Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been captured alive and is in police custody, it has been confirmed.
Suspect in custody. Officers sweeping the area. Stand by for further info.— Boston Police Dept. (@bostonpolice) April 20, 2013
The 19-year-old college student was found after a manhunt that left the city virtually paralysed and his older brother and accomplice dead.
His brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan, was killed yesterday in a furious attempt to escape police.
The brothers are suspects in Monday’s marathon bombings, which killed three and wounded more than 180. The men are also suspected of killing a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer in his vehicle on Thursday.
White Hat CAPTURED— Newton Police Dept. (@newtonpolice) April 20, 2013
CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody.— Boston Police Dept. (@bostonpolice) April 20, 2013
Authorities in Boston had suspended all mass transit and warned close to a million people in the city and some of its suburbs to stay indoors as the hunt went on.
Tsarnaev had been hiding in a boat in a neighbourhood near Boston. The crowd gathered near the scene let out a cheer when spectators saw officers clapping.
“Everyone wants him alive,” said Kathleen Paolillo, a 27-year-old teacher who lives in the area.
During a long night of violence from Thursday into yesterday, the brothers killed a police officer, severely wounded another officer and hurled explosives at police in a car chase and gun battle.
The suspects were identified by law enforcement officials and family members as Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, ethnic Chechen brothers who had lived in the Dagestan region in southern Russia. They had been in the US for about a decade, an uncle said.
Their uncle in Maryland, Ruslan Tsarni, pleaded on live television Friday: “Dzhokhar, if you are alive, turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness.”
Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis had said earlier: “We believe this man to be a terrorist.
“We believe this to be a man who’s come here to kill people.”
The bombings on Monday killed three people, including a student from China, and wounded more than 180, instantly raising the spectre of another terrorist attack on US soil.
State Police spokesman Dave Procopio said police realised they were dealing with the bombing suspects based on what the two men told a carjacking victim during their getaway attempt overnight.
Shortly before Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s capture, the White House said President Barack Obama has spoken by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the investigation.
Mr Obama “praised the close co-operation that the United States has received from Russia on counter-terrorism, including in the wake of the Boston attack,” the White House said in a statement.