Timeline of the Boston Marathon bombings & the Watertown manhunt

SOURCE: Massachusetts State Police

Monday, April 15, 2013:

2:38 p.m.

Video from a security camera on Boylston Street captured footage of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, approaching Boylston Street from Gloucester Street near the Hynes Convention Center. Both men were carrying large knapsacks.

2:42 p.m. 

Bombing suspect 1, identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was seen “passing directly in front of the Forum Restaurant and continuing in the direction of the location where the first explosion occurred,” wrote FBI Special Agent Daniel R. Genck in the criminal complaint filed against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev dated April 21, 2013. “His knapsack is still on his back.”

2:45 p.m. 

Bombing suspect 2, identified as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was seen walking east on Boylston Street toward the marathon’s finish line.

“He can be seen stopping directly in front of the Forum Restaurant and standing near the metal barrier among numerous spectators, with his back to the [surveillance] camera, facing the runners. He then can be seen apparently slipping his knapsack onto the ground,” wrote Genck.

2:45 p.m. – 2:49 p.m.

Security video from the Forum Restaurant shows Dzhokhar Tsarnaev taking a call on his cell phone just 30 seconds before the first explosion.

2:49 p.m.

The first bomb exploded in front of 671 Boylston Street,

“A few seconds after [Dzhokhar Tsarnaev] finishes the call, the large crowd of people around him can be seen reacting to the first explosion. Virtually every head turns to the east (towards the finish line) and stares in that direction in apparent bewilderment and alarm. Bomber Two, virtually alone among the individuals in front of the restaurant, appears calm,” wrote Genck. “[Dzhokhar Tsarnaev] glances to the east and then calmly but rapidly begins moving to the west, away from the direction of the finish line. He walks away without his knapsack, having left it on the ground where he had been standing. Approximately 10 seconds later, an explosion occurs in the location where Bomber Two had placed his knapsack.”

The second bomb exploded in front of the Forum Restaurant at 755 Boylston Street, about a block away from the first blast.

Three people were killed in the blasts: Martin Richard, 8, of Dorchester; Krystle Campbell, 29, of Medford; and Lu Lingzi, 23, a Chinese graduate student at Boston University. More than 180 people were injured, with some requiring amputations.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

11 a.m.

An interfaith service was held to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston. Among the speakers were President Barack Obama, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, and Boston Mayor Tom Menino.

5 p.m.

The FBI released surveillance photos and videos of the two bombing suspects and asked for the public’s help in identifying and locating the two men.

10:20 p.m.

MIT police officer Sean Collier, 26, was shot multiple times in his vehicle near Vassar and Main Streets. He was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

10:30 p.m. – Midnight

One of the Tsarnaev brothers carjacked a driver near Third Street. He pointed a gun at the driver and said, “Did you hear about the Boston explosion? I did that.” According to the criminal complaint, “The man removed the magazine from his gun and showed the victim that it had a bullet in it, and then re-inserted the magazine. The man then stated, ‘I am serious.’

According to the Middlesex County District Attorney’s office, the carjacking victim was held hostage by the Tsarnaev brothers for about a half hour. During this period, the victim told the FBI that he was forced to drive to another location to pick up the second Tsarnaev. After the Tsarnaev brothers loaded items in the trunk of the carjacked vehicle, they demanded money from the victim, who handed over his ATM card and PIN code to the gunmen. The duo then withdrew money from the victim’s bank account – reportedly $800 – and then drove to a gas station and convenience store.

Friday, April 19, 2013:

12:17 a.m.

The carjacking victim was able to escape unharmed when the Tsarnaev brothers exited the car at the gas station near 816 Memorial Drive in Cambridge.

12:17 a.m. – 1:10 a.m.

Shortly after the carjacking victim escaped and police were notified, the stolen car was spotted by police in Watertown.

“As the men drove down Dexter Street in Watertown, they threw at least two small improvised explosive devices (“IEDs”) out of the car,” wrote Genck. The Tsarnaev brothers waged a fierce gun battle with police, lobbing bombs at law enforcement officers on Laurel Street. Officials estimated that more than 200 rounds were fired in that shootout.

“They jump out of the car and unload on our police officer,” Watertown Police Chief Edward Deveau told CNN. “They both came out shooting — shooting guns, handguns. He’s under direct fire, very close by. He has to jam it in reverse and try to get himself a little distance.”

The Tsarnaev brothers were lighting and hurling explosives, including homemade hand grenades and a pressure cooker bomb similar to the ones used in the Boston Marathon bombings, at police officers during the shootout. MBTA police officer Richard H. Donohue, 33, was gravely wounded in the gunfight.

At one point, Tamerlan Tsarnaev began advancing towards the officers.

Deveau recounted the chaotic scene: 

“[Tamerlan Tsarnaev] all of a sudden comes out from under cover and just starts walking down the street, shooting at our police officers, trying to get closer. Now, my closest officer is five to 10 feet away, and they’re exchanging gunfire between them. And he runs out of ammunition — the bad guy — and so one of my police officers comes off the side and tackles him in the street. We’re trying to get him handcuffed. There’s two or three police officers handcuffing him in the street — the older brother. At the same time, at the last minute — they obviously have tunnel vision, it’s a very, very stressful situation — one of them yells out, ‘Look out!’ and here comes the black SUV, the carjacked car, directly at them. They dive out of the way, and…[Dzhokhar Tsarnaev] drives over his brother and drags him a short distance down the street.”

Police began search for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. A 20-block perimeter was established. Residents of Watertown were warned to stay indoors while police searched door-to-door, block-by-block for the suspect.

1:20 a.m.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev arrived at the emergency department of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “At that point, he was in traumatic arrest with CPR ongoing,” said Dr. Richard Wolfe, the hospital’s Chief of Emergency Medicine. “We spent about 10, 15 minutes trying to resuscitate this patient with a number of procedures being done that were unsuccessful.”

Wolfe observed that Tamerlan Tsarnaev suffered multiple gunshot wounds and blast injuries from “an explosive device, possibly shrapnel, thermal injury” throughout the trunk of his body. Wolfe said it’s unclear whether those blast wounds could have been from a bomb strapped to Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s chest but that “there were signs of more than just gunshot wounds.”

1:35 a.m.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was pronounced dead by doctors at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

4:30 a.m. 

Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis told the media: “We are concerned about securing the area and making sure that this individual is taken into custody. We believe this to be a terrorist. We believe this to be a man who’s come here to kill people. We need to get him into custody.”

5:55 a.m.

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Director Kurt Schwartz announced the suspension of all services on the MBTA public transit system as a “safety measure”. The state also requested residents in 6 cities – Watertown, Cambridge, Boston, Waltham, Newton, and Belmont – to remain indoors while the manhunt is underway. “We’re 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,” said Schwartz.

The stay indoors request impacted more than 1 million people in the greater Boston area.

Gov. Deval Patrick later explained to the media: “There was firefight out here last night – some 200 rounds and explosives. 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.”

6 a.m. – 6 p.m. 

Police continue to search door-to-door for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

6 p.m. 

Gov. Deval Patrick announced the lifting of the stay indoors request but urged residents to remain “vigilant.” The 20-block perimeter search was completed. Massachusetts State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben reported that law enforcement officers were not able to find Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. “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,” said Alben. “We cannot continue to lock down an entire city or an entire state…But we are re-doubling our efforts and we are as committed as we were this morning towards apprehending him.”

7 p.m. 

Law enforcement officers from the Boston Police, State Police, and the FBI responded to 67 Franklin Street in Watertown.

“A man had gone out of his house after being inside the house all day abiding by our request to stay inside. He walked outside and he saw blood on a boat in the backyard. He then opened the tarp on the top of the boat and he looked in and saw a man covered with blood. He retreated and called us,” said Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis.

A perimeter was set up around the boat. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev exchanged gun fire with police officers. Police then used non-lethal stun grenades to force the Tsarnaev out of the boat. Eventually, police were able to extract Tsarnaev from the boat. Tsarnaev was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he was treated for gunshot wounds to his head, neck, legs, and hand.

8:45 p.m.

Officials announced the capture of Tsarnaev.

Sunday, April 21, 2013:

The FBI searched Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s dorm room at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. Items seized included “a large pyrotechnic, a black jacket and white hat of the same general appearance as those worn by Bomber Two at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, and BBs [ball bearings].”

Monday, April 22, 2013:

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged with one count of using “a weapon of mass destruction against persons and property at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, resulting in death.” Tsarnaev could fact the death penalty if he’s convicted of the WMD charge.


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