Friday, April 19, 2013

One Boston Marathon bombing suspect shot dead, second on the run: Police report

One of the two men suspected in Monday's Boston Marathon bombing is dead, and the other remains at large after an early morning shootout with police in the Boston suburb of Watertown, reports The Associated Press.

The suspects are brothers from a region of Russia near Chechnya and had lived in the United States for at least one year, the Associated Press reported. The AP identified the surviving suspect as 19-year-old Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, of Cambridge, Mass.

An intense manhunt for the fleeing brother has a whole Boston suburb on lockdown.

The men reportedly shot a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer after robbing a Cambridge 7-11 store, then carjacked a Mercedes-Benz. The officer later died and a transit officer was seriously wounded from gunfire. The car-jack victim escaped unharmed.

Police have cordoned off a 20-block of neighboring suburb Waterford and, at about 3:30 a.m. Friday, warned residents that the loose suspect is armed and dangerous and told them not to open their doors to anyone but uniformed police.

Federal agents swarmed the middle-class suburb (about 10 miles from MIT) after the robbery of the convenience store in Cambridge at approximately 10:30 p.m. Thursday, police said. The MIT officer was responding to the call.

The suspects carjacked the Mercedes and fled the scene. Waterford police spotted the stolen vehicle and and engaged in gunfire with the suspects.  During the pursuit, officers could be heard on police radio traffic describing the men as hurling grenades and other explosives — including what one witness described as looking like a pressure cooker bomb and police described as "military grade."

The two men known as “Suspect #1” – seen wearing sunglasses and a black cap in video and pictures – was wounded in a shootout with police, and later died at the hospital.

“Suspect #2,” seen wearing a backwards white cap over his shaggy hair, is still on the loose, said Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis at a hastily-arranged press conference.  Davis is urging residents to stay indoors - and not to pick up any strangers on the side of the road.

Davis called the man a "terrorist ... who came here to kill people."

The FBI has yet to publicly confirm a connection between the events in Watertown and the twin explosions that killed 3 people and injured 170 others at the Boston Marathon on Monday. But according to Boston Police, the suspect who remained at large was the "one in the white hat" seen in the photos released by the bureau on Thursday.

In a radio alert sent issued to fellow officers, the suspect was described as a "white male with dark complexion or a Middle Eastern male 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 as the suspect was said to be armed with a "long gun."

Dozens of police officers, many of them off-duty, searched backyards in search 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 searched an SUV that the suspects had abandoned. Multiple devices were left in the road and two handguns were recovered, according to police scanners.

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