The evening began to unravel when the brothers encountered police officer Sean Collier .
Collier had been responding to a call of a disturbance at the university’s Cambridge campus. Whether that call was connected to the brothers is unclear. In any case, Collier’s body was found in his car at 10.30pm on Thursday. He had been shot multiple times.
The brothers, meanwhile, were fleeing west across Cambridge to the nearby suburb of Watertown in a hijacked car. For a time, the car’s owner was an unwilling passenger. The brothers pulled into a gas station and forced the man to withdraw cash from an ATM before leaving him behind.
Apparently unknown to them, police were tracking their movements using the man’s cellphone, left behind in his car. Along the way, they stole a second a car.
At about 12.30am on Friday, a police officer from Watertown found the brothers, each now in his own stolen car, on a quiet street. Almost immediately, the brothers emerged from their vehicles and began firing, said Edward Deveau, chief of Watertown police. The brothers, armed with handguns and rifle, also lobbed explosive devices.
Towards the end of the battle, Tamerlan began walking towards the officers, shooting as he approached. Then, a few feet from the officers, his ammunition ran out.
He was tackled by the officers, who attempted to handcuff him in the street. Meanwhile, Dzhokhar had gotten back into a car and raced towards the group.
The officers were able to dive out of the way. Tamerlan was not. He was hit by his brother’s car and dragged a short way down the street, Deveau said.
Tamerlan would later be pronounced dead at a hospital, while the younger brother disappeared into the night, leaving the car abandoned and fleeing on foot.
As the manhunt dragged on through Friday, residents were urged to stay indoors At about 6pm, a call came in to the Watertown police there appeared to be someone hiding in a boat stored in a backyard about half a mile from the earlier shootout.
Officers stormed the property around 7pm. But police did not immediately rush the boat.They said they hoped to take the suspect alive and were concerned that Dzhokhar might be carrying additional explosives or that the boat’s half-full gas tank might be ignited.
It took an FBI negotiator 15 or 20 minutes, but, eventually, a badly injured Dzhokhar emerged from beneath the tarpaulin.