Transit Police SWAT Team On Arresting Tsarnaev: Situation ‘Needed To End’
BOSTON (CBS) – The members of the MBTA Police Swat Team are quick to point out that Friday morning’s manhunt was a team effort among several agencies.
But they will also admit how satisfying it was to finally arrest the man suspected of shooting one of their own – Officer Richard Donohue.
On Monday, the team that arrested Dzhokhar Tsarnaev talked about the ordeal.
“When the time came to move in on him, the FBI agent was there and he said ‘okay, you guys are going to take the lead,’” MBTA Sgt. Sean Reynolds said.
The team members moved in on the boat Tsarnaev was hiding in, knowing he had already shot a fellow officer and killed another police officer, Sean Collier, and there was a possibility Tsarnaev was armed with explosives.
“We didn’t know what he had on the boat with him as far as IEDs, any kind of explosive devices, and we just moved in,” MBTA Officer Saro Thompson said. ““When we first started moving up to the boat, he was laying on the side of the boat. He was in and out of consciousness. When we got to 10 or 15 yards from him, he sat back up.”
The FBI had negotiated his surrender, but the SWAT team knew they had to be wary.
“He could have done anything with that boat and the explosives,” team member Jeff Campbell said. “We just wanted to get him into custody and have this situation come to an end – for us, for the families, for the city. It needed to end.”
Finally, it was over. Officer Thompson handcuffed Tsarnaev while the other MBTA SWAT officers checked him for weapons and explosives.
“I don’t think he had the energy to say anything. Once we got him on the ground, he was compliant,” Thompson said.
On Sunday, doctors said Donohue was still in critical but stable condition after losing nearly all his blood from the gunshot wound.
Donohue was able to squeeze his wife’s hand on Sunday and open his eyes. SWAT members were also able to visit with him over the weekend.
“We did go visit Officer Donohue. That was the one thing I said to him. I said, ‘We got him,’” Officer Thompson told reporters.