Boston, Apr 19 (PTI): One of the suspects believed to be responsible for bombings at the Boston Marathon was today shot dead while the police pursued the second suspect in the Boston region which saw itself in the grip of intense security crackdown.
Both suspects led officers on a wild chase through suburban neighborhoods early today that ended in the death of one of them and a MIT campus police officer. Police have launched a full-scale manhunt for the second suspect, who is armed.
Governor Deval Patrick has suspended service on all public transit services in the MBTA system in Boston, including the ‘T’ subway, buses and commuter trains. Authorities have asked all residents of the towns of Watertown, Newton, Waltham and Cambridge to stay home. Watertown was locked down early today, with no one allowed to leave their homes and no businesses allowed to open.
“This situation is grave, we are here to protect public safety,” said Colonel Tim Alben of the Massachusetts State Police. “We believe these are the same individuals that were responsible for the bombing on Monday at the Boston Marathon. We believe that they are responsible for the death of an MIT police officer and the shooting of an MBTA officer,” he was quoted as saying by Boston Globe.
In the course of the chase, the suspects shot and killed a campus police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and severely wounded a transit police officer, police said. MIT and Harvard University, both in Cambridge, canceled today’s classes.
Edward Davis, the Boston Police Commissioner, told reporters that the two men involved in the chase were the suspects identified yesterday by the FBI as responsible for setting the explosives at Monday’s marathon that killed three people and injured more than 170 others. Davis also tweeted that “One suspect deceased, 2nd suspect (white hat) at large & considered armed & dangerous”.
Earlier, the FBI released pictures and videos of two suspects and sought the public’s help in identifying the men who are seen carrying backpacks near the finish line of the race before the blasts. “He is a white skinned Caucasian male with long brown curly hair. You have the picture, you have seen it, that’s the individual we are looking for…suspect number 1 has been shot dead,” said another city police official.
Boston Police Commissioner Davis said that they “believe this to be a terrorist.” The chaotic incident began with a report of shots fired on the MIT campus at about 10:20 pm (local time) last night, the Middlesex District Attorney’s office said. A few minutes later, an MIT campus police officer was found with multiple gunshot wounds in his vehicle. He was pronounced dead at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Police then received reports of a carjacking at gunpoint by two men in the area of Third Street in Cambridge. The SUV proceeded out of Memorial Drive toward Watertown followed by a long train of police vehicles in pursuit. At one point during the pursuit, the two suspects opened fire on Watertown police and a Transit Police officer, who was shot and who is now in critical condition at a Boston-area hospital.
During the gunfight, the man known as Marathon suspect ‘1’ was wounded and died in a local hospital. Police have since been searching for the other bombing suspect. According to the report, the State Police Bomb Squad was removing possible explosive devices believed to have been thrown from the car in Watertown.