The Boston Marathon bombing suspect was captured alive after hiding in a boat following a bloody crossfire that killed one cop and a daylong manhunt that shut down the city.
The arrest of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, and the death of his brother during a firefight before, put an end to five days of terror which started after the bombing at the marathon finish line, which killed three people, wounded 176 and left Boston in panic.
“We got him,” Boston Mayor Tom Menino tweeted.
“CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won,” the Boston Police Department said on its Twitter account.
Police found the suspect – a naturalized U.S. citizen of Chechen origin – at 7 p.m., less than an hour after police lifted a stay-indoors order for the city and its suburbs, reports NBCNews.
A resident went outdoors to smoke when noticed a tarp on the boat was flapping. When he came closer, he saw what looked like a curled-up person and bloody clothes. Thescared man uimmediately ran into the house and called police.
Thermal imaging from helicopters confirmed there was a person in the boat. For two hours, several bursts of gunfire could be heard in the area.
The police exchanged fire with the armed suspect, threw flash-bang grenades aiming to disorient him and brought a negotiator to the scene as night fell, officials said.
Just before 9 p.m., the wounded Tsarnaev was detained. “He sustained significant blood loss,” a law enforcement official at the scene reported.
An ambulance took the wounded to Boston Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital as he was in serious condition. Meanwhile, people lining the streets applauded in joy and relief.
“We are so grateful to be here right now, so grateful to able to bring justice and closure to this case,” Massachusetts State Police Col. Timothy Alben said at a briefing. “We’re exhausted, folks, but we have a victory here.”
President Barack Obama praised the news but still admitted that many questions remained. Among them, he said: “Why did young men who grew up and studied here as part of our communities and our country resort to such violence?”
“Tonight our nation is in debt to the people of Boston and the people of Massachusetts,” Obama said from the White House briefing room after police arrested the remaining suspect in the bombing,. “After a vicious attack on their city, Bostonians responded with resolve and determination.”
The U.S. President sengled out that the nation had gone through a rough past weeks, referring to the attacks in Boston and an explosion in West, Texas that killed dozens.
“All in all, this has been a tough week, but we have seen the character of our country once more,” Obama said. “As president, I’m confident that we have the courage and the resolve and the spirit to overcome these challenges.”