of an FBI sting operation — was called off. In central Boston, streets normally packed with office workers turned eerily silent.
“It feels like we’re living in a movie. I feel like the whole city is in a standstill right now and everyone is just glued to the news,” Rebecca Rowe of Boston said.
But as the hours went by, and the house-to-house search continued, investigators found no sign of their quarry. Finally, at about 6:30 p.m., they announced the shutdown had been lifted.
At the Islamic Society of Boston, Belhoucet, the cab driver who’d fled the bombing scene, arrived for evening prayer only to find it shuttered. But he told himself the city’s paralysis could not continue much longer. “Because there is no place to hide,” Belhoucet said. “His picture is all over the world now.”
Across Watertown, people ventured out for the first time in hours to enjoy the day’s unusually warm air. They included a man who took a few steps into his Franklin Street backyard, then noticed the tarp on his boat was askew. He lifted it, looked inside and saw a man covered in blood.