Boston Wakes Up Relieved After Bombing Suspect’s Capture
BOSTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — The city of Boston woke up Saturday morning with a new sense of security and relief Saturday morning.
As CBS 2’s Susan McGinnis reported, it was cold and pouring rain in Boston early Saturday, but the mood was jubilant.
In Watertown, residents are again milling around and going about normal life after the entire city of Boston and its suburbs were under a lockdown.
“It’s been surreal, honestly. It’s been an out-of-body experience,” one woman told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.
“It’s been surreal, it’s been crazy. It’s so intense,” another resident added.
An army of police, SWAT officers and federal law enforcement had been combing Watertown and other communities by air and on the ground, searching for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
“It’s been really crazy with these helicopters circling really low and the gun shots. Like everybody, there’s a lot of anxiety. Everyone’s high-tension,” Watertown resident Elizabeth Brown told Haskell. “I think that everyone’s been really freaked out. It brings it really home. A lot of people in the world live like this all the time and so I think we got a taste of that.”
The situation was especially intense for those with small children, Haskell reported.
“When the SWAT comes by, we just say ‘tell them hello.’ And that’s what they did,” Watertown resident Chris Millett said. “You just try to keep the day going without them asking too many questions about why the police are all over the place.”
On Friday night, people poured into the street, cheering law enforcement, singing songs, waving flags, and gathering at memorials.
The jubilation followed a lockdown that lasted through much of the day Friday for the entire Boston area, as police searched for suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. His older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a shootout with police the night before.
But it all ended before the night was out. Mayor Thomas Menino tweeted “We got him” just before 9 p.m. on Friday.
Boston Police tweeted: “CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody.”
Meanwhile, police officers and firefighters stood grim-faced with guns and rifles, lining the street leading to the suburban property where a suspect in twin bombings at the Boston Marathon was believed to be holed up.
Reporters and spectators lined up on the other side. The mood was tense, with the few neighbors who ventured out hugging and crying as they heard bangs. Others merely looked on curiously.
Then, one officer slowly started clapping. Then it spread to the crowd. Then loud cheers broke out.
People in the crowd started asking, “Is he alive?” One of the officers nodded, yes. Any time a first responder emerged from the street, there was loud applause.
“They finally caught the jerk,” said nurse Cindy Boyle, 41. “It was scary; it was tense.” She said she knew when police started clapping that everything would be all right.
Celebratory bells rang from a church tower. Crowds lined the streets into the center of town. Teenagers waved American flags. Every car that drove by honked. Every time an emergency vehicle went by, people cheered loudly.
“I felt so relieved. The whole community is so stress-free right now,” one man told WBZ-TV Boston. “People can go to sleep with both eyes closed.”
Lois Johnson, a 49-year-old attorney, had spent the day inside with her son, so when the celebration started they came outside with a container of cookies they had baked and started handing them out.
Liz Rogers, also an attorney, took one of the pieces of yellow police tape and tied it around her neck like a necklace.
“When you see your town invaded like this, it’s stunning,” said Rogers, 65. “Everyone in Watertown is just so grateful that he’s caught and that we’re liberated.”
The jubilation was widespread. The mayor of Boston, which was largely paralyzed during the manhunt Friday, tweeted, “We got him!” And at the home of the New York Mets, fans leapt to their feet and cheered when the news spread during a game against the Washington Nationals.
Hundreds of people marched down Commonwealth Avenue, chanting “USA” and singing the Red Sox anthem “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond as they headed toward Boston Common. Police blocked traffic along part of the street to allow for the impromptu parade.
Bathed in the flashing lights from Kenmore Square’s iconic rooftop Citgo sign, Boston University juniors Brendan Hathaway and Sam Howes high-fived strangers as they walked down the street.
“This was like our first opportunity to really be outside without feeling like there imminent danger,” said Hathaway, a mechanical engineering student from nearby Newton. “It was close to home for me.”
In Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, where bombing victim Martin Richard, 8, lived, people set off fireworks Friday night to celebrate.
CBS News senior correspondent John Miller reported Dzkhokhar Tsarnaev was found bleeding and hiding in a boat in the backyard of the residence at 67 Franklin St. The homeowner noticed a tear in the boat’s tarp and later a lot of blood and called 911, saying there was “a bloody mess” in his boat. Three officers arrived on the scene and investigated the boat, discovering the suspect. A short gun fight ensued before he was apprehended and hospitalized.
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