19 abril, 2013

Boston Marathon bomber manhunt: One suspect dead, second on the run

BOSTON—A late-night police chase and shootout has left one marathon bombing suspect dead and another on the run, police here said, as residents of the still-grieving city were ordered by officials to "shelter in place" while the manhunt continues. One police officer was killed and another was seriously wounded during the violent spree.
Authorities identified the surviving Boston bomb suspect as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, of Cambridge, Mass., and said that the suspects were brothers. The second bombing suspect is Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, according to NBC News, who was found with an IED on his body. The brothers' family is believed to be originally from Chechnya, a volatile southern Russian republic. Photographer Johannes Hirn took this photo essay of the older brother, a boxer. The captions suggest Tsarnaev came to America as a child with his family as refugees after fleeing Chechnya. Dhokhar Tsarnaev posted links to Islamic and pro-Chechnyan independence sites on what appears to be his social media page.
The suspects' uncle told the local CBS News station that the pair had lived in the country since 2002. The uncle, when told that one of his nephews was killed, replied that he deserved it. “He deserved his. He absolutely deserved his,” Ruslan Tsarni said. “They do not deserve to live on this earth.”
Tsarni said he learned his nephews were suspects by reading a Russian language news source. "Since these people do have association to me by blood, I say they're barbarians," he added.
In an emotional press conference later, Tsarni said his nephews had brought shame upon his family and the entire ethnicity of Chenyans and called them "losers."
"I'm ready to kneel in front of them and ask their forgiveness," Tsarni said of the victims of their crime. "I respect this country; I love this country ... this country that gives everybody chance to be treated like human being." He added that he hadn't been in touch with the family for several years, but would not say why.
The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed law enforcement sources, said that one or both of the brothers traveled back to the Caucasus region of Russia for a year or more before returning to America again.
Tsarnaev's father, reached by the AP in Russia by phone, said his son was a "true angel" and wonderful student. He later told ABC's Good Morning America that he wanted his son to surrender peacefully.
The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth announced shortly after 10:30 a.m. on Friday that they were evacuating the entire campus after learning Tsarnaev is a registered student there.
At sunrise, Gov. Deval Patrick ordered a shutdown of all public transit and residents on the edges of Boston to stay indoors as a massive manhunt for the second suspect was underway. The entire city in Boston was under a shelter in place order by late Friday morning. The Boston Globe reported that police are focusing on a 20-block area of Watertown, and fear the suspect may be wearing explosives.
“This situation is grave and we are trying to protect the public safety,” said Massachusetts State Police Col. Timothy Alben, who ordered a lockdown of Watertown, Waltham, Belmont, Cambridge, Newton, Allston and Brighton. A no fly zone has been declared over Watertown. The city of Boston was eerily quiet during Friday's rush hour, the city's busy intersections totally abandoned.
Marathon bombing suspect Tsarnaev (FBI)

Federal agents swarmed Watertown after local police were involved in a car chase and shootout with the men identified Thursday by the FBI as Suspect 1 and Suspect 2 in the Boston bombings. During the pursuit, officers could be heard on police radio traffic describing the men as having handguns, grenades and other explosives.
The mayhem began at approximately 10:20 p.m. Thursday when police said the bombing suspects robbed a 7-Eleven store in Cambridge. Minutes later, police said, the men shot and killed an MIT campus officer responding to the robbery call. The terror suspects then carjacked a Mercedes-Benz with the driver inside and fled, eventually letting driver go. They were then spotted in Watertown where they exchanged dozens of rounds of gunfire with patrol officers.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was shot by police and brought to Beth Israel Medical Center. He arrived at the hospital under cardiac arrest with multiple gunshot wounds and blast-like injuries to his chest. The second suspect fled on foot, leading to the tense manhunt that is still underway at this hour.
"We believe this to be a terrorist," said Boston police Commissioner Ed Davis. "We believe this to be a man who has come here to kill people. We need to get him into custody."
A transit officer, Richard H. Donohue, was seriously wounded during the exchange of gunfire, officials said.
[Related: FBI releases photos of suspects in Boston Marathon bombings]
Boston police says the suspect who remains at large was the "one in the white hat" seen in the photos released by the FBI on Thursday in the investigation into the twin explosions that killed 3 people and injured 170 others at the Boston Marathon on Monday.
In a radio alert sent issued to fellow officers, the suspect was described as a "white male with dark complexion ... with thick curly hair wearing a charcoal gray hooded sweatshirt ... possibly with an assault rifle and explosives." Police in Watertown, Newton, Brighton and Cambridge were put on high alert. "Units use caution," an officer said. "He might have an explosive object on his person."
Worried residents in Watertown, a suburb about 8 miles from downtown Boston, were ordered to stay indoors and turn off their cell phones out of fear that they could trigger improvised explosive devices.
"Suspect 2" seen in 7-Eleven surveillance footage; police in Watertown (BPD/Getty)
Dozens of police officers, many of them off-duty, searched backyards in pursuit of the second suspect, and a police perimeter of several blocks was established. K9 units and SWAT teams searched homes on Spruce Street as officers with a police robot searched an SUV that the suspects had abandoned. Multiple devices were left in the road and two handguns were recovered, according to police scanners.
Slain MIT police officer Sean Collier. (Middlesex DA)
The Watertown shootout occurred after a gunfight erupted near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where the MIT police officer, 26-year-old Sean Collier, was shot and later died while responding to the brothers' robbery of the 7-11. The campus was placed on lockdown for several hours, and students were told to remain indoors.
Shortly before 2 a.m. Friday, MIT issued a statement on its website saying that the suspect "in this evening's shooting is no longer on campus. It is now safe to resume normal activities. Please remain vigilant in the coming hours." MIT, Harvard, Boston University and other local colleges have cancelled classes.
President Barack Obama, who attended an interfaith service for the bombing victims in Boston on Thursday, was briefed on the overnight developments, the White House said early Friday.
At approximately 3:30 a.m., Massachusetts State Police issued a plea on Twitter for residents of Watertown to lock their doors and not open them for anyone as they searched backyards and exteriors of houses there.
"Residents in and around Watertown should stay in their residences," the alert read. "Do NOT answer door unless it is an identified police officer."
Police were able to track down images of the suspects after a victim of the attacks, Jeff Bauman, came to them with a description, Bloomberg reported Thursday. Bauman's legs were torn apart by the bomb.
--Yahoo News reporter Dylan Stableford contributed to this report from Connecticut.

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