‘We Got the Call, and We Got the Guy’

FBI wanted poster, updated by Patch with a "Caught" message using Apple Preview.

A call from a Watertown resident led to the capture of the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, officials said at a Friday evening press conference.

“We asked you to maintain vigilance and you did,” Watertown Police Chief Edward Deveau said. “We got the call, and we got the guy.”

A man had exited his home after being inside all day per the shelter-in-place policy instituted during the manhunt and lifted earlier this evening, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said. The man saw blood on a boat in his backyard, lifted the tarp over the boat and saw a man covered in blood, and immediately went back inside his home and called the police.

“Over the course of the next hour or so we exchanged gunfire with the suspect inside the boat,” Davis said. “The hostage rescue team made entry and removed the suspect still in the boat.”

The hostage rescue team tried to negotiate to get the suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, to exit the boat, but Davis said that Tsarnaev was not communicative.

Davis said officials had no information indicating Tsarnaev remained in the 20-block search area of Watertown, leading to officials listing the shelter-in-place policy, and shortly thereafter they received the call from the homeowner. 

The boat where Tsarnaev was found sat “just slightly” outside of the perimeter that law enforcement officials had set up and had not been searched earlier, Davis said, explaining how he managed to elude officers throughout the day. 

Officers found blood in the car after the gunfight earlier tonight, behind a house within the perimeter, but no indications that Tsarnaev had gotten outside the perimeter, Deveau said. 

No explosives were found on Tsarnaev at the time of his capture, Davis said, who added that in the post-midnight gunfight during which first bombing suspect and Tsarnaev’s brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev suffered fatal injuries, there were improvised explosives and homemade grenades thrown at police officers, along with over 200 rounds of gunfire.

“It’s almost unheard of,” he said. 

Tsarnaev was taken to a hospital in serious condition, covered in blood. Davis said officials assumed his injured occured during the evening before—shots were fired at the boat, but officials did not know if Tsarnaev was hit.

“We always want to take all the suspects alive, so we can find out what happened, why it happened and hold them for justice,” Davis said.

Based on the investigation, citizens of Greater Boston can be “confident that the threat has been removed,” Davis added.

Investigation Continues

U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said it remains an active an ongoing investigation and that “the journey continues” as officials sort through the details and evidence before filing formal charges. 

“We will not be able to provide the details you want at this time, but as the days continue, you will get answers to those questions,” Ortiz said.

Tsarnaev was not read his Miranda rights when taken into custody due to a public safety exemption in cases of national security and acts of terrorism, said Ortiz, who declined to comment on the possibility of the death penalty sentence, saying that decision by the U.S. Attorney General comes after reviewing all the evidence and a “thoughtful, long process.”

Dzokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev first came to law enforcement officials attention last night after a “vicious assassination” of MIT Police Officer Sean Collier, Davis said, followed by a carjacking at a gas station from which officials retrieved video footage. They were tracked into Watertown, leading to the gunfight and manhunt.

Elsewhere, three people were reportedly arrested in New Bedford. Davis said the hostage rescue team went to that New Bedford home because they “felt it was important to the investigation,” and found that Tsarnaev was not there.

South End Patch