BOSTON, MA—Two explosions occurred at the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15 leaving three dead and at least 170 injured, according to authorities.
Approximately three hours into the 117th running of the 26.2-mile race, an explosion went off at the Boylston Street finish line just before 3 p.m. and a second explosion mere seconds later. Videos surfaced showing a bloody scene as the runners began to panic. Police officers, ambulances and firefighters quickly arrived to the scene and rushed victims to the hospital.
A high usage of cell phones in the center ofBoston caused the service to go down which reportedly affected the investigation for federal law enforcement. Nearby hotels went into lockdown mode and people were being cleared from an area near Copley Plaza Hotel due to a package that was found nearby. “My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured,” said Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick in a statement. “I have been in touch with the president, Mayor Menino and our public safety leaders. Our focus is on making sure that the area around Copley Square is safe and secured. I am asking everyone to stay away fromCopley Square and let the first responders do their jobs.”
A third explosion was heard before 4 p.m., about an hour after the first two explosions. Police were allegedly aware of the third device before it went off. Two other devices were found at the marathon and were dismantled. Additional suspicious packages were found after the blasts at three Boston subways. The Boston police and FBI stated that no reports were received in recent days about a threatened attack on the marathon.
A blast was reported at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum at about 3 p.m. that many speculated to be in connection with the explosions at the Boston Marathon. Reports indicated that the blast was due to a fire in the building’s mechanical room and was not caused by a device. There were no reported injuries caused by the fire.
Officials began a door-to-door manhunt on Friday, April 19 after the two suspects in the bombings were identified. A police chase and shootout that took place on Thursday, April 18, led to the death of one of the suspects, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Tsarnaev reportedly had a wife and son, studied at a local community college and was a Golden Gloves boxer. Tsarnaev’s younger brother is still on the run as police search for him in a 20-block radius of Watertown.
The chase began when it was reported at 10:20 p.m. on Thursday that the suspects of theBostonbombing had robbed a 7-Eleven store in Cambridge. Reports indicate that minutes later, the men shot and killed an MIT campus officer who responded to the call, 26-year-old Sean Collier. Officials stated Collier was shot five or six times and once in the head. Collier never drew his weapon. The suspects then carjacked a Mercedes-Benz SUV with the driver still inside and fled the scene, eventually letting the driver go.
The two suspects were then spotted in Watertown where federal agents issued a lockdown and told residents to turn off their cell phones in case it set off an explosive device. Multiple devices were left in the road and two handguns were found during the police officer’s search. The suspects then exchanged dozens of gunfire with patrol officers and threw a pressure cooker bomb at police.
Tsarnaev was shot by police and brought to Beth Israel Medical Center. He arrived at the hospital under cardiac arrest with multiple gunshot wounds and blast-like injuries to his chest. He was pronounced dead in the hospital at 1:35 a.m. Three-year veteran of the transit system police force, Richard H. Donohue Jr., was shot and wounded at the incident. The 33-year-old was taken to a hospital and his condition was not immediately known.
The suspect on the run has been identified as 19-year-old Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev of Cambridge, Massachusetts and a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. According to Tsarnaev’s social media page, the two brothers were originally from Russia in the region near Chechnya and were Muslim. Recent statements from Tsarnaev’s friends indicate he was known as quiet and did not show any signs of malicious behavior.
Ruslan Tsarni, the suspects’ uncle, stated in a press conference that his nephews brought shame upon their family and called them “losers.” He also stated that he does not believe their actions were motivated by politics in Chechnya or their Muslim faith.
“Dzhokhar, If you’re alive, turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness from the victims [and] the injured,” said Tsarni. “He put a shame on our family. He put a shame on the entire Chechnyan ethnicity. Turn yourself in.”
Tsarni also stated that he has not been in touch with the family in several years, but did not say why. “I’m ready to kneel in front of them and ask their forgiveness,” Tsarni said of the victims of his nephews’ crime. “I respect this country; I love this country … this country that gives everybody chance to be treated like human being.”
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth had the entire campus evacuated as of Friday once it was realized that Tsarnaev was a registered student there. In addition, Governor Patrick ordered all public transits be shutdown and for residents to remain indoors until further notice.
Police were able to acquire images of the suspects after a victim of the bombings, Jeff Bauman, came to them with a description. Bauman’s legs were blown off by the Boston Marathon bombings.
By Ivetta Babadjanian