PHOTOS: Boston Celebrates Bombing Suspect’s Capture

Boston Conservatory students (left to right) Matthew Rodin, Gavin Parmley, Beka Burnham, Rachel Giannattasio and Alexis Schear celebrate the capture of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect on Friday, April 19, 2013, near Copley Square.

After a long day trapped indoors under a citywide lockdown, Boston residents were eager to hit the streets Friday night to celebrate the apprehension of the two suspects believed responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing and to celebrate the end of what many called a “very long week.”

By 11 p.m., Boston Common was filled with hundreds of people, many college-aged, who stood around in clusters wearing and waving American flags, cheering and breaking into song—“God Bless America,” “The Star-Spangled Banner” and that old Boston favorite, “Sweet Caroline.”

A huge group of people filled the Common’s bandstand, climbing the poles and one another’s shoulders, hanging over the edge and leading chants of “USA, USA!” and “BPD! BPD!”

Another chant: “We got him!”

Others lined up to shake the hands of Boston police officers who stood off to the side keeping an eye on the crowd, while others shouted, “Thank you! God bless!” at them.

Drivers honked and blared patriotic music as they drove down streets that had mostly been deserted all day, while pedestrians let out whoops and shouts of “USA!” as they walked.

New Haven, CT resident Mauris Nnamani drove up Friday night to check on his girlfriend, who lives on Beacon Hill. He was on the road when he heard that police had apprehended the second bombing suspect in Waterford.

“It’s great. I think it’s great for us to celebrate. We just apprehended the suspect in this tragic event,” Nnamani said.

But he also felt it was too soon for people to become complacent about safety.

“I think that we all should take care and we should make sure that everything is safe. We don’t know if they had accomplices that are still around,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a good idea for everybody to come in a big crowd yet until we actually get all the information and know what’s going on.”

A group of students from Boston Conservatory said they had partied on campus and decided to venture out to see what the rest of the city was up to. They wandered down to the Prudential Center side of Copley Square to watch CNN’s Anderson Cooper and other TV people report from the edge of what is still blocked off as a crime scene.

Asked what it was like to go through the lockdown, student Matthew Rodin said, “It was a long, hard day. It was a long, hard week. But this is the perfect way to end a Friday night.”

“It’s such a blessing just to know that we can finally sleep and feel totally at ease for the first time this week,” student Rachel Giannattasio added.

Dorchester resident Kelson John also came to the roped-off area of Copley Square to celebrate the conclusion of the week-long drama.

“I feel like we got our freedom back,” John said. “I just wanted to come down and acknowledge the police and everyone who was involved in the capturing, just to show a little bit of respect.”

John also brought his family, including his baby granddaughter.

“I brought my granddaughter down because when she gets older this is going to be part of history, so she can say she was down at what I guess you’d call ‘ground zero.’”

John said it was a long day of worrying and feeling trapped.

“It was almost like you were in prison. You couldn’t go out, you didn’t want to go out. I didn’t want to put my family out there knowing that this guy was 8 miles away from where I live,” John said. “So when he was captured it was all about just coming out and feeling free, almost like spreading our wings again.”

South End Patch