Police Chase Bombing Suspects Through Suburbs

Steve Inskeep talks with NPR's Dina Temple-Raston for the latest on the Boston Marathon bombings investigation.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Here are the basics of a night of violence in Boston. Two men believed to be suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing have led police on a chase through Boston suburbs.

GREENE: One police officer was killed. One was later wounded. The suspects fired shots, stole a car, used explosives. One suspect is dead and one is still at large.

INSKEEP: NPR counterterrorism correspondent Dina Temple-Raston has been talking with her sources. And she's in our studios this morning. Dina, good morning.

DINA TEMPLE-RASTON, BYLINE: Good morning.

INSKEEP: Let's focus on these two suspects, and just walk us through the evening. How have their identities emerged to the extent that they have? Who are these guys?

TEMPLE-RASTON: Well, they're not sure who these guys are, which is kind of remarkable when you think that yesterday they had this enormous press conference in which they released at least two very clear photographs of these two men.

When this all started this evening, or I guess it would've been last night, was around 10:45 there was a robbery in a 7-Eleven. I think it was in Cambridge. And the video of that robbery was consistent with the man who is known as Suspect Number 2, the man who was wearing a white hat in a...

INSKEEP: Like any 7-Eleven, there's a security camera and that's where they get this video.

TEMPLE-RASTON: Exactly, and apparently he was seen as matching white hat - the white-hatted suspect. And the police were called. They came. There is some sort of gap in the information, and then we understand that there was a carjacking of a Mercedes SUV in Cambridge. There was a car chase. Then they ended up in Watertown and there was a shootout, and there were explosives thrown. And one of the suspects was shot. He was wearing something that looked like an improvised explosive device, apparently, on his chest.

INSKEEP: What we would call a suicide vest, something like that?

TEMPLE-RASTON: They haven't gone as far as...

INSKEEP: You're reluctant to say that much. OK.

TEMPLE-RASTON: ...as saying that.

INSKEEP: OK.

TEMPLE-RASTON: ...so I am trying to be careful about the way I'm describing it. But it's something that was strapped to his chest, let me put it that way.

INSKEEP: And dangerous, OK.

TEMPLE-RASTON: And dangerous, and he died. What's amazing about this, and as this is unfolding, there are literally six different crime scenes right down that police and FBI are looking at. My understanding is, earlier this evening when there was the - or yesterday evening, sorry - when there was the 7-Eleven burglary, there were calls made from the Boston FBI to headquarters in FBI, that said send us more guys - we're going to need more guys.

INSKEEP: Six crime scenes, at least a partial list of them would include the 7-Eleven that was knocked over. There's the MIT security officer - police officer who was killed. There's a shootout with police there in which a transit cop was killed, in which explosives were used. There are other locations as well, apparently?

TEMPLE-RASTON: Carjacking and then there was a third man that they have where - it would be a second man they picked up, but a third man who might be involved in this.

INSKEEP: A third suspect here, OK.

TEMPLE-RASTON: Well, he's not being called a suspect actually. He's being called a possible accomplice.

INSKEEP: OK.

TEMPLE-RASTON: And he was picked up in Watertown. There's some footage on television that's showing a man who has actually been stripped naked.

INSKEEP: Because they were afraid he might have explosives.

TEMPLE-RASTON: Exactly, which gets again to this idea of someone who had something strapped on his chest.

INSKEEP: Now, we're talking about - we're talking about suspects, one of them still at large who - the dead man had explosives on him. There's a statement by police that these suspects, as they were being chased, threw some kind of explosives out of their vehicle. We have an account of one witness who said that they felt like they heard 50 gunshots. These were heavily armed people.

TEMPLE-RASTON: Very armed, very dangerous and that's what's worrying the FBI is that there is an unpredictability about this. What's interesting is when - just before they released the photographs yesterday, there was a big debate that if they released them, that there might be some sort of very dramatic arrest, or very dramatic scene that followed it when these young men realized that they were on to them. And that seems to be what's unfolding.

INSKEEP: Although, just to note again, are your sources surprised that even after putting out what you said are fairly clear photographs of these people, that no one has given them a name? They don't know the name of either of these people.

TEMPLE-RASTON: As of about a half-hour ago, they didn't have a name for either one of these people. Now, one of them is dead so this makes it somewhat easier to start identifying...

INSKEEP: They'll be able to identify that person pretty soon.

TEMPLE-RASTON: That's right.

INSKEEP: OK. Dina, thanks very much.

TEMPLE-RASTON: You're welcome.

INSKEEP: That's NPR counterterrorism correspondent Dina Temple-Raston. We'll surely be hearing from her throughout the morning, as well as other correspondents as we keep up to date on the chase for suspects in Boston.

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