BOSTON—A late-night police chase and shootout has ended with one marathon bombing suspect dead and another on the run here, Boston Police commissioner Ed Davis said early Friday morning. One police officer was killed and a transit officer seriously wounded during the pursuit.
Federal agents swarmed neighboring Watertown after local police were involved in a car chase and shootout with the men identified Thursday by the FBI as Suspect 1 and Suspect 2. During the pursuit, officers could be heard on police radio traffic describing the men as having grenades and other explosives.
The made-for-movie mayhem began at approximately 10:30 p.m. Thursday when police said the bombing suspects robbed a 7-Eleven store in Cambridge, police said. Minutes later, an MIT campus officer responding to the call was shot and killed. The terror suspects then fled in a stolen Mercedes-Benz, but were quickly spotted in Watertown where they exchanged dozens of rounds of gunfire with patrol officers.
Suspect 1 was shot by police and brought to Beth Israel Medical Center. He arrived at the hospital under cardiac arrest with multiple gunshot wounds and blast-like injuries to his chest. The second suspect fled on foot, leading to a tense manhunt that is still underway at this hour.
"We believe this to be a terrorist," Davis told reporters at a hastily arranged press conference in Watertown. "We believe this to be a man who has come here to kill people. We need to get him into custody."
A transit officer was seriously wounded during the exchange of gunfire, officials said.
The FBI has yet to publicly confirm a connection between the events in Watertown and the twin explosions that killed 3 people and injured 170 others at the Boston Marathon on Monday. But according to Boston Police, the suspect who remained at large was the "one in the white hat" seen in the photos released by the bureau on Thursday.
In a radio alert sent issued to fellow officers, the suspect was described as a "white male with dark complexion or a Middle Eastern male with thick curly hair wearing a charcoal gray hooded sweatshirt ... possibly with an assault rifle and explosives." Police in Watertown, Newton, Brighton and Cambridge were put on high alert as the suspect was said to be armed with a "long gun."
"We are aware of the law enforcement activity in the greater Boston area," Boston FBI spokesman Greg Comcowich said in a statement to Yahoo News. "The situation is ongoing. We are working with local authorities to determine what happened."
Worried residents in Watertown, a suburb about 10 miles from downtown Boston, were ordered to stay indoors and turn off their cell phones out of fear that they could trigger improvised explosive devices.
"Suspect 2" seen in 7-Eleven surveillance footage; police in Watertown (BPD/Getty)
Dozens of police officers, many of them off-duty, searched backyards in search of the second suspect, and a police perimeter of several blocks was established. K9 units and SWAT teams searched homes on Spruce Street as officers with a police robot searched an SUV that the suspects had abandoned. Multiple devices were left in the road and two handguns were recovered, according to police scanners.
The Watertown shootout occurred after a gunfight erupted near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where the MIT police officer was shot and later died. The campus was placed on lockdown for several hours, and students were told to remain indoors.
Shortly before 2 a.m. Friday, MIT issued a statement on its website saying that the suspect "in this evening's shooting is no longer on campus. It is now safe to resume normal activities. Please remain vigilant in the coming hours."
At approximately 3:30 a.m., Massachusetts State Police issued a plea on Twitter for residents of Watertown to lock their doors and not open them for anyone as they searched backyards and exteriors of houses there.
"Residents in and around Watertown should stay in their residences," the alert read. "Do NOT answer door unless it is an identified police officer."