CAPTURED – Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Caught In Watertown
WATERTOWN (CBS) – A flurry of applause at the scene of a standoff between police and Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev signaled his capture Friday night.
After a nearly two-hour standoff in a Watertown neighborhood, Tsarnaev was taken from the scene by ambulance to a Boston hospital where he was in serious condition.
A Tweet by Boston police minutes later said it best:
“We got him. Thank God we got him,” Mayor Tom Menino told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Dan Rea.
As hundreds of police officers and federal authorities drove away from the scene Friday night, large crowds of residents lined the streets applauding, some waving American flags.
“Overwhelming. Relief,” Watertown resident Josh Smith said. “We can sleep tonight.”
The standoff began just before 7 p.m., minutes after Massachusetts State Police announced that they had completed their door-to-door search in Watertown without locating Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
A homeowner on Franklin Street went into his yard after being inside all day. According to police, he noticed a rip in the tarp that covered his boat and saw blood on the boat. Upon looking inside, he saw a man covered in blood.
The homeowner then called 911.
According to CBS News’ John Miller, three Boston police officers responded to the yard and saw the bloody suspect. Before they could call for backup, the suspect popped up from the boat and opened fire.
Officers returned fire. It is unclear if Tsarnaev was injured in that exchange, or if all of his injuries were sustained in a gunfight early Friday morning in another Watertown neighborhood.
WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong was in the area of Franklin Street when he heard what he described as 15-20 seconds of rapid gunfire. He was forced to take cover, and was quickly moved back to safety by police.
WBZ NewsRadio reported that authorities used thermal imaging from a helicopter to confirm the suspect’s whereabouts. The street where Tsarnaev was arrested, fell just outside the 20 block perimeter established for a door-to-door search. Police said that home was not part of the original search.
Armstrong described a flurry of police activity that erupted moments after police wrapped up a press conference in which they lifted a day-long lockdown in Watertown, Boston and several surrounding communities.
Police were seen carrying small children to safety. Because the lockdown had been lifted, there were people out on the streets when the gunfire started.
Additional loud bangs were heard around 7:50 p.m. – approximately one hour after the first gunshots were heard in the neighborhood.
WATCH: Jim Armstrong Moments After The Gunfire
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, had been on the run since very early Friday morning, when he and his brother were involved in a gunfight with police near Dexter and Laurel streets in Watertown. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in that encounter.
Photos of the two men were released Thursday evening by the FBI. The photos showed the brothers at the Boston Marathon, carrying backpacks. Those backpacks are believed to have contained the pressure cooker bombs that killed three people and injured more than 170 marathon spectators.
The brothers are also suspected of killing an MIT police officer as he sat in his vehicle Thursday night.