Skip to Content

The fugitive Boston Marathon bombing suspect is alive and in custody.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured just moments ago following a massive manhunt in Watertown, Mass. He had evaded capture since late Thursday night.

The search for Tsarnaev focused on Watertown, a town just a few miles outside Boston. He was eventually discovered hiding in a boat in a residential yard.

NBC News reports that the wanted Boston bombing suspect was found pinned down in the boat, the cover of which showed a tear and blood stain.


Law enforcement sources said police had seen the suspect moving from a State Police helicopter, then confirmed the report with infrared technology.

They were alerted to his presence by a Watertown resident who walked outside when frustrated officials lifted the lockdown order around 6 p.m.

The resident saw the blood, and that some of the cords tying down the tarp over it were cut. He observed moment inside the boat, and called 911.

Authorities then formed a perimeter around the Watertown property and are believed to have exchanged gunfire with the suspect while it was still daylight.

Watch a raw video taken from a neighboring window of that exchange:

Boston Bombing Suspect Shootout in Watertown

It is not certain if the suspect fired back, but no officers were injured.

As they moved in, they observed Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sit up, and after using “flash bang” stun grenades to disorient and distract him, took him into custody.

Officers were acting with extreme caution because they remained concerned that the suspect might be wearing a suicide bomb vest, a source said.

Within the last hour, NBC News reported that there was a fire in the boat the bombing suspect was hiding in and that the suspect was bleeding heavily.

It was widely assumed by many in the press and on social media that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was dead, or soon would be as police surrounded him.

Not the case.

Tsarnaev, 19, was taken away via ambulance and has left the scene (see below, with boat, on Bing maps). State Police have confirmed he is alive.

At a news conference, the Boston Police Chief described his condition as serious.

Officials speculate that he was wounded early this morning by police – it is not clear how gravely – and has not had access to food or water since.

As the thousands of federal, state and local law enforcement now depart, they are doing so to deafening applause and standing ovations from citizens.

The U.S. Attorney’s office would not say if Tsarnaev has been Mirandized.

The shootout comes after a violent night in which his brother and alleged co-conspirator, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died in a separate firefight with police.

The brothers are believed to have carried out Monday’s Marathon bombings, which killed three people and wounded more than 180 others, some gravely.

Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, also suspected of killing an MIT police officer in his vehicle late Thursday, setting the events of Friday into motion.

Authorities in Boston suspended all mass transit and warned close to a million people in the entire city and some of its suburbs to stay indoors today.

After it was finally over, law enforcement earned the ultimate hat tip.

President Barack Obama praised authorities and ordinary Bostonians alike in a live press conference from the White House after the massive manhunt.

“Tonight, our nation is in debt to the people of Boston,” Obama said, and went on to thank Bostonians as “citizens and partners” in the investigation.

The president said this resolution wouldn’t have been possible without close coordination among federal, state and local law enforcement authorities.

“They all worked as they should,” Obama said, “as a team.”

After promising the victims of the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion that they weren’t forgotten either, he concluded, in the understatement of all time:

“This has been been a tough week.”

Story developing

UPDATE, 4/20, 7:00 a.m.: Tsarnaev remains in the hospital, the severity and nature of his condition unclear, according to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

Patrick did say that he is “hoping very deeply he survives, because I’ve got a lot of questions and I know investigators have a lot of questions for him.”

UPDATE, 4/20, 11:00 a.m.: The suspect is still in serious condition and has not been read his rights. It’s not clear if he has been questioned at this time.

UPDATE, 4/20, 2:30 p.m.: A widely-circulated arrest photo online has been confirmed as real. Officials clearly want it known that they got their man.