Boston under siege

2013-04-19 18:02
A neighbour is escorted to safety as police surround a home while searching for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings in Watertown. (Charles Krupa, AP)

A neighbour is escorted to safety as police surround a home while searching for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings in Watertown. (Charles Krupa, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Watertown - Boston was a city under siege on Friday, as more than 9 000 police backed by helicopters and armoured vehicles hunted for a teenager wanted for the deadly marathon bombings.

The search for 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev left hundreds of thousands of people cowering in their homes, after a chaotic night of gunfire and explosions turned one of America's major metropolitan areas into a battle zone.

Jonathan Crespo said he was watching "Zero Dark Thirty", the film about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, in his home in the Boston suburb of Watertown when Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan passed by at the start of their rampage.

"My fiancée thought she heard police cars. I thought she was tripped out by the movie. But I saw numerous vehicles, I did hear some kind of an explosion - probably a flash-bang grenade or something," Crespo said.

Shortly afterwards, Tamerlan Tsarnaev - the man identified as Suspect One by the FBI - was dead following a shootout with police in the town. One police officer was wounded.

"The explosions woke me up, basically. It was pretty scary. I wasn't expecting anything like that," said Crespo.


Another resident, Yvonne Alaykib, told of hearing gunshots and machine guns in the dark. "It was like a fight - it was back and forth, pretty scary," she said.

The pair of suspects had shot dead a police officer earlier on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus, where some students locked themselves in a laboratory with the lights off for three hours.

"We heard a lot of rumours," said a woman graduate student, who only gave her name as Pallavi. "We've just been sitting inside in the dark, locked doors, texting, hearing whatever rumours we could from our friends."

A doctor, David Schoenfeld, who lives in Watertown, heard the explosions and decided to go to work at the Beth Israel hospital. He got there in time to treat 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev at the emergency unit.

"When the patient arrived, he was in critical condition," Schoenfeld told reporters. The injuries he suffered from gunshots and explosives were too much to overcome.

Home town surrounded

On Friday, thousands of police surrounded Watertown, a normally quiet town of 33 000 people and home to the Tsarnaev brothers, who have been blamed for Monday's attacks on the Boston marathon, which killed three and wounded 180.

Specially-organised buses ferried frightened residents out.

Police Swat squads went from house to house looking for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The hunt was concentrated on about 3.8km² of Watertown.

A police helicopter hovered over the home in Norfolk Street where the brothers lived. Dozens of FBI agents were in the street.

Authorities halted all public bus and train services in the Boston region and told hundreds of thousands of residents to stay home behind locked doors in a bid to isolate the suspect.

Those who did not leave received robot phone calls warning them to stay indoors and only answer the door if they were sure it was a police officer.

Police were armed with shotguns and automatic rifles, and plainclothes agents had at least a handgun as they warily watched events unfold.

Read more on:    fbi  |  us  |  boston explosions

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.