The two brothers accused of bombing the Boston Marathon were more heavily armed than the police they came face-to-face with during a stunning gun battle on a residential street earlier this week that ended when one suspect died and the other escaped.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev rode through the suburbs of Boston with a weapons arsenal that included homemade bombs and grenades, as well as guns and a rifle, Watertown Police Chief Edward Deveau said Saturday.
“I’m extremely lucky I’m not at a funeral this morning for one of my officers,” Deveau said.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was shot and killed in the Thursday night gunfight with police. His 19-year-old brother was wounded in the shootout but managed to escape, prompting a manhunt that lasted until Friday night.
The Washington Post reported Saturday that more than 200 rounds were traded during the firefight and that some officers ran out of bullets. Deveau said Friday there had not been enough officers on site to set up a perimeter.
Dzhokhar drove off, then abaondoned the vehicle and fled on foot.
Police had first caught up with the brothers by tracking the signal from a cell phone left in a Mercedes SUV the Tsarnaevs had carjacked Thursday night. The men led officers on a car chase to residential Watertown where the brothers then exploded a “duplicate” of the bomb used at the Marathon, Deveau said.
In addition to shooting at police officers, the men threw two homemade hand grenades that did not explode. A total of six Watertown police officers were involved in the gun fight, including 33-year-old Richard Donahue, who was seriously wounded. The older brother was killed in the shoot out and had been wearing another explosive device on his chest. But Deveau said the younger one managed to escape while at least one officer stopped shooting to tend to Donahue’s wounds.
The fugitive was discovered less than 24 hours later hiding inside a boat that was stored in a neghborhood yard. Police officers negotiated his surrender after he showed authorities that he did not have any weapon strapped to his chest.