WATERTOWN, Massachusetts — One of the Boston marathon bombing suspects was killed in a shootout early Friday as police raced on a house-to-house search for the second, with the entire city placed on lockdown.
NBC News reported that the two young men believed to be responsible for Monday’s deadly carnage at the finish line of the prestigious race are brothers of Chechen origin who were permanent legal residents of the United States.
The police order means that roughly 900,000 people in the greater Boston area have been told to stay put, virtually shutting down one of America’s main cities after the twin attack that left three people dead and 180 wounded.
“We’re asking people to shelter in place,” Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick told reporters. “Stay indoors with the doors locked, and do not open the door for anyone other than a properly identified law enforcement officer.”
The two men, dubbed “Suspect One” and “Suspect Two” by the FBI, led police on a violent cavalcade that left inhabitants of Boston and nearby towns cowering in their homes as gunfire and explosions erupted through the night.
Public transport was suspended throughout the region and all schools closed as police chased the second suspect, identified as 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The dead man was identified as 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
One police officer was killed and another wounded in the operation, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said, confirming that the dead man was Suspect One as labeled in photos released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The man died after suffering multiple gunshot wounds and an injury in an explosion, a doctor at Beth Israel hospital told reporters.
The surviving fugitive was “armed and dangerous,” Davis said. “We believe this to be a terrorist, we believe this to be a man who has come here to kill people.”
Police said the dead suspect had explosives on his body, and there were fears the second suspect still at large was also strapped with bombs.
The pair first tried to rob a convenience store late Thursday in Cambridge, across the river from Boston, Davis said.
They then proceeded to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the world’s top universities, where one campus police officer was shot dead, the commissioner added.
The pair then hijacked a Mercedes car and eventually let the driver out in Watertown, which is close to MIT, Davis added.
The chase went on through Watertown where the two were seen throwing explosives out of the car, local media said, citing police reports. Blasts and gunfire were heard in several districts.
During a shootout, the first suspect was shot and killed, Davis said. Another police officer was also wounded. The second suspect, who has been shown in pictures wearing a white baseball cap, managed to escape.
Police with rifles flooded the streets of Boston, and search helicopters patrolled the skies. Sirens blared across the city as bomb squads carried out house-to-house searches.
The attack in Boston, which sent a hail of nails and shrapnel into a crowd of thousands at the end of the marathon, was the worst terror assault on the United States since the September 11, 2001 suicide airliner attacks.
Just hours before the chaotic manhunt unfolded, the FBI on Thursday released pictures and video of the two suspects, appealing for help to identify the pair, who were carrying large backpacks.
Both appeared to be young men, one dressed in a white baseball cap and the other in a black cap. The FBI named them only as Suspect One and Suspect Two.
The men are seen in the video walking calmly, one a few paces behind the other, weaving between crowds on Boston’s Boylston Street where the race finished.
President Barack Obama vowed to the people of Boston Thursday that the “evil” bombers would be brought to justice.
“Yes, we will find you, and yes, you will face justice,” Obama said at a service at Boston’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross attended by 2,000 people including blast survivors, relatives of the dead, rescuers and city leaders.
“If they sought to intimidate us, to terrorize us,” Obama said, “it should be pretty clear by now that they picked the wrong city to do it.”
Boston has held emotional tributes to the dead — eight-year-old Martin Richard, Boston University graduate student Lu Lingzi of China and Krystle Campbell, a restaurant manager. Obama paid tribute to all three at the service.
More than 100 of the wounded have left Boston hospitals and fewer than 10 of those still in hospital remain in critical condition. some with horrific injuries. Some will require new operations, doctors said.
First posted 8:59 pm | Friday, April 19th, 2013