Boston, April 20 (IANS) A 23-hour massive search for the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings ended Friday night with the capture of Dzhokar Tsarnaev, 19, a Russian American, after a massive manhunt that virtually shut down one of America’s oldest cities and its suburbs like Cambridge, where Harvard University is located.
After announcing on Twitter the suspect was in custody, Boston police tweeted “CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody”.
The arrest came four days after two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday killing three people and leaving over 180 injured.
Tsarnaev was cornered late Friday on a boat in a yard of Watertown, a suburb of Boston. Authorities “engaged” the man, CNN reported citing unnamed officials, just minutes after authorities indicated a manhunt for the suspect appeared to come up empty.
The channel said one of its crews near the scene heard about two dozen gunshots fired, but it was not clear if the shots were fired by the suspect, authorities or both. A number of small explosions, believed to be stun grenades, also were heard.
Authorities, using a bullhorn, called on the suspect to surrender: “Come out with your hands up.”
Dzhokar Tsarnaev, who escaped a shootout with police in suburban Watertown that left his older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, dead, was possibly armed with explosives, authorities had warned before his dramatic capture.
The two brothers of Chechen origin, from the disputed Muslim region of Chechnya in Russia, but who were born in Kyrgyzstan, are reported to have come to the US a decade ago. The younger one became an American citizen last year Sep 11, NBC News reported citing a law enforcement official.
More than 22 hours after the search focused on the younger brother, police officers in full body armour, carrying automatic weapons wrapped up their door-to-door search of the area, Col. Timothy Alben of the Massachusetts State Police said.
Gov. Deval Patrick, meanwhile, lifted an order that confined an estimated one million residents to their homes, urging people to “remain vigilant”.
“Investigators are recovering a significant amount of homemade explosives” from the scene of the shootout, Massachusetts State Police spokesperson David Procopio told CNN.
It was not immediately clear what explosives were recovered, but the discovery followed a tense night in which authorities say the brothers allegedly hurled explosives at pursuers after killing an officer and hijacking a car.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was wearing explosives and a triggering device when he died,CNN said citing a source.
The search followed a violent night in which authorities say the two men allegedly hurled explosives at pursuers after killing Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier and hijacked a car.
With more than 200 rounds of ammunition and a number of explosives thrown during the chase and gunbattle, Patrick said the lockdown was necessary.