Authorities Capture Younger Boston Bombing Suspect Boston authorities held a press conference after taking Dzhokhar Tsarnaev into custody.

Authorities Capture Younger Boston Bombing Suspect

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


And, Chris, I'm sorry to cut you off. Chris, I'm sorry, but we have the news conference. It looks like it's about to begin. Mayor Tom Menino, who's in a wheelchair, has been wheeled to the microphone.


BLOCK: So we're going to let you go. And we're going to...


Here he is.


COLONEL TIMOTHY ALBEN: We are so grateful to bring justice and closure to this case. To those families that lost loved ones or suffered injuries that they'll live with the rest of their lives...

SIEGEL: This is actually Colonel Alben, the superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police.

ALBEN: ...for a police officer, a young man starting a career at MIT, and a police officer with the MBTA who almost lost his life, and for neighborhoods that lived in fear for an entire day, we are eternally grateful for the outcome here tonight. We have a suspect in custody. I want to thank all of the partners who worked tirelessly over the last four days including the FBI, the transit police, our brothers with the Boston Police Department, the U.S. attorney's office, and the support that we have gotten from our governor over the last four days. We're exhausted, folks, but we have a victory here tonight. But let's not forget those people along the way. Thanks very much. Governor?


Well, on behalf of Krystle and Martin and Lingzi, on behalf of the MIT officer who was lost last night and the transit police officer who was injured, on behalf of the hundreds of people who were hurt by the explosions at the marathon, I want to say how grateful I am to the colonel, to the special agent in charge, Rick Deslauriers. To all of the law enforcement who worked so well and so hard together, together, to bring us to tonight's conclusion. It was a very, very complicated case. A very challenging case and there are still some questions remaining to be answered.

But as the colonel said, because of that extraordinary collaboration and cooperation by all of these law enforcement resources and assets and more to the point, people - professionals who brought their A game, we have a suspect in custody tonight.

I want to also just thank all of the members of the public for their extraordinary patience, their participation in this investigation by reviewing photographs of their own and other others there were up through the media. And we thank you for that and helping us narrow in on these suspects. They were helpful and patient and we are grateful for that as well. It's a night where I think we are all going to rest easy. Carmen?

CARMEN ORTIZ: Excuse me.

SIEGEL: That's Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

ORTIZ: Good evening. I'm United States Attorney Carmen Ortiz, and I have to say that both the governor and the colonel have put it tremendously well. Tonight, we feel a tremendous sense of gratitude and relief.

The ordeal that this community, especially this neighborhood has endured over the last 24 hours. Tonight, we can sleep a bit easier. And all of the unpredictable, horrific and yet heroic acts that have occurred over the last several days, starting with the terrible bombing attack that occurred on Monday. Here we are and not forgetting the victims of the crimes that have occurred over the last several days. The victims of the bombings, as the governor said, Martin, Lingzi, Krystle. Two officers who have been hurt. One who lost his life, Shawn Collier, and Richard Donahue who is fighting for his life. Our thoughts and our prayers are with their families.

Tonight, you are going to have many questions, but I want to say as I have said the last several days, this has been a very active and ongoing investigation. And although for some of you, tonight is a closure, for me the journey continues.

And so this will continue to be an ongoing and active investigation as we sort all of the details, continue to evaluate a tremendous amount of evidence and file our formal charges. But I will say this, I have never been prouder to stand with a tremendous group of law enforcement here from the colonel to the commissioner to my federal colleague Rick Deslauriers with the FBI.

All of the federal agencies, the state and local departments that have worked so hard, so hard since the attacks on Monday, so committed and putting their lives on the line as we fought the last 24 hours to try to get a suspect into custody.

And so my journey and my office's journey begin and this investigation will continue. So we will not be able to provide the details that you may want at this time. But as the days continue you will get answers to those questions. Thank you. Mayor Menino?

BLOCK: That's U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz speaking there.

MAYOR THOMAS MENINO: I just want to say very briefly thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you to the law enforcement officials who worked together. State police, Boston police, FBI, all working together. That's when government works the best.

I want to thank also the citizens out there. For the last week, not knowing what happened out there because of the bombing at the marathon. Today because of the hard work of so many individuals, my Boston police working together with the state police, we have a conclusion that we are all satisfied with.

There are also folks, we remember the folks who have lost their lives this past week. We shall go on. We are a better city than what happened this past week and we will get better, and to all of you folks out in the media, thank you for the support you gave us for this past week. It wasn't easy. Some days you said to us, why. Let me tell you.

Were they working hard. Let me tell you. I spent a lot of time with the law enforcement officials. They worked so hard this week, to come to conclusion tonight, tonight we say thank you to them. The work they did tracing down every one of those leads that we got, which is so significant to what came to the end of this case today. Thank you.

Carmen Ortiz, now it's up to her job, to bring it to the federal courts. But let me tell you, I feel so good about this. Let me tell you, I'm so happy. Because the people of our greater Boston area will be able to sleep tonight because of the work of these individuals.

BLOCK: That's Boston mayor Thomas Menino.

RICHARD DESLAURIERS: Good evening. My name is Rick DesLauriers. I'm the special agent in charge of the FBI's Boston division. It seems like many months since Monday, April 15th, the day of the Boston marathon bombings. Yet it has been merely five days since the tragic explosions that took three lives, critically injured over 180 spectators, and instilled terror and fear among the citizens of the city of Boston, the commonwealth of Massachusetts and elsewhere.

Today the city of Boston, the city of Cambridge and the city of Watertown and many other communities can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that two perpetrators who caused so much pain and anguish are no longer a threat to our personal safety and to our communities.

Together with the action and support of our Joint Terrorism Task Force partners, many of which are on the stage with me this evening, the FBI and our partners remain vigilant and continue to follow through thousands of leads and sifted through hundreds of tips through thousands of man-hours to reach this moment.

This was truly an absolutely intense investigation and I do emphasize, a truly intense investigation. As a result of that, justice is being served for the victims of these terrible crimes.

I want to personally express the FBI's profound thanks to each of our partners for bringing us to this moment here this evening. No one agency alone accomplished this critically important task of keeping the city of Boston and Commonwealth of Massachusetts safe.

Thank you very much and I spport you - I thank you for it your support of our media campaign the other day, which publicized the photos. I thank you very much for the support that the media provided us on that. It was phenomenal. And I thank each and every one of you tonight. Thank you.

SIEGEL: That's FBI agent - Special Agent in Charge, Rick DeLauriers. Speaking the other day - it was just yesterday that those pictures came out. Now we're going to hear from the police chief of Watertown, Chief Davis.

ED DAVIS: Four days ago, my city was ruthlessly attacked. There is no explaining the savagery involved here. There's no explanation for it. I spent the last several days looking at hundreds of hours of videotape. I got to see how brutal that attack was over and over and over again.

But more importantly, I got to see what the Boston police officers who responded to that scene...

SIEGEL: Excuse me, it's the Boston police commissioner who's talking.

DAVIS: ... along with the medical personnel and other first responders did to put people back together, tourniquets, stemming the bleeding with their hands, putting a man who was on fire out with their hands.

These are the kind of things that came out of this savagery. It makes me proud to be a Boston police officer. it makes me proud to be a part of this team. Rick DesLauriers from the FBI could not be more cooperative.

We've sat together almost hour for hour for the last four days sharing every bit of information in a real team. Colonel Alben's the same way. Carmen Ortiz, with us all the time, and then to bring the governor and the mayor together, leading the city of Boston in responding to this.

I finally just want to say that the citizens of the city have been incredible. They have been patient with us. They've endured an enormous amount of heartache and aggravation over the last four days and we are happy to try to put this back together. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Watertown police chief?

BLOCK: That was the Boston police commissioner, Ed Davis.

SIEGEL: Now comes the Watertown police chief.

EDWARD DEVEAU: As the police chief of Watertown, I can't be prouder of my community and the men and women of the Watertown Police Department and what they have been through and we have been through the last 24 hours I wouldn't want to see another police department go through.

The support that we've had from all the different agencies that have been mentioned tonight over the last 24 hours has been incredible. To see so many agencies work together with the governor, with the mayor of Boston and our officials in Watertown has been really great.

I have spoken to the people in Watertown before, but I can't thank you enough. The community stood strong and it was a call from a resident of Watertown; we asked you to remain vigilant and you did. We got that call and we got the guy.

So we can't thank you enough. You have done everything and more than we have asked. Extremely proud of law enforcement today and what we've accomplished. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Chief, did you have any communication with the suspect?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Excuse me. We're not done. Chief McMillan from the MBTA.

BLOCK: And that's the police chief of Watertown, Massachusetts, Edward Deveau. We should mention that President Obama will be speaking soon and we will bring you that news conference when it happens.

PAUL MACMILLAN: I want to thank all those who sent thoughts and prayers to Officer Donahue and his family. Please know that it was deeply appreciated. Thank you, and I also want to commend all of the law enforcement agencies who took part in this. This is truly dedication and commitment at its best and I'm proud to be part of it. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Special agent in charge of the ATF.

JOSEPH ANARUMO JR.: My name is Joseph Anarumo, special agent in charge of ATF. Today, the entire world witnessed this law enforcement community commitment to apprehending these offenders. Make no doubt that this combined effort will never cease in its protection of every city, every town and every neighborhood in our nation. The prayers from every ATF employee will continue to go out to the victims as they heal from this senseless act of violence. May God bless the citizens. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Suffolk County district attorney Dan Conley.

DANIEL CONLEY: Thank you very much. I was listening to the police action all afternoon on the radio and I would like to join my voice or add my voice I should say to those who came before me to say what an extraordinary police operation across all jurisdictions that I was able to listen to and witness today.

I was down at the scene early on and in our business, Carmen, myself, it's about accountability. I can't say how happy I am and how pleased I am that the second subject was taken alive. This will really ensure accountability for the victims and their families. So congratulations to all law enforcement for a job very well done and now the task ahead for accountability. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: We'll take questions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: How did the events transpire at the boat?

DAVIS: There was a call that came in to the Watertown police. Three Boston police officers along with state troopers and FBI agents responded to Franklin Street. 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.

We set up a perimeter around that boat and over the course of the next hour or so, we exchanged gunfire with the suspect who was inside the boat, and ultimately the hostage rescue team of the FBI made an entry into the boat and removed the suspect, who was still alive in the boat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Can you talk about the imperative of taking him alive? How much...

DAVIS: We always want to take all of the suspects alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: I understand that, sir. But can you talk about it in the context of this particular individual? You talk about accountability. Can you talk about how you want to -- why you wanted to take --

DAVIS: We always want to take somebody alive so that we can find out what happened, why it happened, and so we can hold them for justice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: How badly injured was he?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Did you have communication with the suspect?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: How badly injured was he?

DAVIS: There was - the hostage rescue team actually did work in trying to negotiate him out of that boat. They did try to talk him out, although from what I understand, he was not communicative.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Other people have also been taken into custody as well, reporters say. Have they aided and abetted the suspect?

DAVIS: There's been - actually I don't have that information.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Commissioner Davis, can you talk about the suspect's injuries?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: How do you know there are no other suspects out there and you got your guy and this is it?

DAVIS: I think that based upon our investigation at this point in time, the citizens of the city of Boston and this area can be confident that the threat has been removed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: What kind of condition is the suspect in?

DAVIS: The suspect is in serious condition at the hospital.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: How do you know that these were the suspects you were looking for? They didn't rob the 7-11, so how did you know that they were there at the same time?

DAVIS: The suspects came to our attention after a vicious assassination of the police officer at MIT and a subsequent robbery that occurred where we got videotape from a gas station. The robbery actually was a carjacking. The car was taken from the scene and officers engaged that car from the Watertown police officers along with other officers. We were then able to put the case together.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Commissioner Davis, did the suspect get shot when you were apprehending him at the boat? Was he shot by a police officer?

DAVIS: The man who found him at the boat said he was covered with blood. We assume that those injuries occurred the evening before. There was an exchange of gunfire at the boat. I don't know if he was struck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Commissioner, can you tell us about the police action in New Bedford?

DAVIS: There was a house in New Bedford that the hostage rescue team went into from the FBI, because we felt that it was important to the investigation. But the suspect was not found there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Given that he was still out there and armed --

DAVIS: I'm sorry?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Can you tell us a little bit more about what you called the assassination of Officer Collier? Was he shot in cold blood? ...What do you know about that?

DAVIS: My assessment of that particular incident is he was assassinated in his cruiser.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: And do you know what he was doing then?

DAVIS: He was responding to a call for a disturbance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Given that he was out there, still armed, was it a mistake to give the all clear and let people go outside? Couldn't they have been at risk?

DAVIS: We certainly did not give an all clear. We made it clear that people - and Colonel Alben is here and spoke very eloquently to this. This was a very serious and dangerous situation. We had no information that the suspect was still holed up in this particular area.

He managed to elude us by being slightly outside of the perimeter that we set up. But in truth, we told everybody that this was a dangerous situation and they should be cautious.

This is a very dangerous time in the world. We have to use caution. That's what we asked people to do. Thankfully this man who found the suspect called us right away. Did the right thing, got on 911 and we were able to come in and take care of the situation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Did he have explosives with him when was captured?

DAVIS: There is no report of explosives with him at capture. But I got to tell you, I was at the scene last night just after this incident occurred. There was an exchange of over 200 rounds of gunfire; there were improvised explosive devices and handmade hand grenades that were thrown at the officers at the scene. This is the stuff that, in an urban police department, it's almost unheard of.

So, these officers acted heroically, courageously; they protected the community and they protected each other when they responded to the scene. I'm so proud of the actions of the Watertown police, the state police, the Boston police. It's been an incredible team.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Did he have a weapon in the boat?

DAVIS: He did. You know what, I can't say -- I was told that there was an exchange of gun fire. I was not there when he was taken out of the boat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: No Miranda warning, could you explain - the public exemption, could you explain the reasons for us?

DAVIS: Actually, United States attorney or the FBI may want to explain that. It is a federal issue.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Had the boat been searched earlier?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Just a minute. Just a minute. Let him finish the question.

DAVIS: No, I did not.

ORTIZ: What was the question?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: The reports tonight are that there was no Miranda warning given, that they were claiming a public safety exemption. Could we get an answer to that?

ORTIZ: There is a public safety exception in cases involving national security and potential charges involving acts of terrorism, and so the government has that opportunity right now, though I believe that the suspect has been taken to a hospital. So we'll start right there. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Will you seek the federal death penalty.

ORTIZ: You know, what I indicated earlier this is still an active and ongoing investigation. We will be reviewing all of the evidence. Before that kind of a decision is made, in terms of whether or not to seek the death penalty, you review all of the evidence and it is a very thoughtful, long process that is engaged, and it is the attorney general of the Department of Justice that makes that final decision.


ORTIZ: I'm sorry. Karen.

KAREN: ...Went straight to the boat and can you or Colonel Alben talk to us about what happened when you were on the scene? Was he moving around? How did you know there was finally a chance to take him into custody?

ORTIZ: Yes. I'm going to let...

DEVEAU: We know he didn't go straight to the boat. We, when we set up the perimeter with the best intentions with a lot of information that we found blood in the car that he abandoned; we found blood behind a house inside the perimeter, so we had no information that he had gotten outside our perimeter. As we said, it was very chaotic early this morning. We had to aid a police officer that was shot, bleeding. So there was a lot of things going on. We thought we had the perimeter solid, and we pretty much did that, but we were about one block away. He had to be moving a little bit after he was behind a house for a period of time that we know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: How did you know that you could take him into custody? Had he been moving around, were you able to watch that?

ALBEN: The reason that we knew this is our helicopter had actually detected the subject in the boat. We have what is called a forward-looking infrared device on the helicopter. It picked up the heat signature of the individual even though he was underneath the shrink wrap or a cover on the boat itself. And there was movement from that point on and the helicopter was able to direct the tactical teams to the area and ultimately take him into custody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Did the police search the boat during the day?

ALBEN: It was outside the perimeter during the day so it was not searched. This was the act of a citizen that went out and discovered this individual in the boat...

SIEGEL: That's Colonel Timothy Alben, the superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, talking about how they knew - how they could see the suspect inside the boat where he was hiding. We will learn in this news conference, Melissa, that he was covered with blood, that he'd been pretty seriously injured in that firefight.

BLOCK: And some fascinating details here, Robert, that apparently the resident whose boat this was, stepped outside after they've been given the "you can go outside" alert from the police, went outside, saw blood on the boat, lifted the tarp and saw the suspect inside covered in blood. Let's go back to the news conference.

SIEGEL: Yeah, yeah.


ALBEN: ...I know he is in serious condition but I don't know to what extent.


ALBEN: I think we have taken enough questions for now. Thank you. Thank you very much.

BLOCK: You've been listening to a briefing by an array of government and law enforcement officials in Watertown, Massachusetts, about the capture of the second suspect. We are also awaiting, we should say, a statement, not a news conference, which I said earlier, but a statement from President Obama at the White House at the conclusion of this long and stressful and ultimately successful day. But a number of the speakers there, Robert, pointed to, you know, in the midst of this celebration of this capture alive of the suspect, the lives that were lost, the many, many dozens of people, over 170 people injured in the marathon and the terror that spread through the entire city of Boston.

SIEGEL: It's been an astonishing week. And just when we think that on Monday we were getting reports of so many people taken to emergency rooms, in - either in need of amputation or having been - had limbs severed by the blasts, all of that, of course, tempers the celebration that people are experiencing now.

The other news we had here is that the second suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is in the hospital, in serious condition is what they've said. I don't know how technical the chief was being with that, but he had been bleeding a great deal. He'd been injured. But he didn't say he's in critical condition.

BLOCK: And another correction: I said earlier he was taken to Mount Auburn Hospital. I've seen later information, conflicting information that he was taken to Mass General and to Beth Israel Deaconess, which is where his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was also taken. NPR's...

SIEGEL: David Schaper is - you were - David was at the news conference, I think, and joins us from Watertown right now. Hi, David. What did you glean from that?

DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: Well, you know, I think, again, it was pretty interesting to me to hear, you know, the description of the aggressive search that they did all through the day and all through the night last night in trying to find the location of the suspect and try to figure out where he was. We did hear tonight that they did see trails of blood at the time - bleeding from the car that he abandoned. I think at a house that he may have come across, but that he wasn't that far away yet, with a - just a little bit outside of the perimeter, and yet they seem to think just 15, 20 minutes before he was found, telling us that they no longer needed people to remain indoors, that, sure, everybody should exercise caution...


SCHAPER: ...but no need to, you know, stay indoors. And they - that that suggested that they thought he had left the area.

SIEGEL: But this is interesting because that was not an ironic coincidence that shortly after that announcement, he was reported - what happened was, after that...

BLOCK: The guy went outside, saw blood on his boat.

SIEGEL: ...the man went outside - he now was allowed to do that - and saw blood on his boat. So, indeed, there was a real causal relationship between that announcement - oddly, an announcement of failure to locate the suspect - and the discovery of the suspect. Tom Gjelten is with us in the studio.

BLOCK: Yeah. And, Tom, one other detail I want to ask you about, the officials there in Watertown mentioned the helicopter that detected a heat signature under the tarp on this boat.

TOM GJELTEN, BYLINE: So it was a combination of two things: It was, as you say, the homeowner who actually saw the blood-covered suspect in the boat, but then in combination with that, the helicopter with the infrared-seeking technology that was able to, according to the police chief, was able to direct the police to that very spot. So a combination of sort of human intelligence and high-tech intelligence led to the discovery of the suspect.

You know, there's something else that can we just talk about for one minute?

BLOCK: Yeah.

SIEGEL: Go ahead, Tom.

GJELTEN: This is arguably the first act of terrorism in the United States since 9/11. And because it's an act of terrorism, it is bound to ignite the whole debate about how do you deal with acts of terrorism.

SIEGEL: The first successful. There was an attempt at Times Square, yes.

GJELTEN: The first successful, the first successful, right. And we already sort of got the opening shot in that debate. The U.S. attorney Carmen Ortiz said she will file - that the U.S. will file formal charges against this individual. So we know this is going to be handled in ordinary law enforcement manner. She also mentioned that there is this issue that he does not necessarily have to be read his Miranda rights, the right to remain silent and not to have...

SIEGEL: And the right to a lawyer also.

GJELTEN: Exactly. Because there is a public safety exception, which she pointed, although it appears that they have not encountered that threshold yet because he's in the hospital. So I think what we can take from that is he hasn't been interrogated yet.

SIEGEL: Is the public safety exception open-ended or does it merely provide a window during which time one can question without Mirandizing? I don't want to put you on the spot. I don't know.

GJELTEN: You just put me on the spot, Robert.

SIEGEL: Well, I don't - I'm sorry. I didn't...

GJELTEN: You know, I learned something from what she said right there, which is, that if - it applies in cases of national security, when national security is at stake. So national security is not always permanently at stake.

SIEGEL: I think this came up in the Abdulmutallab case, as to whether he had been Mirandized appropriately.

GJELTEN: Indeed it did.

BLOCK: And, Tom, as we were discussing earlier, still questions - the officials were asked about a search of a house in New Bedford. They said there had been reason to believe the suspect might be there. They went in. He wasn't there. But again, they seem to be saying we have our guy, this is it, but obviously the investigation continues.

GJELTEN: Well, remember from the earlier press conference, they said they were following leads in eastern Massachusetts.

BLOCK: Yeah.

GJELTEN: So they clearly had some ideas that, you know, he may have some friends, acquaintances. Possibly, he had - they might have been thinking he had fled somewhere. We - those are some of the things that we're going to have to find out in the coming days.

SIEGEL: Weren't they in eastern Massachusetts? Excuse me, it's been late and it's a long day for me, but I thought they were...

BLOCK: The Greater Eastern Massachusetts area.

SIEGEL: Greater Eastern Massachusetts. For people who might wonder why we're still here at this very moment, it's because we're expecting President Obama to make a statement at the White House about the surrender of the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing case. We don't expect it to be a very long statement, and it's not a news conference. There won't be questions, but it would be a - kind of put some punctuation on this event.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.