Residents of Watertown had been cooped up all day as police combed their streets, yards and homes for the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.
Dzhokar Tsarnaev, 19, ran after his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died in a hail of police gunfire about 1 a.m. yesterday. Watertown and much of Boston was on lockdown, with residents told by police to “shelter in place.”
Finally, just before 5:30 p.m., Governor Deval Patrick offered relief: Residents -- cautiously -- could go about their business. After a day of scouring the area, it was safe enough for that, Patrick and law enforcement authorities said.
“We do not have an apprehension of our suspect this afternoon, but we will have one,” Massachusetts State Police Timothy Alben promised.
There was one problem, said Sue Lund, who lives on Franklin Street: “They missed the boat.”
David Henneberry, who lives on the street in a white, three-story Victorian home, heard Patrick’s message and stepped outside for fresh air.
Something wasn’t right.
Henneberry’s boat, covered for the winter on a trailer in the backyard, looked different, his neighbor, George Pizzuto, told Bloomberg Television yesterday evening.
Henneberry retrieved a ladder from his garage and started to open the cover, Pizzuto said.
There was blood. And he saw a person.
He quickly backed away and called police. It was about 6 p.m., Pizzuto said.
After Henneberry’s 911 call, police returned to the L-shaped street, setting up a perimeter around the Henneberry house.
Police escorted Henneberry and his wife, Beth, from their property, Pizzuto said. A hostage negotiation team was brought in, said Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis at a press conference last night, though the suspect “wasn’t communicative.”
Snipers took positions in the second-story window of at least one nearby home and crouched behind cars, said Roberta Miller, who lives six blocks away and whose neighbor was in touch with a woman on Franklin Street.
Irene Santoro, who lives a few doors down from Pizzuto and Henneberry, said she heard “loud bangs, over and over,” on their squad-car-lined street. Davis said police and the suspect in the boat “exchanged gunfire.”
“I’m seeing what seems like 100 police cars all lined up on the street, tons of men in gears, with rifles,” she told Bloomberg News in a telephone interview at 7:15 p.m., her voice quavering. “It’s so scary.”
About the same time, a helicopter with a searchlight hovered “so close and loud I thought it was going to hit my house,” said Carol MacKeigan, who lives about three-quarters of a mile (1.2 kilometers) from Henneberry.
About 7:50 p.m., police set off two rounds of flash-bang grenades, used to stun a suspect, according to witnesses and the police scanner. Anxious residents gathered on a church lawn near Franklin Street.
Six doors from the Henneberry house, at 8:40, police dogs began barking and officers shouted for residents to move back “NOW!”
Lund saw Tsarnaev taken to an ambulance on a gurney, strapped down and driven away.
As word spread throughout the neighborhood that the suspect had been captured alive, neighbors and officers cheered and applauded.
At 8:58 p.m., the Boston Police Department, which had sent dozens of warnings over the social-media network Twitter all day, had a jubilant message:
“CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody.”