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Courts / Law

We Got Him, Boston Mayor Menino Announces Amid Cheers

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"We got him" Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced tonight as police and overjoyed Watertown residents cheered when it was announced the lone surviving murderous marathon bombing suspect was captured alive.

"Your mayor is proud of you," Menino tweeted.

A Boston SWAT team officer in a vehicle heading out of Watertown along Mt. Auburn Street chanted "USA. USA. BPD" over the loud speaker and residents shouted back "USA. USA."

Police at the scene of a wild standoff on Franklin Street in Watertown were congratulating each other as the manhunt came to an end in a boat in a backyard in this suburban Boston town.

Boston police just announced on their Twitter feed that marathon bombing Suspect #2, the teen in the white hat, was "in custody."

Homes had been evacuated on Franklin Street in Watertown after reports of shots fired in the back of a home where SWAT teams amassed and police at the scene reported the Marathon bombing suspect was pinned down.

Police are warning residents on the street to "shelter in place." Women and children were rushed out of homes in that area. The home is a half mile from a school that marked the west perimeter of the area locked down all day by police during a manhunt for the lone surviving Marathon bombing suspect. 

A resident of the home where the shooting was taking place tells the Herald tonight he cannot tell what is going on in his yard. "We don't really know. We just heard gunfire. I'm actually huddling under the bed."

Another Franklin Street resident said: "I really can't talk. I'm just too nervous to talk," Patricia Caruso said in a brief interview. "My family and everybody is crying here. I know they're looking for a suspect down the street from me. When they first came, I heard (gunfire). But now it's quiet. But they're all still here. There's a lot of police around."

State police and FBI agents along with SWAT team members are surrounding the home on Franklin Street waiting for tactical units to move in. Authorities are saying the bombing suspect is believed to be hiding in a boat in the back yard of the home.

There are multiple reports infrared imaging from a helicopter was used to help narrow down the hunt to this street. Flash-bang grenades were also being used and can be seen being tossed at the boat.

Police say they believe the bombing suspect, 19-year-old bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is still alive, but wounded. He is being taken to the hospital.

Stephen Teixeira, a Walnut Street resident close to the scene, told the Herald tonight he heard "pop, pop, pop" and "there is something loud. There is something going. Another couple sharp reports. I don’t know if there is something being forced detonated."

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Earlier tonight authorities said the nearly 1 million residents of Greater Boston hunkered down in their homes all day under a "shelter inside" order could now come out.

“We feel it is prudent to say to people you can get back out. As long as it’s prudent,” said Gov. Deval Patrick at a press conference in Watertown this evening. “We can return to living our lives, but remain vigilant.”

The MBTA is also back operating at normal levels. 

SWAT teams had been scouring Watertown all day after authorities said two ethnic Chechens murdered an MIT police officer and wounded an MBTA cop early this morning in a wild chase that became a swarming manhunt with armored vehicles, blackhawk helicopters and snipers.

State police reported “evidence of homemade explosives, including pipe bombs and another pressure cooker, as well as more than 200 spent rounds” have been recovered during the Watertown sweep. They also said they have been searching in other “eastern Massachusetts” locations — but Suspect #2 in the white hat is on the run. Now it appears he never left the town.

“We cannot lock down an entire city, an entire state,” said state police Col. Timothy Alban tonight, explaining why the order to stay inside is lifted.

A “controlled explosion” on Norfolk Street in Cambridge has also been called off. That home was where the suspected bombing brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, lived. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a gunfight with cops last night.

An enraged uncle of the remaining suspect begged his nephew to end the madness and surrender.

“He put shame on our family. He put shame on the entire Chechen ethnicity. Turn yourself in!” Ruslan Tsarni told reporters from his home in Maryland.

The uncle told the Herald earlier today he’s feeling “anger, anger, anger. I can’t come up with the words. Unhuman. I’m not being able to feel anything. Anger for the people they murdered.”

He said his nephews came to the United States in 2001. The men left Chechnya long ago and went to Central Asia, then moved to Dagestan, a Muslim republic adjacent to Chechnya, the Associated Press reports.

Boston police report they have found a possible getaway car — a gray 1999 Honda CRV with a Massachusetts plate 316-ES9 — but it was unoccupied. A green Honda sought by police is also in police possession.

The Herald is told police are being warned Dzhokhar may be wearing an explosive suicide vest.

“We believe this to be a terrorist,” Boston police Commissioner Ed Davis said today. “We believe this to be a man who came here to kill people.”

All of Boston, Watertown, Cambridge, Newton, Waltham, Belmont and Brookline were put under a “shelter-in-place” order, with all residents told to stay home with doors locked. That is now lifted.

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino thanked Bostonians for cooperating, adding “stand by. Yes, we don’t have the individual arrested yet. Boston will stand tall.”

President Obama, joined by Vice President Biden, convened a briefing in the White House Situation Room with his national security team on developments in the investigation. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said today, “We’ve been in a confrontation with evil.”

The army of SWAT teams, machine guns drawn, that have been going door-to-door in Watertown four hours are now pulling out.

A man identifying himself as the father of the two suspects, Anzor Tsarnaev, spoke with The Associated Press by telephone from the Russian city of Makhachkala today after police said one of his sons, Tamerlan, had been killed in a shootout and the other, Dzhokhar, was being intensely pursued.

“My son is a true angel,” the elder Tsarnaev said. “Dzhokhar is a second-year medical student in the U.S. He is such an intelligent boy. We expected him to come on holidays here.”

A man who described himself as a friend of the suspects, Ahdi Moro, 22, of Watertown, said the two attended Cambridge Rindge & Latin. Dzhokhar won a $2,500 City of Cambridge scholarship in 2011 to help with his college costs, according the city website.

“I was pretty shocked,” Moro said. “I would never think anything like that of them. They were good kids.”

He said Tamerlan was a Golden Gloves boxer who is now the father of a 2-year-old and Dzhokhar was an all-star wrestler.

“He was a really quiet kid,” Moro said. “He was very popular at school, like, the most popular kid at school. He was a really good-looking kid. He’s as American as anybody. He grew up here. He’s like a regular Cambridge kid.”

He said Tamerlan was big and tough, and remembered how, on the first day of school, he was “picked on” by three kids — and beat up all three. “These kids grew up around violence,” Moro said. “They were always not scared of anything.”

Tamerlan attended Bunker Hill Community College as a part-time student for three semesters: Fall 2006, Spring 2007, and Fall 2008. He was in the Accounting program. He did not take an engineering course at Bunker Hill Community College, according to Patricia Brady, director of public relations at the community college.

The state police said the slain man was Suspect No. 1 in Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings and the man police are seeking is Suspect No. 2, the man in the white hat seen in images released by the FBI yesterday. The fugitive was described as armed and dangerous, as police set a 20-block perimeter bordered by Arsenal Street and Mount Auburn Avenue. Troopers will stay in Watertown until Monday.

The chaotic, violent chain of events began with a report of shots fired on the MIT campus at about 10:20 p.m. last night, according to a narrative released by the Middlesex District Attorney’s office. Hospital officials at St. Elizabeth’s say 15 officers were treated for minor injuries and released.

At 10:30 p.m., an MIT campus police officer was found with multiple gunshot wounds in his vehicle near Vassar and Main streets. He was pronounced dead at Massachusetts General Hospital. He was identified today as Sean Collier, 26, of Somerville, according to the Middlesex DA’s office and MIT police.

Police then received reports of a carjacking at gunpoint by two men in the area of Third Street in Cambridge. The driver of the Mercedes SUV was tossed out of the car and was not physically injured, said state police spokesman Dave Procopio.

Dozens of police who had converged on the initial MIT scene near Kendall Square after the shooting raced toward Watertown shortly before 1 a.m. Police had tried to pull over a carjacked vehicle, resulting in one suspect shot dead and 33-year-old MBTA officer Richard H. Donahue Jr. suffering a critical wound to the thigh. A manhunt was launched for the suspect who fled, with heavily armed SWAT teams and uniformed cops with their handguns drawn spreading through the area.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was mortally wounded in the course of the chase and died in a local hospital.

Police in Watertown were shouting warnings that the suspects were “throwing explosives,” and warned about “unexploded ordinance” on the street.

Marylynn Martin, 24, who lives at Nichols and Quimby streets in Watertown, was sleeping with her 4-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter in the pre-dawn hours.

“First I heard the gunshots and then I heard the explosion,” Martin said. “All of a sudden police swarmed the area, so I came out and they told me to get back in. They were swearing. ‘Get the (expletive) inside!’ I looked out back and there were 20 officers. It was upsetting to see SWAT and police everywhere.”

The Herald was also told today that the suspect on the run was admitted to UMass Boston but never attended and went to UMass Dartmouth instead.

UMass Dartmouth is being evacuated and school is closed for tomorrow, too. The university put a statement up on its website saying that “a person being sought in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing has been identified as a student registered at UMass Dartmouth.” Students are being told school is closed through tomorrow.