WATERTOWN, Mass. – With a collective sigh of relief, public officials praised the efforts that lead to the capture of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect as Bostonians cheered the end of the intense manhunt that had virtually locked down the city.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” Mayor Thomas Menino said during an evening news conference shortly after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was captured by authorities in Watertown.
“It’s a night where we are all going to rest easy,” Gov. Deval Patrick said.
In comments from the White House, President Obama praised the effort that led to the capture.
“We’ve closed an important chapter in this tragedy.”
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He pledged to seek answers on why the bombing took place and whether the suspects had help.
Tsarnaev, captured in a Watertown backyard after an hours-long standoff with police that included the sounds of gunshots and loud booms, was taken to a hospital. He was “in serious if not critical condition; he appears to have lost a lot of blood,” police spokesman David Procopio said.
Tsarnaev’s brother, Tamerlan, 26, had been killed in a hail of bullets when the pair fought with police early Friday.
While congratulating all of the police units who worked on the case, the officials also remembered the victims: three who died Monday in two bombings at the finish line area of the Boston Marathon and the more than 170 who were injured.
They also remembered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer who was killed and another who is hospitalized in stable condition; police believe they had encountered the brothers.
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“We’re exhausted folks,” State Police Supt. Timothy Alben told reporters. “But we have a victory here tonight, but let’s not forget those people along the way.”
Tsarnaev was trapped in a backyard boat of a Watertown resident. A citizen went out, discovered Tsarnaev in the boat and contacted police.
Officials praised the public for efforts that began Thursday with the release of photos and video of the suspects.
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