By Eric Melter
During the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, two bombs exploded, killing 3 people and injuring 282 others. The bombs exploded thirteen seconds apart, at 2:49 p.m., on Boylston Street, near the finish line. The FBI took over the investigation, coordinating the efforts of multiple agencies and expediting the full resources of the federal government to investigate the bombings. On April 18, the FBI asked the public for assistance both before and after releasing photographs and videos of two suspects. These were identified that day with help from the public as brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
The marathon was shut down as quickly as possible. “Police, following emergency plans, diverted the remaining runners away from the finish line to Boston Common and Kenmore Square. The nearby Lenox Hotel was also evacuated. Police closed down a 15-block area around the blast site; this was reduced to a 12-block crime scene on April 16. Massachusetts Army National Guard soldiers already on scene joined local authorities in rendering aid” (Wikepidia.com). Bomb squads searched the area. Many bystanders had dropped backpacks and other bags as they fled, requiring each to be treated as a potential bomb.
Shortly after the release of the photos, the suspects allegedly killed an MIT police officer, and carjacked an SUV forcing its driver to give the suspects money and withdraw cash from an ATM. Police were able to track the Tsarnaev brothers to Watertown, Massachusetts, where a shootout with explosions took place around 1 a.m. on April 19. Authorities requested all residents of Watertown and the surrounding areas, including the city of Boston, to stay indoors, and most public institutions and businesses as well as the public transportation system were shut down. By 7 p.m. that evening, a Watertown resident found the injured Dzhokhar hiding under a tarpaulin in a boat stored behind his house. Following a standoff, he was captured by police and taken to a hospital. Tamerlan died in the hospital later that day. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was injured in the gun fight and reportedly surrendered himself to police having been shot twice. An officer was critically injured and Tamerlan Tsarnaev fatally injured, allegedly by his brother driving the car over him while trying to escape.
“In a criminal complaint unsealed today in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Tsarnaev, 19, was charged with one count of using and conspiring to use an improvised explosive device against persons and property within the United States resulting in death and one count of malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death” (latimes.com).
If convicted in federal court, he could face the death penalty or life in prison.