He rushed back in to call police. And again, the neighborhood was awash in officers in fatigues and armed with machine guns. The man hunkered down inside the boat, later identified as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, traded fire with police for more than an hour, until at last, they were able to subdue him.
Around 8:45 p.m., police scanners crackled:
“Suspect in custody.”
On the Twitter account of the Boston police department, the news was trumpeted to a city that had been holding its collective breath over five days of fear: “CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won.”
With that, Boston poured into the streets. In Watertown, officers lowered their guns and grasped hands in congratulation. Bostonians applauded police officers and cheered as the ambulance carrying Tsarnaev passed. Under the flashing lights from Kenmore Square’s iconic Citgo sign, Boston University sophomore Will Livingston shouted up to people hanging out of open windows: “USA! USA! Get hyped, people!”
But on Boylston Street, where the bombing site remained cordoned off, there was silence even as the crowd swelled, and tears were shed.
“I think it’s a mixture of happiness and relief,” said Matt Taylor, 39, of Boston, a nurse who drove to Boylston Street as soon as he heard of the arrest.
Nearby, Aaron Wengertsman, 19, a Boston University student, who was on the marathon route a mile from the finish line when the bombs exploded, stood wrapped in an American flag. “I’m glad they caught him alive,” Wengertsman said. “It’s humbling to see all these people paying their respects.”
They included 25-year-old attorney Beth Lloyd-Jones, who was 25 blocks from the bombings and considers them deeply personal, a violation of her city. She is planning her wedding inside the Boston Public Library, adjacent to where the bombs exploded.