WATERTOWN — The 19-year-old college student on the run for nearly 24 hours after being pegged as a suspect in the Boston Marathon terrorist bombings was taken into custody by Boston police Friday night, capping an exhaustive manhunt that left the city virtually shut down and his older brother and accomplice dead.
Police confirmed just before 9 p.m. Friday that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was in custody. His brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan, was killed Friday in a furious firefight during the brothers’ wild and violent attempt to escape police.
“We got him,” read the Twitter announcement from Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.
“CAPTURED — The hunt is over,” read a similar pronouncement from Boston Police.
Dzhokhar had been holed up in a shrink-wrapped boat behind a house a Watertown neighborhood for several hours when police and SWAT teams moved in.
Once taken into custody, he was taken to Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, reportedly covered in blood but alive and conscious. He was ultimately transferred to Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center, where this morning he was reportedly in “serious” condition — and under heavy armed guard.
The brothers, who were born in the volatile and separatist state of Chechnya, bthen moved with their parents to Russia, near the Chechen border, before coming to the U.S., had lived in Cambridge for a number of years. And they had been confirmed early Friday as the two suspects in Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings, which killed three people and wounded more than 180 others. The men are also suspected of killing a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer in his vehicle late Thursday, and wounding an MBTA officer during the chase that landed them in the early Friday morning battle with guns and explosives.
The climactic scene in Watertown played out Friday night after an exhaustive manhunt that essentially paralyzed Boston and its inner suburbs throughout the day, where police told residents to “shelter in place,” or essentially stay in their homes while authorities combed Watertown and other sites for the suspect, in some cases going door to door.