BOSTON, Mass. – Police in Massachusetts and Connecticut are hunting for a green Honda and much of Boston remained on lockdown as the hunt for the second Boston Marathon bomber continued following a chaotic night of mayhem night that saw a police officer and one of the suspects killed.
According to FoxNews.com, the car was described as a green Honda Civic with Massachusetts plate number 116 GC7. It was not known who owned the car, but the police bulletin could mean authorities fear remaining suspect Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, whose brother and fellow bombing suspect was killed early Friday, could have slipped out of the tight perimeter formed by police and FBI agents in the Watertown section of Boston.
Word of the car hunt came during a tense afternoon that saw Black Hawk helicopters patrolling the sky above a search zone where police were going door-to-door hunting for Tsarnaev. A bullet-riddled SUV was recovered in the city’s Watertown section and the FBI searched a home in Cambridge where the brothers were believed to have lived. A woman was taken from inside the building, but it was not known if she had any connection to the suspects.
Police believe the two suspects from Monday’s terror attack are Chechen brothers, Muslims from Dagestan, a province in Russia that borders Chechnya. Tsarnaev, 19, of Cambridge, Mass., is believed to be armed and extremely dangerous, and authorities were telling people in much of Boston to remain indoors.
“We have several other new leads that have just developed with the past few minutes,” said Massachusetts State Police Police Superintendent Timothy Alben, speaking at a news conference early Friday afternoon. He said police had covered “60 to 70 percent” of the perimeter, inside which they believe Tsarnaev is hiding.
Police believe Tsarnaev could be armed and consider him extremely dangerous. He and his brother — in a vehicle they carjacked from a man who later escaped — led police on a chase through city streets after robbing a 7-11 in Cambridge and killing a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer, according to authorities.
The suspects threw explosives from the car and exchanged gunfire with police who were in pursuit as it headed into Watertown, according to the district attorney’s news release. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was shot several times in the gunfight and pronounced dead late Thursday at an area hospital. But his younger brother escaped, and continued to elude authorities, who were going door-to-door all morning in Watertown.
“Suspect No. 1 is dead, Suspect 2 is on the run,” Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said at a Friday morning press conference. “There is a massive manhunt underway.”
Police also found a car believed to be registered to Tamerlan Tsarnaev in Boston, after earlier issuing a lookout bulletin to Connecticut State police. The Black Hawk choppers were flying above Watertown “to provide extra eyes,” sources told The Boston Globe.
During the pursuit, a MBTA transit police officer was seriously injured and transported to the hospital, according to a news release. He was identified as Richard H. Donahue Jr., 33, and was being treated at Mt. Auburn Hospital.
Schools are closed, train and bus service is suspended and police were telling residents of neighborhoods including Cambridge, Waltham, Watertown, Newton, Arlington and Belmont to stay indoors.
The suspects apparently surfaced just hours after the FBI released their imaged late Thursday afternoon, going on a bloody rampage that claimed the life of MIT Police Officer Sean Collier, 26. He was found shot to death in his squad car at 10:20 p.m. Thursday. It was not clear if he was killed before or after the convenience store was robbed, at about 10 p.m.
Moments after the shooting, the brothers carjacked a Mercedes SUV from Third Street in Cambridge and forced the driver to stop at several bank machines to withdraw money. The driver, who managed to get away, told police that the brothers had bragged to him that they were the marathon bombers, law enforcement authorities said.
“The guy was very lucky that they let him go,” Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio said.
As police were working to activate the tracking device on the stolen SUV, other patrol officers spotted it in nearby Watertown, touching off the dramatic chase.
Procopio said the shooting took place about 10:30 p.m. outside an MIT building. The area was cordoned off and surrounded by responding law enforcement agencies, according to a posting on the university’s website.
“The MIT Police serve all of us at the Institute with great dignity, honor and dedication,” Israel Ruiz, MIT’s executive vice president and treasurer, said in a statement. “Everyone here — those who knew Officer Collier, and those who did not — are devastated by the events that transpired on our campus last night. We will never forget the seriousness with which he took his role protecting MIT and those of us who consider it home.”
Earlier Friday, Cambridge police and the Middlesex District Attorney’s office said the MIT officer was responding to a report of a disturbance when he was shot multiple times late Thursday. He later died at a hospital. His name was not immediately released.
The shooting came little more than three days after the twin bombings on the Boston Marathon that killed three people, wounded more than 180 others and led to an increase in security across the city.