Transcript: MA officials announce suspension of MBTA services & ask residents of Watertown and surrounding communities to stay indoor during manhunt for Boston Marathon suspect #2
Transcript of press briefing remarks by Massachusetts officials announcing the suspension of MBTA services and requests for residents of Watertown and surrounding communities to stay indoor during manhunt for Boston Marathon suspect #2. The press briefing was held at 5:55 a.m. EST on April 19, 2013:
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Director Kurt Schwartz:
We are primarily in this press conference speaking to the public trying to provide guidance as to what the public should be doing and thinking about in the next hours while this situation is fluid.
We have conferred with the Governor, with the Mayor of Boston, with all of the surrounding city public safety officials. And the Governor has immediately suspended all public transportation service on the MBTA system – that is buses and subway. So all public transit services through the MBTA have been immediately suspended. We are hoping that as we proceed through the next number of hours that we will be able to turn back on portions of the system but the system has been shut down now as a safety measure.
People that are at subway stations or at bus stops, we are asking them to go home. We do not want people congregating and waiting for the system to come back on. So we are asking people do not go out to the bus stations, the subway stations. If you’re there, please go home.
We also want to speak to the residents and the public within the town of Watertown and the cities and towns that are abutting Watertown. And to be specific, we are speaking to the residents of Watertown, Newton, Waltham, Belmont, Cambridge, and the Allston-Brighton neighborhood of Boston. To those people, we are asking you to stay indoors, to stay in your homes for the time being. We’re asking businesses in those areas to please cooperate and not open today until we can provide further guidance and information.
So again, to repeat – to the residents of Watertown, Newton, Waltham, Belmont, Cambridge, and the Allston-Brighton neighborhood of Boston, we are asking you to stay home, stay indoors. We’re asking businesses not to open. We’re asking people not to congregate outside. We’re asking people not to go to mass transit.
And we are hopeful that as the day proceeds that we can provide further guidance, that we’ll be able to open portions of the system and be able to ease these restrictions that we impose that now.
Watertown Police Chief Edward Deveau:
I just want to speak to the community of Watertown. We need your help now. We’re asking everybody to shelter in place. No vehicle traffic is going to be allowed to travel in or out of Watertown until further notice. No business is going to be allowed to be opened. The Watertown community has always stood strong and we need them to do that today. Thank you.
Massachusetts State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
This situation is grave. We are here to protect public safety in these neighborhoods here in Watertown right now…I know you have a lot of questions about who these folks are, where they’re from. There’ll be plenty of time to deal with that over the ensuing hours. Right now, we’ve got to deal with this local issue here. So we appreciate your patience. Again, to reiterate what I said earlier, we believe these are the same individuals that were responsible for the bombing on Monday at the Boston Marathon. We believe they’re responsible for the death of an MIT police officer and the shooting of an MBTA police officer. This is a very serious situation that we’re dealing with.