The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, 4/19/13, 10:53 PM ET

‘A citizen noticed the blood trail’

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell gets analysis on the capture of Boston bombing suspect from former ATF Special Agent in Charge, James Cavanaugh and NBC News National Investigative Correspondent, Michael Isikoff. Plus, NBC News Justice Correspondent Pete...

Manhunt over: How Boston bombing suspect was captured


“The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody,” Boston Police tweeted Friday night, giving much needed relief to a city on edge after the deadly blasts that killed three and injured 176 at the marathon.

Law enforcement officials eventually found their suspect hidden inside a boat parked in the backyard of a home in Watertown, a neighborhood of Boston. Alleged teen bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had a gunshot wound and had lost a lot of blood in the stand-off that paralyzed the entire city for nearly 24 hours.

Boston Police told NBC News that a neighbor called in a report of a blood trail leading to boat. When the resident got up close to investigate, he saw what looked like a person curled up inside, so he immediately called authorities. Before moving in, police located the 19-year-old using thermal imaging, according to NBC News Justice Correspondent Pete Williams.

Friday’s activity began around 7pm ET, not long after police told reporters in a press conference that the suspect got away. Hundreds of law enforcement officials moved into this neighborhood, surrounding the suspicious boat.

Then came the rapid-fire sound of more gun shots. Police said they fired on the boat and used flash-bangs, a device that emits a loud boom and bright flash, to try and disable the suspect.

Before apprehending Tsarnaev, an  abundance of caution was used because investigators were concerned he could be wearing an improvised explosive device.

Authorities had discovered an IED strapped to chest of the suspect’s older brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was also considered a suspect. He was killed after a car chase and shootout with police early Friday in Watertown, putting the city of Boston effectively on lockdown.

“Boston police and state police and local police across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts responded with professionalism and bravery over five long days,” President Obama said at the White House on Friday. “And tonight because of their determined efforts, we’ve closed an important chapter in this tragedy.”

Tsarnaev was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital while still under the federal custody of the FBI. He has not been read his Miranda rights yet; a “public safety exception” gives authorities the right to question a suspect for 48 hours before the rule applies.

Manhunt over: How Boston bombing suspect was captured