Boston Marathon Suspects Identified; One Killed + Other on the Loose [UPDATED 10:11 A.M. + LIVE VIDEO]
BREAKING UPDATE: Police and FBI searching for bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have narrowed their focus to a 20-block area in Watertown, Mass., after a vehicle he was believed to have been driving was found unoccupied.
Earlier story ...
WATERTOWN, Mass. - The two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing killed an MIT police officer and hurled explosives at police in a car chase and gun battle overnight that left one of them dead and his brother on the loose, authorities said Friday as thousands of officers swarmed the streets in a manhunt that all but paralyzed the Boston area.
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 stemming from separatist wars.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, known to the FBI as Suspect No. 1 and seen in surveillance footage in a black baseball cap, was killed in a gun battle with police in Massachusetts overnight, officials said. His 19-year-old brother — dubbed as Suspect No. 2 and seen wearing a white, backwards baseball cap in the images from Monday's deadly bombing at the marathon finish line — escaped.
The law enforcement officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation.
In Boston, authorities suspended all mass transit and urged close to a million people in all of Boston and some of its suburbs to stay indoors as they searched for the remaining suspect, a man Businesses were asked not to open Friday. People waiting at bus and subway stops were told to go home.
"We believe this man to be a terrorist," said Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis. "We believe this to be a man who's come here to kill people."
The endgame — at least for Suspect No. 1 — came just hours after the FBI released photos and video of the two young men at the marathon finish line and appealed to the public for help in identifying and capturing them. Tips came pouring in to the FBI immediately but exactly how authorities managed to close in on the two young men was not immediately disclosed.
The mens' uncle, Ruslan Tsarni of Montgomery Village, Md., told The Associated Press that the men lived together near Boston and have been in the United States for about a decade. They traveled here together from the Russian region near Chechnya.
The White House said President Barack Obama was being briefed on developments overnight by Lisa Monaco, his assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism.
The suspects' clashes with police began only a few hours after the FBI released photos and videos of the two young men, who were seen carrying backpacks as they mingled among marathon revelers. The bombings on Monday killed three people and wounded more than 180 others, and authorities revealed the images to enlist the public's help finding the suspects.
The images released by the FBI depict two young men, each wearing a baseball cap, walking one behind the other near the finish line. Richard DesLauriers, FBI agent in charge in Boston, said the suspect in the white hat was seen setting down a bag at the site of the second of two deadly explosions.
Authorities said surveillance tape recorded late Thursday showed the suspect known for the white hat during a robbery of a convenience store in Cambridge, near the campus of MIT, where a university police officer was killed while responding to a report of a disturbance, said State Police Col Timothy Alben. The officer died of multiple gunshot wounds.
From there, authorities say, the two men carjacked a man in a Mercedes-Benz, keeping him with them in the car for half an hour before releasing him at a gas station in Cambridge. The man was not injured.
The search for the vehicle led to a chase that ended in Watertown, where authorities said the suspects threw explosive devices from the car and exchanged gunfire with police. A transit police officer was seriously injured during the chase, authorities said.
In Watertown, witnesses reported hearing multiple gunshots and explosions at about 1 a.m. Friday. Dozens of police officers and FBI agents were in the neighborhood and a helicopter circled overhead.
Watertown resident Christine Yajko said she was awakened at about 1:30 a.m. by a loud noise, began to walk to her kitchen and heard gunfire.
"I heard the explosion, so I stepped back from that area, then I went back out and heard a second one," she said. "It was very loud. It shook the house a little."
She said a police officer later knocked on her door and told her there was an undetonated improvised explosive device in the street and warned her to stay away from the windows.
"It was on the street, right near our kitchen window," she said.
Yajko said she never saw the suspect who was on the loose and didn't realize the violence was related to the marathon bombings until she turned on the TV and began watching what was happening outside her side door.
State police spokesman David Procopio said, "The incident in Watertown did involve what we believe to be explosive devices possibly, potentially, being used against the police officers."