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Boston Marathon bombing’s dramatic turn: 'Suspect in custody'

After four days of intensive police work and 24 hours of violent confrontations, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – the last suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing – was captured Friday evening.

By Staff writer / April 19, 2013

A police officer evacuates a shoeless man holding a child as members of law enforcement conduct a search for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings Friday in Watertown, Mass.

Matt Rourke/AP



In a swift reversal of fortune, a police manhunt Friday for an armed suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing went from failure to fruition – with authorities admitting one minute that he had escaped on foot – but just minutes later cornering him in a residential yard.

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Then, at 8:45 pm, the Boston Police Department tweeted: "CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody."

The narrative unfolded rapidly Friday afternoon.

Within minutes of the end of a dismal press conference admitting they had to continue looking, police were racing toward the area where shots were being fired. The suspect – Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a 19-year-old of Chechen descent – was hiding in a boat that was on storage stilts in the backyard of a home in Watertown, a Boston neighborhood.

Police surrounded the area, wary of reports that Tsarnaev could be wearing an explosive suicide vest. Neighbors were evacuated, and “flash-bang” explosives designed to startle the suspect could be heard.

The focus of that manhunt had lived for several years in nearby Cambridge, according to reports by the Associated Press. Another suspect, his 26-year-old brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, had been killed in a firefight with police in the early Friday morning darkness.

The pair had been trying to flee the area since the release of their photos by the FBI on Thursday. “Suspect One” – apparently Tamerlan – wore a dark cap, “Suspect Two” – apparently Dzhokhar – a white one in a video of the pair walking along the sidewalk near the marathon finish line.

From late Thursday evening through early Friday morning, the Tsarnaev brothers were involved in a series of violent exchanges that left an MIT police officer dead, a transit police officer wounded, and 10 police injured by what The Boston Globe reported were grenades thrown from a car window during a chase.


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Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

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