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Boston cheers as chaos ends -- but questions, grief remain

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  • Boston cheers as chaos ends -- but questions, grief remain

    After a five-day nightmare filled with tragedy and grief, fear and anxiety, Boston can finally rest.

    One suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings is in custody. The other, his older brother, is dead. And residents across Massachusetts are cheering the efforts of law enforcement officers who ended a week of unprecedented hell.

    For almost 24 hours on Friday, the cities of Cambridge, Watertown and Boston were paralyzed as authorities hunted for 19-year-old Dzhokar Tsarnaev -- a man not only suspected in the marathon bombings, but whom authorities feared could unleash more explosives.

    Suspect curled up on a blood-stained boat

    The dramatic end to the manhunt came when a Watertown man, cooped up in his house all day due to an outdoor ban, finally stepped outside when the ban was lifted.

    He soon noticed a retention strap for his boat had been cut -- and a small amount of blood on the tarp.

    "He basically stuck his head under the tarp, noticed a pool of blood," the man's stepson, Robert Duffy, told CNN.

    Then he discovered a man curled up in a ball.

    "And at that point he became an absolute hero. Instead of being a hero at the moment and yelling at what we now know was the suspect, he did the right thing as law enforcement had urged" and called 911, Duffy said.

    Authorities arrived and evacuated Duffy's stepfather. Using a bullhorn, they called out to the suspect: "Come out with your hands up."

    The bloodied man refused.

    "We used a robot to pull the tarp off the boat," David Procopio of the Massachusetts State Police said. "We were also watching him with a thermal imaging camera in our helicopter. He was weakened by blood loss -- injured last night, most likely."

    A gunfight ensued, with more than 20 rounds fired.

    Authorities eventually rushed the boat and took Dzhokar Tsarnaev into custody.

    The nightmare was over.

    24 hours of chaos

    Shortly after the FBI released photos of the suspects Thursday night, Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, led authorities on a whirlwind manhunt.

    Officials say the brothers killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer who was sitting in his car -- for no obvious reason. The Tsarnaevs then hijacked a car -- telling the driver they were the marathon bombers -- and hurled explosives at officers in hot pursuit, authorities said.

    Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died in a shootout. He was wearing explosives and a triggering device when he died, a source briefed on the investigation told CNN.

    Over the course of Friday, the Boston area virtually shut down as federal, state and local authorities went door-to-door searching for Dzhokar Tsarnaev.

    Spontaneous parades for police

    The collective mood in the region turned from fear to cheer Friday night after Boston police sent out one tweet:

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

    As local and federal authorities left their positions late Friday night, hundreds of residents swarmed the streets of Watertown and Boston to surround the cars and cheer them on.

    "Every time a police car passed by, the cheering became louder, and a sense of respect and admiration was felt through the crowd," said Montana Fredrick, who joined a sea of other Northeastern University students in greeting the officers.

    "I feel relieved, and I feel like everybody else is relieved," Berklee College of Music student Myles Marcus said. "I feel like I can go back to school now and know that I'm safe."

    Still mourning

    But the celebrations were tempered by the deaths of four people this week -- all allegedly by the hands of the Tsarnaev brothers.

    The marathon bombings on Monday killed three spectators, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology police Officer Sean Collier was fatally shot while sitting in his car Friday morning.

    And at least 58 people remained hospitalized late Friday night, including three in critical condition, according to a CNN count.

    The family of 8-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed in the bombings Monday, issued a statement thanking the authorities and members of the public who helped track down the two suspects.

    "It worked, and tonight, our community is once again safe from these two men," the Richard family said.

    "None of this will bring our beloved Martin back, or reverse the injuries these men inflicted on our family and nearly two hundred others. We continue to pray for healing and for comfort on the long road that lies ahead for every victim and their loved ones."

    The next phase: A hunt for a motive

    Dzhokar Tsarnaev was in serious condition at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center early Saturday morning. His survival may give authorities a chance to understand what could have motivated the bloody spree.

    Tsarnaev's uncle Ruslan Tsarni said the brothers' alleged actions were abhorrent.

    "You put a shame on our entire family -- the Tsarnaev family -- and you put a shame on the entire Chechen ethnicity," Tsarni said.

    The brothers come from an ethnic Chechen Muslim family.

    But the suspects' father, who lives in Dagestan, told Russian state-run Zvezda TV he believes his sons were framed.

    "I don't know who exactly did it. But someone did," Anzor Tsarnaev said. "Justice should decide who's right and who's guilty."

    Source: CNN

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