BOSTON, Massachusetts, April 20- The Massachusetts college student wanted in the Boston Marathon bombing was captured wounded, but alive after hiding out in a boat parked in a backyard on Friday evening.
The arrest of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, signaled the end of five days of terror set-off by the double bombing at the marathon finish line and the mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, was quoted by the Boston Globe as taking to the police scanner to exclaim, ‘We got him’.
‘I have never loved this city and its people more than I do today. Nothing can defeat the heart of this city .. nothing.’
Relieved law enforcement officers began cheering and clapping after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was arrested and is now in a serious condition at
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and is reported to have lost a great deal of blood.
And thousands of jubilant members of the public took to the streets of Watertown to salute FBI, SWAT, ATF and police officers as they left the scene of Tsarnaev’s final showdown.
The bloody endgame came four days after the bombing and just a day after the FBI released surveillance-camera images of two young men suspected of planting the pressure-cooker explosives that ripped through the crowd at the marathon finish line, killing three people and wounding more than 180.
His older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, lay dead in a furious 24-hour drama that transfixed the nation and paralyzed the Boston area with fear.
Boston police commissioner Ed Davis was celebratory in his tone as he took to Twitter to say, ‘It’s a proud day to be a Boston police officer. Thank you all.’
‘CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won,’ the Boston Police Department said on its Twitter account.
Police cornered the younger Tsarnaev around 7 p.m., less than an hour after police lifted a stay-indoors order for the city and its suburbs.
A resident in his 60s, believed to be called David Hanneberry, reportedly went outside to smoke and saw the tarpaulin cover of his boat was disturbed off the top.
Checking to see what was wrong, he investigated and saw Dzhokhar Tsarnaev curled-up inside covered in blood.
He then ‘freaked out’ and ran inside to call police – who dispatched a helicopter which used thermal imaging to confirm there was a person inside the boat.
‘He looked and noticed something was off about his boat, so he got his ladder, and he put his ladder up on the side of the boat and climbed up, and then he saw blood on it, and he thought he saw what was a body laying in the boat,’ Henneberry’s neighbor, George Pizzuto said to ABC News.
‘So he got out of the boat fast and called police.’
‘That boat’s his baby. He takes care of it like you wouldn’t believe. And they told him it’s all shot up,’ Pizzuto said. He’s going to be heartbroken.’
Within minutes police, ATF, SWAT and K-9 units had descended upon 67 Franklin Street and engaged Tsarnaev in a vicious gun battle – over 40 shots rang out in the quiet suburban neighborhood.
‘There was an exchange of gunfire,’ confirmed Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis at a news conference.
Authorities, using a bullhorn, had called on the suspect to surrender: ‘Come out with your hands up.’
‘We used a robot to pull the tarp off the boat,’ David Procopio of the Massachusetts State Police said to CNN. ‘We were also watching him with a thermal imaging camera in our helicopter. He was weakened by blood loss — injured last night most likely.’
Unconfirmed reports suggest that Tsarnaev was shot twice by law enforcement in the terrific gun battle which raged until his capture at approximately 8.45 p.m.
Law enforcement sources have suggested that Tsarnaev gave himself up voluntarily after realizing continuing resistance was fruitless.
The standoff and subsequent arrest came only minutes after authorities said during a news conference that the manhunt for the suspect appeared to come up empty.
President Barack Obama praised the outcomes but said many questions remained. He said: ‘Why did young men who grew up and studied here as part of our communities and our country resort to such violence?
‘We’ve closed an important chapter in this tragedy,’ added Mr. Obama said in his televised address.
Tsarnaev is in ‘serious’ condition at a hospital tonight, Commissioner Davis said.
And as the case now moves from search to justice, a senior Justice Department official told ABC News that federal law enforcement officials are invoking the public safety exception to the Miranda rights.
That means that Tsarnaev will be questioned immediately without having his rights read to him.
A rapid press conference with law enforcement officials from the Boston police commissioner to the U.S. Attorney confirmed that his Miranda rights had been waived.
Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have called for Tsarnaev to be held as an enemy combatant.