Boston Bombings: A Week of Terror

This article was written by Allen and Stephen.

Last week, on Monday, April 15, two explosions shook participants in the Boston Marathon. It was a race commemorating the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. But by the end of the day, more people became victims. The Boston Marathon had always been a symbol of the arrival of spring in the city. On that day, 23,000 runners ran the marathon.

Almost three quarters of them crossed the finish line when a bomb placed in a trash can exploded around 2:50pm on Boylston Street. Thirteen seconds later, another bomb went off. Pandemonium ran wild. Spectators fled one direction, while the rescuers rushed to help the injured. The runners stood on the street dazed, tired, and confused.

By the end of the day, 3 people were killed, and more than 170 people were injured. The FBI quickly arrived at the scene, and it was said that two other explosives that didn’t go of were found and safely disposed of. A fire started in the JFK library, but it was not directly associated with the bombings. The two bombs that did go off were IEDs, Improvised Explosive Devices. These bombs were made from pressure cookers packed with nail, pieces of metal and ball bearings.

President Obama quickly got on the news and made a speech, stating that ‘We will get to the bottom of this’. The president also said ‘Not to quickly jump to conclusions’, though it is something that American always tends to do. Major news outlets such as MSNBC and CNN were quick to express their opinions and hoped that the suspects were white, NRA members, and tea party activists. Other people who held press conferences were Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston mayor Thomas Menino.

The names of the victims were released on Tuesday: Martin Richard, an 8-year-old; Krystle Campbell, who was going to turn 30 in a few weeks; and Lingzi Lu, a Boston University student. On Wednesday, the news media jumped on reports that a suspect of the bombing had been arrested and was being taken to court. This turned out to be false. Thanks to surveillance videos from a local store and many pictures taken from the runners’ phones, the FBI was able to release pictures of the two suspects Thursday afternoon.

Thursday night, MIT police officer Sean Collier was found in his car, suffering from a gunshot wound, and later died of his wounds. The Boston police believed that it he was killed by the Boston bombers. Around midnight, a man who owned a black Mercedes SUV phoned 911 and reported his car was hijacked by two armed men. Thankfully, he had been released unharmed after about 30 minutes. The police chased the car through the streets of Watertown, a subdivision of Boston. Around 1 am on Friday, police and the two suspects engaged in a fierce firefight, and people in Watertown reported gunshots and explosions going on. Reinforcement police officers are called in, and a police helicopter came onto the scene.

Police spokesmen later said that the suspects were throwing bombs and grenades at them from the car, and Richard Donohue, a transit police officer, was seriously injured. Amid the gunfire, the older suspect was shot and killed, and what we now know was his brother got back into the car and fled the scene.

At 4:30 am, a press conference was held by Massachusetts State and Boston Police, who ordered people living in east Watertown to stay in their homes. This lockdown extended to the entire city of Boston an hour later, and all mass transit was stopped. Public schools were closed, and residents were urged to stay in their homes. At 8:30 am, as a result of more inspection of pictures and videos taken during the bombings and new facial recognition software, the FBI was able to confirm that the Boston bombers were brothers: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19 years old, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26 years old.

Thus began a painstakingly long and difficult door-to-door search for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev by police, as he was still at large. After a long day of searching, the police got no further information as to where the younger suspect was. So, at 6:15 pm, Deval Patrick announced that the lockdown was being lifted and that residents may be allowed to leave their homes.

About an hour later, a resident of Watertown called 911 after finding a man in his boat in his backyard who appeared to have lost a lot of blood. Police converged on the area, and a firefight ensued. Gunshots were heard in Watertown and law enforcement officials asked citizens to return to their homes. At 8:40 pm, Dzhokhar Tsarneav, the surviving suspect, was taken into custody by the Boston police. Onlookers celebrated as police cars rolled down the streets of Watertown, and Tsarneav was transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center with apparent wounds to his legs, neck, and hand. Shortly afterwards, the Boston Police Department tweeted:

CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody.

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