Now, with the photos out, it was time to move. Already, one of Dzhokhar’s college classmates had taken to studying the photo of Suspect No. 2 — nearly certain it was his friend, although others were skeptical. It wouldn’t take long for others to notice.
The call to the police dispatcher came in at 10:20 p.m. Thursday: shots fired on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus in Cambridge. Ten minutes later, when police arrived to investigate, they found one of their own, university officer Sean Collier, shot multiple times inside his cruiser. He had been monitoring traffic near a campus entrance, said Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert Haas.
The baby-faced 26-year-old Collier, in just a year on patrol, had impressed both his supervisors and the students as particularly dedicated to his work. A few days earlier, he’d asked Chief John DiFava for approval to join the board at a homeless shelter, in a bid to steer people away from problems before they developed. Now he was being pronounced dead at the hospital.
Witnesses reported seeing two men. Fifteen minutes later, another call came in of an armed carjacking by two men. That was on Brighton Avenue, Haas said. For the next half-hour, the carjacking victim was kept in his car, had his bank card used to pocket $800 from an ATM and was told by his captors that they’d just killed a police officer and were responsible for the bombing, Watertown Police Chief Edward Deveau said. Haas said the man escaped from the car when his captors went into a Cambridge gas station, and he called police.
Investigators had their break.
Although police had previously said the carjacking victim had left his cellphone in the Mercedes SUV, enabling police to track its location via GPS, Haas said Sunday the phone was found on Memorial Drive near the gas station. It was past 11 p.m. now, and as the Mercedes sped west into Watertown, one of Deveau’s officers spotted it and gave chase, realizing too late he was alone against the brothers driving two separate cars. When both vehicles came to a halt, Deveau said, the men stepped out and opened fire. Three more officers arrived, then two who were off-duty, fending off a barrage. When a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officer, Richard Donohue, pulled up behind them, a bullet to the groin severed an artery and he went down.