Transcript: Press briefing Q&A with Massachusetts State Police on the search for the Boston Marathon suspect in Watertown – 6 p.m. briefing on April 19, 2013

Partial transcript of press briefing Q&A with Massachusetts State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben on the search for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, in Watertown at 6 p.m. on April 19, 2013:

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
I just want to add there’s a photograph of our subject that’s been widely distributed. I want to remind the public that it’s there. If you see this individual, please – I want to emphasize this – do not take action on your own. We want you to dial 9-1-1 to your local police department. And anything you might know about this individual, please send that to the FBI tip line. This is very, very important.

I appealed the other day to the community for your cooperation and you’ve come through. We need that continuing cooperation to solve this. Thank you.

Question:
[Inaudible]

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
Well, I think that goes to the investigation and I don’t want to discuss the investigation. I’ll talk about anything that happened here today.

Question:
[Incomprehensible audio]

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
No. We’re committed to this since 11:30 or 11:00 last night. We’ve worked through – since that time and we have had people tirelessly walking those streets going door to door up there. Unfortunately, we did not have enough people when those shootings took place in order to deal with the First Aid issues that were prominent and establish a perimeter at that point in time.

Question:
[Overlapping audio] Do you know where the suspect is or do you believe you know where the suspect is? How can you reconcile going…[inaudible]?

MA Gov. Deval Patrick:
Well, I don’t think first of all that the instruction lends itself to, you know, simple phrases. Right? We are where we were effectively as of Monday night or Tuesday morning. It was – a couple of exceptions – one of the suspects is dead. There was a firefight out here last night – some 200 rounds and explosives. So we were very justified, I believe, based on what we understood about the investigation in taking what we knew was a big step in asking people to stay indoor while we went house-to-house here and in other communities close by to which we believed the suspect – or law enforcement believe the suspect could have fled. The investigation has continued to develop. We can’t give you all the reasons – all those developments right now. We will in the fullness of time. We can’t right now. But based on those developments, we feel it is prudent to be able to say to people “You can get back out as long as you are vigilant.”

Question:
[Inaudible]

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
This has been an ongoing effort of the Joint Terrorism Task Force. It was from its onset and will continue to be that. So you have the FBI, the State Police, and all of the local police departments, including the Boston Police Department.

Question:
Do you believe the suspect is still in the Boston area or has he left?

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
I think I’d be – no, I don’t have any direct knowledge that he’s here in the Boston area but I don’t think he’d get much further. His ties seem to be here.

Question:
[Inaudible]

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
Well, I think this developed rather quickly last night, and I would wager that most of the activity that’s printed in the media yesterday forced them to make decisions or take actions that ultimately revealed who they were.

Question:
[Inaudible]

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
Yeah, I want to be clear about the armed robbery. These folks do not appear to be the individuals who were involved in the armed robbery. They were at the 7-11 in Cambridge at a time that was somewhat coincidental to that and we retrieved a surveillance video out of the 7-11 but they were not involved in the armed robbery of that convenience store.

Question:
[Inaudible]

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
No, I don’t want to comment on that because that’s a homicide investigation. But all of this individual’s ties were here in Massachusetts and we believe that’s the only person that we’re looking for at this time.

Question:
[Inaudible]

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
Yes, I believe he’s still in Massachusetts.

Question:
[Inaudible]

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
No, the whole point in providing that extra coverage to Watertown is for the benefit of this community. We’ve had this whole community and, in fact, the greater Boston area, as you know, shut down today. But in particular these folks had a shooting in their neighborhood last night. There was a loss of life out there. It was very violent activity. And so to provide that level of comfort to those folks up there in that neighborhood, we’re providing or supplementing the Watertown Police Department.

Question:
[Overlapping audio]

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
That would be supposition on my part and I’m not going to do that.

Question:
[Inaudible]

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
I’m not aware of a Mercedes the public should be looking for.

Question:
[Inaudible]

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
Well, it’s clear when I said there were explosives that they had with them last night. They threw those at the police officers that were pursuing them. Beyond that, what their intentions were would be a matter of supposition and I’m not going to do that.

Question:
[Inaudible]

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
You’re talking about the Honda. That car is being processed at this point but its relevance to this case is still not known.

Question:
[Inaudible]

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
It’s not something that I’d consider – I’m worried about apprehending this particular subject. He’s a very violent and dangerous person. That’s our primary concern.

Question:
[Inaudible]

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
We don’t know of a vehicle that he has.

Question:
[Inaudible] …What’s changed in the last 8 hours…? To say to the public it’s safe to go out while the suspect’s on the loose and what is your message to the suspect?

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
My message to the suspect is to give himself up, to stop any further violence towards anyone. In terms of where he is at this point, we cannot continue to lock down an entire city or an entire state. We are confident that we’ve done what we can do here in this particular neighborhood in terms of our search, and unfortunately, that was not fruitful. But we are re-doubling our efforts and we are as committed as we were this morning towards apprehending him.

Question:
[Inaudible] Are you giving Watertown an all-clear?

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
I would never give an all-clear on anything. I want to re-emphasize the point that people have got to be vigilant. This is a dangerous person who we believe has killed people. They need to be extremely careful and contact their local police department if they even suspect they identify him.

Question:
[Inaudible]

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
We’ve done a number of searches this afternoon but that again is going to the investigation and I don’t want to comment on that.

Question:
[Inaudible]

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
Well, I think that would always be a law enforcement preference but sometimes those things are decisions that they take away from us. So I hope that’s not the case here, and that’s why I’m appealing to him to give himself up and do it now.

Question:
[Inaudible]

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
They were together last night. One of them was killed and one of them fled the scene on foot.

Question:
[Inaudible]

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
I’m not going to get into that. Again, this is a homicide case we’re talking about. I don’t want to discuss the evidence in the case.

Question:
[Inaudible]

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
Well, I think again that’s going to go to the investigation and I don’t want to comment on the evidence.

Question:
[Inaudible]

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
I think that you should be reassured by the presence – the enhanced presence of the State Police and the Watertown Police Department being here in your neighborhood. And we are convinced that we did absolutely everything that we could in this neighborhood to ensure that this individual is not where he left last night.

Question:
How did he get away?

MA State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:
He abandoned a car that he had used that was involved in a pursuit from Cambridge here to Watertown last night. In terms of how he got away, he did it on foot. He fled on foot. I don’t know where he went specifically after that.

 

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