WATERTOWN, Mass. (WWJ/AP) – One of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing is dead after the killing of a university officer and a shootout with police, and a massive manhunt is underway for the other, authorities said early Friday.
Police locked down some neighborhoods in Boston and its western suburbs as they searched for the remaining suspect, known as the man in the white hat from marathon surveillance footage.
“We believe this to be a terrorist,” said Boston Police Commissioner Ed David. “We believe this to be a man who’s come here to kill people. We need to get him in custody.”
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Authorities urged residents in Watertown, Newton, Arlington, Waltham, Belmont, Cambridge and the Allston-Brighton neighborhoods of Boston to stay indoors. All mass transit was shut down, and businesses were asked not to open Friday.
The suspects were identified by law enforcement officials and a family member as Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, brothers from a Russian region near Chechnya, which has been plagued by an Islamic insurgency that has carried out deadly bombings.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who had been known to the FBI as Suspect No. 1 and was seen in surveillance footage in a black baseball cap, was killed overnight, officials said. His 19-year-old brother — dubbed Suspect No. 2 and seen wearing a white, backward baseball cap in the images from Monday’s deadly bombing at the marathon finish line — escaped.
Andrew Arena, former head of the FBI office in Detroit and executive director of the Detroit Crime Commission, said if the suspects are, in fact, brothers fighting as part of a Chechen rebel group, the U.S. would be a new battleground for them.
“Many of them traditionally were trained by al-Qaeda in the training camps in Afghanistan in the early 2000’s. But their beef has always been with the Russians… they have never really attacked the United States. So, if these guys are actually Chechen rebels, it would be something I’ve never seen before,” he said.
Officials say the two men are suspected of killing a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer on campus in Cambridge late Thursday, then stealing a car at gunpoint and later releasing its driver unharmed.
Authorities say the suspects threw explosives from the car as police followed it into Watertown. The suspects and police exchanged gunfire, and one of the suspects was critically injured and later died at a hospital while the other escaped.
The MIT shooting on the Cambridge campus Thursday night was followed by reports of gunfire and explosions in Watertown, about 10 miles west of Boston.
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