BREAKING: The second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing is believed to be “down” after gunfire broke out from a boat or shed behind a house in the Watertown section of Boston moments after state and local officials said their hunt had come up dry Friday.
Sources told Fox News a suspect was “down,” but later said he was alive and possibly surrounded. A neighbor described the sound of as many as 30 shots as akin to “a roll of firecrackers shooting off,” and said blood was found on the door of a shed, or on a trailered boat near it behind a home on Franklin Street.
“All hell broke loose,” the neighbor told a MyFox Boston reporter.
Sources told Fox News the shed and the boat had been searched earlier, but a woman noticed a door to it had been opened, saw blood and called police. The gunfire broke out when police went to search it, but it was unclear if any police were injured.
A robot was being used to search the area, police were massing at the scene and an ambulance rushed to the area in a dramatic development came just after police said their hunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had gone cold and urged people to “go about your business.”
Early in the day, police told residents of several city neighborhoods, especially Watertown, to stay inside. School was canceled, bus and train service suspended and people were even told not to venture out for work. But those restrictions were lifted at the news briefing Friday night about 15 minutes before the gunshots were heard.
If Tsarnaev was hiding in the boat, it means he hid all day within the tight perimeter where Black Hawk helicopters patrolled the sky and police went door-to-door hunting for him. Police say he and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev placed the deadly bombs at the race. The sibling suspects are from Dagestan, a province in Russia that borders Chechnya, but have been in the U.S. for as much as a decade..
On Thursday night, hours after the radicalized Muslims were fingered by the FBI and their images circulated around the world, they killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer and carjacked an SUV from a man who later escaped. The brothers led police on a chase through city streets that included a wild shootout and the suspects hurling explosives from the SUV. Bizarrely, police discounted earlier reports that the brothers had robbed a 7/11, saying although it had been robbed, and they had been caught on surveillance video, they were not the robbers.
The pursuit went into Watertown, where Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was shot several times in the gunfight. But Dzhokhar Tsarnaev somehow slipped away, running over his already wounded brother as he fled by car, according to two law enforcement officials who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was pronounced dead at a hospital Friday morning. But at some point following the shootout and car chase, the younger brother fled by foot, according to State Police, who said Friday night they don’t believe he now has access to a car.
During the pursuit, a MBTA transit police officer was seriously injured and transported to the hospital, according to a news release. He was identified as Richard H. Donahue Jr., 33, and was at Mount. Auburn Hospital in critical but stable condition.
The suspects’ bloody rampage claimed the life of MIT Police Officer Sean Collier, 26, who was found shot to death in his squad car at 10:20 p.m. Thursday. Moments after the shooting, the brothers carjacked the Mercedes SUV from Third Street in Cambridge and forced the driver to stop at several bank machines to withdraw money. The driver later told police that the brothers had bragged to him that they were the marathon bombers, law enforcement authorities said.
“The guy was very lucky that they let him go,” Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio said.
It was when police were working to activate the tracking device on the stolen SUV, that other patrol officers spotted it in nearby Watertown, touching off the dramatic chase.
Late Friday, Procopio said police found another pressure cooker bomb and several other explosives late Friday, but did not say if they were diffused or disposed of in a controlled explosions.
Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin, Jana Winter, Mike Tobin, Mike Levine, Griff Jenkins and The Associated Press contributed to this report.