WATERTOWN — SWAT teams in armored vehicles took command of the tense and locked-down streets of Boston and its suburbs today in an all-out hunt for the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect after his older brother died in a desperate getaway attempt.
Law enforcement officials and family members identified the suspects as 19-year-old Massachusetts college student Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, still at large, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, dead. The ethnic Chechen brothers from Russia lived near Boston and had been in the U.S. for about a decade, an uncle said.
In a press conference moments ago, Gov. Deval Patrick announced that the order to stay indoors has been lifted, and the T is up and running effective immediately. However, officials warned the public to stay vigilant.
In a long night of violence that began Thursday evening, they shot and killed an MIT policeman, severely wounded another law enforcement officer, and hurled explosives at police during a gun battle and car chase that ended with the younger brother slipping through officers' fingers in a hail of bullets, authorities said.
As the manhunt dragged on, the suspects' uncle in Maryland, Ruslan Tsarni, pleaded on television: "Dzhokhar, if you are alive, turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness."
The search by thousands of law enforcement officers all but paralyzed the Boston area. Officials shut down all mass transit, including Amtrak trains to New York, advised businesses not to open, and warned close to 1 million people in the entire city and some of its suburbs to stay inside and unlock their doors only for uniformed police.
"We believe this man to be a terrorist," Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said. "We believe this to be a man who's come here to kill people."
Some neighborhoods resembled a military encampment, with officers patrolling with guns drawn and aimed, residents peering nervously from windows and people near surrounded buildings spirited away.