The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 04/19/13
RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Chris Hayes – it is 9:00 on the East Coast.
And you`re looking at live images of Watertown, Massachusetts, where
residents have flooded into the streets to applaud, to say thank you to law
enforcement, to the massive law enforcement presence in Watertown,
Massachusetts – the end of a 28-hour lockdown, essentially in the city of
Massachusetts. Nobody knew for sure it was going to end this way, but they
Boston police say they have taken their suspect into custody alive.
They are bringing up an ambulance to transport him. They say he has
believed to have suffered a gunshot wound and has lost blood. It was
unclear how weakened he was.
This follows obviously the shootout last night, not from this site in
Watertown, just a few blocks over in the same neighborhood from the
suspect`s older brother was killed in a firefight with police. But the
younger suspect has been taken into custody alive.
Just a remarkable ending, including these live shots right now.
Remarkable, including the reaction of people of greater Boston and
Watertown specifically. A remarkable ending to what has been an almost
unbelievably tense week-long ordeal in Boston and day-long ordeal involving
the lock down. Almost complete lock down of one of the largest cities in
the United States.
Joining us live on the ground in Watertown, Massachusetts, is NBC`s
Erica Hill. Erica, what can you tell us about where you are and what kind
of reaction you`re seeing?
ERICA HILL, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Rachel, you may be able to hear
we`re having some cheering. Probably because there are police vehicles
behind me coming through. Every time a vehicle comes through, people start
to applaud. There are more and more people coming on to the streets as you
We were in this neighborhood all day. It was eerily quiet. The only
thing you saw was increased police presence near the helicopter overhead
now and the media, because everybody else was obeying orders to stay
inside. When it was lifted a little after 6:00, people slowly trickling
out, but then as we know, there is another order to stay inside for those
folks who run Franklin Street.
That is where the suspect was apprehended and an officer leaned over
to me at one point and said, hey, he`s in custody. They had him.
So, again, every time they come through, very first police car that I
saw come through, the officer who is driving had a huge grin on his face.
As you mentioned, the suspect was captured alive. We believe it was
a gunshot wound. It is not clear what kind of condition he is in. There
was an ambulance went by. It did not appear he was in it but everybody is
on the lookout to where he will be taken and find out what kind of
condition he`s in, because ultimately, there are a number of questions that
people want answered and he is the person who can give us those answers.
MADDOW: Erica, from your vantage point there in Watertown, watching
this unfold today, it was less than an hour after Governor Deval Patrick
lifted the shelter in place order for all of Boston. Less than an hour
later, when we heard that large volley of gunfire in Watertown and police
just flooding that zone, starting what appears to have been the process
that ended with the cheers you see in the streets tonight.
Can you describe for us what you know about the law enforcement
action that ultimately got to him?
HILL: Well, those remarks (INAUDIBLE) just in terms of time line of
things. I mean, we first started hearing things on the scanner at a house
at 67 Franklin Street a little bit before 7:00. This wrapped up in about
As you point out, though, it was right after that press conference
wrapped, and I should point, we are expecting another shortly from the
state police, but over my right shoulder we had seen a few SWAT vehicles
there, and then all of a sudden, they peeled out of here. Once they
started it move, a number of vehicles were coming through.
Officers were moving so much more quickly than earlier under the day.
There was a purpose to their movement. They were not making eye contact.
They had no comment for anybody`s questions. But they were bringing in so
many more officers. At least one bus load came in, two dozen officers, not
to mention all of the cars that came through.
And you can tell they meant business. They were clearly on to
something and they wanted to get there as quickly as they could.
MADDOW: Erica, in terms of what we are seeing on the streets. Can
you give us a sense of what it like for residence in Watertown today? Even
once the governor lifted the shelter in place order for all of greater
Boston, the police did explain that doesn`t necessarily apply to you in
Watertown. There will be extreme measures taken in the blanket presence of
law enforcement in Watertown. How did people cope with not being able to
leave their homes, knowing the suspect was in fact among them?
HILL: Those cars go by.
One of the things that is interesting, as you know, they were going
house to house searching Rachel. They told us in that press conference,
they searched 20 blocks, 20 streets. When they came to streets next to us,
again they didn`t come making a huge presence. They were in full gear.
They had guns out. They had K-9 teams but went calmly to each house.
There is a balcony we could see. We saw two people come out on the
balcony and it appears the officers said to them, we need to you get back
There were three officers stationed on the street throughout the rest
of the afternoon. Everyone now and then, you would see talking to someone
on the front stoop but they didn`t linger long. They went back inside.
And even after the shelter in place order was lifted, as you
mentioned, we heard that there`s still be an increased police presence here
in Watertown. It is expected to last two to three days. The police chief
here saying, look, I know there are a lot of events tomorrow, on Saturday.
We are going to have them. But just with increased police presence.
You can imagine the relief many people feeling tonight. Not only
that they can come outside and be on the streets as you can hear them hear
all around us. But also that tomorrow they can go to the event they have
planned, perhaps without added police presence they were expecting.
MADDOW: Erica Hill on the ground in Watertown for us – Erica, thank
you. I`m sure we will be back with you as residents fled out of their
homes into the streets to cheer on law enforcement to congratulate them as
Boston police say emphatically, we got him.
Joining us now from Washington is NBC News justice correspondent Pete
Pete, can you bring us up-to-date on how they got him and what
happens now that they do have him?
PETE WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Pete, can you bring
us up-to-date on how they got him and what happens now that they do have
him. Well, it all started with the woman`s house that is who has the boat
in the backyard. She alerted police that she saw blood on the tarp of her
boat. She called police. They sent a helicopter overhead.
Thermal imaging device on the helicopter detected someone on that
boat. So, they began to move in cautiously. We don`t know precisely how
it went down. But we know from listening that there was some kind of
exchange of gunfire.
And then after a pause, the police in tactical gear assaulted the
boat. They threw what are called flash bang grenades that make a bright
noise and emit a bright flash and there was some pause after that. Then at
some point, either he gave up or they talked him out, and he ended up being
captured alive and has now been taken to the hospital.
MADDOW: Pete, we are told there was a negotiator on scene.
Presumably that would be then trying to talk him out of the boat, as you
said. Was that key to the resolution of this?
WILLIAMS: I don`t know. I think one thing that may be key to the
resolution was the fact he was wounded. And we believe the wound is not
from this encounter today. But that he was wounded last night in his hail
of gunfire exchange with the Watertown police, in which authorities say 200
rounds were fired. And then he sped away. His brother was killed in that
We were told by police he was wounded. We just don`t know how
serious his wounds are, although the police say that he`s lost a fair
amount of blood and is in a weakened condition. And that may have
contributed to the resolution to this as well.
MADDOW: Pete, the advice or the instruction that I`ve seen in terms
of how to describe this, is that Boston police say that he is believed to
have suffered a gunshot wound and lost blood. Do we know if they are being
very specific that it is a single wound? Obviously, we are wondering if he
is going to survive and if he is going to be in a position to be questioned
and go on to trial.
WILLIAMS: Yes. And I don`t think there is any reason to think that
he won`t be in a condition to go on trial. But, you know, we don`t know
how much blood he lost. He was able to hold them off for a while. We just
I think I wouldn`t read too much into the fact that they said a
gunshot wound because I doubt he got a very thorough medical examination as
they were getting him out of the boat and put him into the ambulance.
MADDOW: Pete, do you know what will happen to him now in terms of
where he is brought and whose custody he will be in?
WILLIAMS: Oh, yes. He will be in federal custody. These bombing
cases are a federal case by federal law. They give the FBI jurisdiction.
The crime of domestic terrorism is a federal kind of crime. It trumps the
So, this will be a federal case. He will be in the jurisdiction and
the control of the FBI now. They will, after he is treated and when he can
start answering questions, they will try it start questioning him and with
the goal of eventually putting him on trial for use of a weapon of mass
MADDOW: Pete, is there any reason to believe he would be moved out
of Boston? We`re used to terrorism trials, particularly high profile
terrorism trials in this country, being held in the southern district New
York or occasionally in Virginia. Those courts where they are described to
us as being particularly capable of not only dealing with classified
information but just with handling big high profile cases. Boston will
presumably want it keep this one there.
WILLIAMS: Yes, they will, of course. And there is a law that says a
federal crime has to be tried in the jurisdiction in which the offense is
committed. So, that`s the default – that`s the government`s starting
point. It has to be by law.
Now, obviously, the defendant can ask for change of venue. Think of
the Oklahoma City bombing trial. That crime happened in Oklahoma City but
the trial was in Denver. So, there can be changes of venue.
And there probably would have been a change of venue had Jared Lee
Loughner ever gone on trial and didn`t plead guilty in Gabby Giffords
shooting. That trial would probably have been in California instead of
Arizona. But it never got to that.
So, you know, who knows? It may be there. Zacarias Moussaoui who
was charged being one of the would-be hijackers was tried not very far from
the Pentagon, where one of the planes on 9/11 hit.
So, you don`t always get a change in venue in the federal system.
But you can. And so, we`ll see how that works out.
MADDOW: NBC`s Pete Williams, thank you as always, Pete. It`s been
great to have you here.
WILLIAMS: You bet.
MADDOW: We`re going to turn now to NBC`s Michael Isikoff.
The word from Boston police is that the suspect is in custody. The
hump is over. Justice has won.
Hearing there from Pete Williams that this will be an FBI situation.
We don`t know how bad the suspect is hurt. We are told that he does at
least one gunshot, that has bled some. But the resident from the streets
in Watertown are out applauding law enforcement for having this guy in
custody right now.
Michael Isikoff joins us now from Watertown.
Michael, what can you tell us?
MICHAEL ISIKOFF, NBC NEWS INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (via
telephone): Rachel, I just got to say, this is a remarkable scene just
over the last 20 minutes to half an hour, when word has gotten out that
suspect is in custody. People have been out on the streets, watching and
waving with their cell phone when the word came that he`s in custody.
Cheers burst out from the crowd and as police exited here, people are
giving a cheer for each vehicle. High-fives to the police – high-five and
cheers for police and fire, the fire department, first responders.
You can hear it still going on. I saw policemen congratulating each
other, waving to crowd. They were very much warmed by the kind of
reception that they were getting. There`s a real sense of community here
on the streets of Watertown.
MADDOW: Michael, in terms of understanding the relief here.
Obviously, the country is feeling relief because of not only this guy not
being at large, but this being the first step toward justice, having him in
custody so he can face justice for what authorities say that he has done.
But in Watertown specifically, the catharsis is somewhat different, because
of the relief that must be felt just from being able to get out.
Can you talk to us at all about how heavy the law enforcement
presence was? What it was like there?
ISIKOFF: Well, look, I mean, this is such a community literally
under siege from one guy, which is – which is – just how much terror and
fear could be provoked in a community by two and just one individual.
One man I was talking to said, when he heard gunfire tonight, and
that`s what started this around 6:30 when the gunshots came out, and are
hurt, he said, (INAUDIBLE) he`s heard gunfire. Last night, there were two
other rounds that were fired by the two suspects at police.
So it`s a lot for people here to have been through in just such a
short period of time. And so, yes, there is a real sense of relief. But
also, as I said, it is striking, the gratitude that people feel towards law
enforcement for the job they did here.
MADDOW: Absolutely. You can see the gratitude of people on the
street for law enforcement. You can also see the relief of law
enforcement. I think they are happy to be thanked, but you can see them
turning to each other.
Michael Isikoff in Watertown, on the ground for us, we`ll be coming
back to you, Michael. Thank you very much.
ISIKOFF: Thank you.
MADDOW: I actually just want to go cross town back to Erica Hill,
who is also out of town. Erica, I understand you have some new formation
HILL: Yes, Rachel. I`ve been talking to some people. One woman I
spoke with who live literally just behind me, she said she was above the
store, she was inside all day. She said she was so scared.
And when the order was lifted, she thought, it is lifted but he is
still out there. I`m not going outside. She was watching coverage on TV
and when they heard the cheers down here on the street, she and her husband
thought it`s safe to come out. And they came outside.
She couldn`t wipe the smile off her face.
I want to tell you, too, I know that you saw when we first came to
you at the top of show, when you came to us, when the cars came by, you
could hear the cheering. When the first SWAT vehicle came by, it was
Boston P.D. SWAT vehicle and the officer inside put on the loud speaker and
as he came down the street, he said, “It was our pleasure. It was our
pleasure for turning your city back over to you.” And chants of “USA”
HILL: We are expecting Rachel to get more information, a press
briefing which we are expecting to happen around 9:30. We are hoping to
get more questions answered that point.
MADDOW: Erica, you are in the middle of a very good scene but it is
a very a loud scene.
MADDOW: It`s loud for all the right reasons. No, it`s great. It`s
great to have you there. Thank you. We will be coming back to you.
You know, it has to be said. For all of the different law
enforcement agencies involved here, we have all seen on social media and on
the news today in Watertown specifically, just the unbelievable
multilayered presence of all of those different kinds of law enforcement.
Obviously, it`s Watertown P.D. It`s Boston P.D. It`s the ATF. It`s
the FBI. It all sorts of different tactical and SWAT teams. National
Guard was on scene.
I mean, we have seen so many different people involved in the law
enforcement side of this on scene. And it has to be a very emotional
situation for them. I mean, an MIT police officer was killed last night.
An MBTA police officer was wounded in this fight.
This has been combat for police in Boston. So they have been mindful
of that, knowing they are the ones out there putting themselves in danger
in the first instance trying to protect the public. Some of their own have
been hurt and killed in this situation.
So, their relief, not only that he did not get away – he got away
from the first dragnet last night, the one that killed list brother – to
have not gotten away another time to have finished this on their own terms.
You have to imagine that for law enforcement themselves – yes, Watertown
is out there applauding them, but you have to imagine that for law
enforcement themselves, this has to be a cathartic and very emotional time.
Joining us now is former ATF special agent-in-charge James Cavanaugh.
Mr. Cavanaugh, I have to imagine that it is gratifying for you to see
the public turning and literally cheering in the streets for law
enforcement. I just have to ask your overall reaction on how this has
resolved thus far.
JAMES CAVANAUGH, FORMER ATF SPECIAL AGENT-IN-CHARGE: Yes, this is
the best resolution, Rachel, that this killer is alive, this terrorist is
alive and he can be debriefed by the professionals debriefers at FBI and
CIA even maintained for these terrorist targets, that we can glean some
You know, it`s about now stopping the next attack. And so, whatever
we can get from him, how he did it, how his methods were, how he was
radicalized, that`s going to help.
I predict that Boston medical will patch him up. I think he is hurt
pretty bad. He has been bleeding all night. But they will patch him up
and he will sing like he is on the voice. And they`ll get information from
him and then face the bar of justice.
And, you know, he has it get justice. It has to be a fair trial.
It`s going to be a drawn-out process because it`s going probably to involve
a death penalty case, terrorist charges, there`s also state murder charges.
But he is facing a mountain range of evidence against him. But that all
has to transpire in the bar of justice. He needs a fair trial. But it`s
going to be a long process.
MADDOW: How does law enforcement work out that balance in terms of
needing to keep him alive. Needing to afford him humane medical treatment
but wanting urgently to know if this plot is over, if there are any other
devices out there. If there are any other people involved, how did they
work with the medical, the medical folks in this situation? In terms of
negotiating when they get to start talking to them?
CAVANAUGH: Well, usually, it is not a problem because, you know, you
are staying close with them pretty much. And the doctors, you know, they
do like it push out. I mean, they`ve got to work on his injuries.
But it depends on how critical they are. You know, can you get close
to him? Can you talk it him pretty soon?
They set aside of hospital rooms. They used to do it when I was a
uniform policeman, waiting for them operate on someone we had to interview
who is involved in some kind of violence.
So, it`s pretty routine in law enforcement to deal with injured and
shot people, blown up people. They will be able to do that. The FBI and
CIA and intelligence community developed protocols to deal with these
terrorist types and they are very good at extracting the information.
They will get everything this guy`s got. He is not that
sophisticated. He is 19 years old. He thinks he is big Mr. Terrorist of
the world. But he`s going to give all of the information up we can get.
The rest of it is going to be in the computers, Rachel, at his house.
MADDOW: Yes, especially because we know he is an avid social media
user, and his brothers as well.
The live shot that you`re looking at here on the streets of Watertown
We are on the line with Jim Cavanaugh, former ATF special agent-in-
James, you may not know the answer to this. But I feel like I should
ask anyway, one of the things that Bush – excuse me – the Obama
administration did shortly after taking over from the Bush administration
is that President Obama established an elite high value target special
interrogation team, which he said that he would use for any high value
terrorism targets that would be sort of the state of the art A-team on
This is a federal case. This guy is in FBI custody. Is this the
sort of case in which the president`s A team on interrogation would be
called in, or would this be handled by your standard professional FBI
CAVANAUGH: I would say the high value target team would be in Boston
already and they want to interview this guy.
MADDOW: All right.
CAVANAUGH: You know, these are U.S. citizens. And whatever the
protocol that that high value team developed, it`s going to have to come
You remember, this guy came to the U.S. when he was 8 years old. So,
he is a U.S. citizen. All of his rights are afforded but, yes, I`d say
that team is there. And if they are not the ones doing the interview, they
are standing outside the door talking to the agents who are doing the
MADDOW: James Cavanaugh, former ATF special agent-in-charge. We`ll
be back with you, James. Thank you very much for your time tonight.
I want to go back to NBC`s Michael Isikoff. He`s the national
investigative correspondent for NBC News. But more importantly, right now,
he is in the happiest place on the Eastern Seaboard. He`s in Watertown,
Massachusetts, where residents are literally standing in the streets
cheering and clapping for law enforcement as they go by.
Michael, it seems like it is getting more crowded and maybe more
ISIKOFF: It`s certainly been festive. But if we can take the
discussion to where you just were.
ISIKOFF: There are a lot of important questions here that people are
going to want answers to. The principal one is how did these two guys
(INAUDIBLE) become radical. How did this happen?
And we learned some new information today that actually is
intriguing, that the older brother, the gone to Russia for six months last
year. We don`t know where in Russia he went. But he went. We don`t know
who he spoke to, who he met with.
But when he comes back and within one month of his return to the
United States, that YouTube account in his name pops up, August of 2012.
And, suddenly, he has these radical jihadist postings on there. His video
about the black banners of (INAUDIBLE), which is an al Qaeda cry, and the
final battle between Islamic army from Central Asia against the infidels.
Now, where did that come from? How did that happen? Was it inspired
by or encouraged by people he met in Russia? That a serious question. Not
just philosophically, in terms of policy dealing with radicalization, but
You know, were there others guiding these guys? Were there people
who are giving him instructions? Like allegedly took place in
Abdulmutallab, in Detroit bombing attack? All those are pretty important
questions for U.S. intelligence as well as law enforcement.
We still don`t know, did they have other accomplices here they were
working with? They`re going to have the computers. They`re going to have
the cell phones. The FBI will be dissecting these minutely, trying to see
who they were contact with, who they made phone calls to. But there is a
lot of work for law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the days and
MADDOW: And, Michael, I would just say, it would seem to me like
tonight, before they get to the motivational issues and what may have
motivated his brother who is dead now, there are still questions about
explosive devices. I mean, these guys were able to put together a number
of explosive devices. Not just the ones at the marathon but enough to
check them out the window of a moving car at police as part of the standoff
last night, just blocks away from where you are now in Watertown.
Are there other devices? Were there other people involved? That
stuff may be about the continuing safety of Bostonians tonight before we
even get to some of the –
ISIKOFF: Right. I have to say, I mean, we know today that there
were something like seven IEDs recovered in the last 24 hours since all
this began. One of them was in Boston, apparently in Charlestown, not
directly in proximity of these guys. So, how did they get there? And are
there other IEDs that have been planted around Boston or stored some place
that would pose a threat to public safety?
I have to say, I was a little – I found it hard to understand when
Governor Patrick announced it was OK for people to go back on the street
and how that was different from the situation a few hours earlier when he
was encouraging, tell be everybody it stay inside. What changed?
ISIKOFF: At that point, he was still in custody. But I always
thought he was like the most dangerous part of it was the possibility there
were more IEDs out there that law enforcement couldn`t account for.
MADDOW: That decision may have just been because of the inability to
keep a city as large as Boston locked down that tightly for any longer.
But, we will, hopefully, more when we get to tonight`s press briefing later
Michael, please stay with us. Right now, I want it go to Mike
Mike Callahan lives about a block and a half away from the house
where the second suspect was apprehended tonight. Again, you see on your
screen the big news tonight. Boston police, the simple statement, “We got
Mike, thank you so much for being with us. Can you describe the
scene for us, what it was like on your block before he was taken into
MIKE CALLAHAN, NEIGHBOR (voice-over): Right now, I`m in Mt. Auburn
and Common Streets.
CALLAHAN: There`s about 150 people outside, every time a cop goes
by, there is an eruption of cheers and thank yous. That this town can get
back it a sense of normalcy. And this is a stressful day for everyone.
And on the other end of the block down here, on Franklin Street, there`s
another cheer – I don`t know if you can hear people cheering now. But
everyone is just so happy and ready to get back on with our lives. So
happy we got him.
MADDOW: Mike, tell me what it was like. Everybody is relieved.
Everybody is happy to hear he is in custody. But in Watertown and
especially you, being so close to where he was picked up, it has to be an
emotional relief. Just a contrast in terms of what it was like earlier
today. What was it like before you got him?
CALLAHAN: Every street corner, there was a state trooper with his
iPhone next to him, at every corner of my entire neighborhood, there was
all day, starting from last night. Then today, after Deval Patrick said he
was lifting the ban, I was literally on my way out the door to a friend`s
house. Then there were cops on my street and then next thing we know, they
knew where he was.
And it was basically like I`ve been waiting it take a deep breath for
24 hours. I was like, finally, now the entire community of Watertown is
jut breathing in and breathing out together. It is so relieving.
The town hasn`t seen anything like there before. It is a quiet town.
Everyone knows everyone. Now, we are out here joining together after this,
just to celebrate that we can somewhat get back to normal.
MADDOW: Mike, when you were in your house and you knew that was
going on, did you feel like you could take shelter? Did you have a
basement? Were you worried about straight bullet?
CALLAHAN: Not at first. When I did hear the four shots fired, when
they were closer to my house, it was alarming. I wasn`t sure – there are
reports going out, that was he on his feet or still stuck in the boat?
That when I started to take more shelter but when the crime scene was a few
streets up, I didn`t really feel unsafe. I knew I was in good hands.
There were cops on every corner.
It was more stressful than anything, just wanted it to be over.
MADDOW: Right. Well, people, the relief, you can hear it on the
street and I can hear it behind you over the phone. Mike Callahan, thank
you. I`m glad it ended for you the way it did.
CALLAHAN: Bye, thank you.
MADDOW: Thanks for being with us.
Joining us now is Charlie Pierce, who spent the day reporting in
Watertown for “Esquire” magazine.
Mr. Pierce, thank you for joining us.
Can you give us your take on what`s happening right now, and your
reaction to how this ended?
CHARLIE PIERCE, ESQUIRE: I`m presuming you`re speaking to me. I`m
MADDOW: Yes. Hi, Charlie. It`s Rachel.
PIERCE: It`s good to see again.
MADDOW: Good to see you, too.
PIERCE: I was standing in the very same cemetery as Michael Isikoff,
not 10 feet from him, only half an hour ago. It`s been a day of almost,
you would use the word absurdity if it wasn`t so serious. I mean, from the
press conference where they announced they didn`t have a suspect and lifted
the stay in your house order and then, five minutes later, I saw five
police cars make those screaming cop movie U-turns right in front of me.
All of a sudden, there was a helicopter. Then the entire denouement starts
almost on queue.
It was funny because I began the day in Washington. I was in
Washington doing some work yesterday. I came up in the middle of the day
today. And this is, this area, is right where my family used to live a
long time ago and where I do most of my work from is this small office in
So to see the geography of your life all over television with armored
personnel carriers and everything was a little bit daunting.
MADDOW: Charlie, I`m going to interrupt you just for a second
because the police press conference, including Governor Deval Patrick is
just about to start. So, we`re going to go to that right now.
We`ll come back to you Charlie, stand by.
COL. TIM ALBEN, MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE: I thought you all went
We are so grateful to be here right now. We are so grateful to bring
justice and closure to this case. To those families that lost loved ones
or suffered injuries that they`ll live with the rest of their lives, for a
police officer, a young man starting a career at MIT and a police officer
with MBTA who almost lost his life, and from neighborhoods that lived in
fear for an entire day, we are eternally grateful for the outcome here
We have a suspect in custody.
I want to thank all of the partners who worked tirelessly over the
last four days, including the FBI, the transit police, our brothers with
the Boston Police Department, U.S. attorney`s office, and the support that
we`ve gotten from our governor over the last four days.
We`re exhausted, folks, but we have a victory here tonight. But
let`s not forget those people along the way. Thanks very much.
GOV. DEVAL PATRICK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Thank you, Colonel.
Well, on behalf of Krystle and Martin and Lingzi, on behalf of the
MIT officer who was lost last night and the transit police officer who was
injured, on behalf of the hundreds of people who were hurt by the
explosions at the marathon, I want to say how grateful I am to the colonel,
to the special agent in charge, Rick Deslauriers, to all the law
enforcement who worked so well and so hard together, together, to bring us
to tonight`s conclusion.
It was a very, very complicated case, a very challenging case, and
there are still some questions remaining to be answered. But as the
colonel said, because of that extraordinary collaboration and cooperation
by all of these law enforcement resources and assets and more to the point,
people, professionals, who brought their “A” game, we have a suspect in
I want to also just thank all of the members of the public for their
extraordinary patience. Their participation in this investigation by
reviewing photographs of their own and others that were up through the
media, and we thank you for that, and helping us narrow in on these
suspects. They were helpful and patient and we are grateful for that as
well. It`s a night where I think we`re all going to rest easy – Carmen.
CARMEN ORTIZ, U.S. ATTORNEY: Good evening. I`m United States
Attorney Carmen Ortiz.
And I have to say that both the governor and the colonel have put it
tremendously well. Tonight, we feel a tremendous sense of gratitude and
relief. The ordeal that this community, especially this neighborhood, has
endured over the last 24 hours, tonight we can sleep a bit easier.
And all of the unpredictable, horrific and yet heroic acts that have
occurred over the last several days starting with the terrible bombing
attacks that occurred on Monday, here we are and not forgetting the victims
of the crimes that have occurred over the last several days. The victims
of the bombings, as the governor said, Martin, Lingzi, Krystle, two
officers have been hurt, one who lost his life, Sean Collier, Richard
Donohue who is fighting for his life. Our thoughts and our prayers are
with their families.
Tonight, you are going to have many questions but I want to say as I
have said the last several days, this has been a very active and ongoing
investigation. And although for some of you, tonight is a closure, for me,
the journey continues. And so this will continue to be an ongoing and
active investigation as we sort all the details, continue to evaluate a
tremendous amount of evidence and file our formal charges.
But I will say this: I have never been prouder to stand with a
tremendous group of law enforcement here, from the colonel to the
commissioner to my federal colleague, Rick Deslauriers with the FBI. All
of the federal agencies, the state and local departments that have worked
so hard, so hard since the attacks on Monday, so committed and putting
their lives on the line as we fought the last 24 hours to try to get a
suspect into custody.
And so my journey and my office`s journey begins, and this
investigation will continue so we will not be able to provide the details
that you may want at this time. But as the days continue, you will get
answers to those questions. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mayor Menino?
MAYOR TOM MENINO, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS: I just want to say very
briefly – thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you to the law
enforcement officials who worked together, state police, Boston police,
FBI, all working together. That`s when government works the best.
I want to thank also the citizens out there.
For the last week, unknowing what`s happening out there because of
the bombing at the marathon, but today, because of the hard work of so many
individuals, by Boston police working together with the state police, we
have a conclusion that we`re all satisfied with.
Also, folks – remembering the folks that lost their lives this past
We shall go on. We`re a better city than what happened this past
week and we`ll get better.
To all of you folks in the media, thank you for the support you gave
us for this past week. It wasn`t easy. Some days you said to us why. Let
me tell you, they were working hard.
I spent a lot of time with law enforcement officials. They worked so
hard this week to come to a conclusion. Tonight is a night we say thank
you to them. The work they did, tracing down every one of those leads that
we got. It`s so significant that we came to the end of this case today.
Now, it`s up to her job. I feel so good about this, I tell you. I`m
so happy because the people in the greater Boston area will be able to
sleep tonight because of the work of these individuals.
RICK DESLAURIERS, FBI SPECIAL AGENT-IN-CHARGE: Good evening. My
name is Rick Deslauriers. I`m the special agent in charge of the FBI`s
Boston division. It seems like many months since Monday, April 15th, the
day of the Boston marathon bombings. Yet it has been merely five days
since the tragic explosions that took three lives, critically injured over
180 spectators and instilled terror and fear among the citizens of the city
of Boston, the commonwealth of Massachusetts, and elsewhere.
Today, the city of Boston, the city of Cambridge and the city of
Watertown, and many other communities can breathe a sigh of relief knowing
that two perpetrators who caused so much pain and anguish are no longer a
threat to our personal safety and to our communities. Together, with the
action and support of our Joint Terrorism Task Force partners, many of
which are on the stage with me this evening, the FBI and our partners
remain vigilant and continue to follow through thousands of leads and
sifted through hundreds of tips, through thousands of man-hours to reach
This was truly an absolutely intense investigation and I do emphasize
a truly intense investigation. As a result of that, justice is being
served for the victims of these terrible crimes.
I want to personally express the FBI`s profound thanks to each of our
partners for bringing us to this moment here this evening. No one agency
alone accomplished this critically important task of keeping the city of
Boston and the commonwealth of Massachusetts safe.
Thank you very much. And I support you – I thank you for your
support of our media campaign the other day which publicized the photos. I
thank you very much for the support the media provided us on that. It was
phenomenal. I think each and every one of you tonight. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Commissioner Davis?
ED DAVIS, BOSTON POLICE COMMISSIONER: Four days ago, my city was
ruthlessly attacked. There`s no explaining the savagery involved here.
There`s no explanation for it.
I spent the last several days looking at hundreds of hours of
videotape. I got to see how brutal that attack was over and over and over
again. But more importantly, I got to see what the Boston police officers
who responded to that scene, along with the medical personnel and the other
first responders did to put people back together.
Tourniquets, stemming the bleeding with their hands, putting a man
who was on fire out with their hands – these are the kind of things that
came out of this savagery. It makes me proud to be a Boston police
officer. It makes me proud to be a part of this team.
Rick Deslauriers from the FBI could not be more cooperative. We`ve
sat together almost hour for hour for the last four days, sharing every
single bit of information in a real team. Colonel Alben, the same way.
Carmen Ortiz with us all the time.
And then, to bring the governor and the mayor together, leading the
city of Boston in responding to this. I finally just want to say that the
citizens of this city have been incredible. They have been patient with
us. They have endured an enormous amount of heartache and aggravation over
the last four days. We`re very happy to try to put this back together.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Watertown Police Chief Deveau?
ED DEVEAU, WATERTOWN POLICE CHIEF: As the police chief of Watertown,
I can`t be prouder of my community and the men and women of the Watertown
Police Department. What they`ve been through, what we`ve been through the
last 24 hours, I wouldn`t want to see another police department go through.
The support that we`ve had from all the different agencies mentioned
tonight over the last 24 hours has been incredible. To see so many
agencies work together with the governor, with the mayor of Boston, and our
officials in Watertown, has been really great.
I have spoken to the people in Watertown before but I can`t thank you
enough. The community stood strong and it was a call from a resident in
Watertown, we asked you to remain vigilant and you did. We got that call
and we got the guy.
So we can`t thank you enough. You`ve done everything and more that
we`ve asked. Extremely proud of law enforcement today and what we`ve
accomplished. Thank you.
REPORTER: Chief, did you have communication with the suspect?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excuse me. We`re not done. Chief MacMillan
from the MBTA?
CHIEF PAUL MACMILLAN, MBTA: I just want to thank all those who sent
their thoughts and prayers to Officer Donohue and his family. Please know
that it was deeply appreciated. Thank you.
I also want to commend all of the law enforcement agencies who took
part in this. This is truly dedication and commitment at its best. I`m
proud to be part of it. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Special agent in charge of the ATF.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name (INAUDIBLE) special agent in charge of
Today, the entire world witnessed this law enforcement community`s
commitment to apprehending these offenders. Make no doubt that this
combined effort will never cease in its protection of every city, every
town and every neighborhood in our nation. The prayers from every ATF
employee will continue to go out to the victims as they heal from this
senseless act of violence.
May God bless the citizens.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Suffolk County district attorney Dan Conley.
DAN CONLEY, SUFFOLK COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Thank you very much.
I was listening to the police action all afternoon on the radio, and
I would like to join my voice or add my voice, I should say, to those who
came before me to say what an extraordinary police operation across all
jurisdictions that I was able to listen to and witness today.
I was down at the scene early on and in our business, Carmen, myself,
it`s about accountability and I can`t say how happy I am, how pleased I am,
that the second subject was taken alive. This will really ensure
accountability for the victims and their families, so congratulations to
all law enforcement for a job very well done, and now the task ahead for
accountability. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`ll take questions.
REPORTER: How did the events transpire at the boat?
DAVIS: There was a call that came in to the Watertown police, three
Boston police officers along with state troopers and FBI agents responded
to Franklin Street. A man had gone out of his house after being inside the
house all day, abiding by our request to stay inside. He walked outside
and he saw blood on a boat in the backyard. He then opened the tarp on the
top of the boat and he looked in and saw a man covered with blood. He
retreated and called us.
We set up a perimeter around that boat and over the course of the
next hour or so, we exchanged gunfire with the suspect who was inside the
boat, and ultimately, the hostage rescue team of the FBI made an entry into
the boat and removed the suspect who was still alive in the boat.
REPORTER: Can you talk about the imperative of taking him alive?
DAVIS: We always want to take all the suspects alive.
REPORTER: I understand that, sir. But can you talk about it in the
context of this particular individual? Can you talk about accountability?
Can you talk about why you wanted to take him?
DAVIS: We always want to take somebody alive so we can find out what
happened, why it happened, and we can hold them for justice.
REPORTER: How badly – how badly injured –
DAVIS: The hostage rescue team actually did work in trying to
negotiate him out of that boat. They did try to talk him out although from
what I understand, he was not communicating.
REPORTER: Have they aided and abetted the suspect?
DAVIS: Actually, I don`t have that information.
REPORTER: Commissioner Davis, can you talk about the suspect`s
REPORTER: Are there other suspects out there? Have you got your
guy? This is it?
DAVIS: I think based upon our investigation at this point in time,
the citizens of the city of Boston and this area can be confident that the
threat has been removed.
REPORTER: What kind of condition is the suspect in?
DAVIS: Suspect is in serious condition at the hospital.
REPORTER: How do you know these are the suspects you were looking
for? They didn`t rob the 7-Eleven so how did you know they were there at
the same time?
DAVIS: The suspects came to our attention after a vicious
assassination of a police officer at MIT and a subsequent robbery that
occurred where we got videotape from a gas station. The robbery actually
was a carjacking. The car was taken from the scene. Officers engaged that
car from the Watertown police department along with other officers. We
were then able to put the case together.
REPORTER: – was the suspect shot when you were apprehending him at
the boat? Was he shot by police officer?
DAVIS: The man who found him at the boat said that he was covered
with blood. We assumed that those injuries occurred the evening before.
There was an exchange of gunfire at the boat. I don`t know if he was
DAVIS: There was a house in New Bedford the hostage rescue team went
into for the FBI because we felt it was important to the investigation but
the suspect was not found there.
REPORTER: Given that he was still out there and armed –
DAVIS: I`m sorry.
REPORTER: Can you talk more about the assassination of Sean Collier?
Was he shot and killed (INAUDIBLE)? What do you know about that?
DAVIS: My assessment of that particular incident is that he was
assassinated in his cruiser.
REPORTER: Do you know what he was doing there?
DAVIS: He was responding to a call for a disturbance.
REPORTER: Given that he was out there, still armed, was it a mistake
to give the all-clear, let people go outside? Could they have been at
DAVIS: We certainly did not give an all-clear. We made it clear
that people and Colonel Alben is here and spoke eloquently to this. This
is a very serious and dangerous situation. We had no information that the
suspect was still holed up in this particular area. He managed to elude us
by being just slightly outside of the perimeter that we set up.
But in truth, we told everybody that this was a dangerous situation
and they should be cautious. This is a very dangerous time in the world.
We have to use caution. That`s what we asked people to do.
Thankfully, this man who found the suspect called us right away, did
the right thing, got on 911. We were able to come in and take care of the
REPORTER: Did he have explosives with him when he was captured?
DAVIS: There`s no report of explosives with him at capture but I got
to tell you, I was at the scene last night just after this incident
occurred. There was an exchange of over 200 rounds of gunfire. There were
improvised explosive devices and hand-made hand grenades thrown at officers
at the scene. This is the stuff in an urban police department, it`s almost
So these officers acted heroically, courageously. They protected the
community. And they protected the – each other when they responded to
this scene. I`m so proud of the actions of the Watertown Police, state
police, Boston Police. It`s been an incredible team.
REPORTER: Did he have a weapon –
DAVIS: He did. You know what, I can`t say – I was told that there
was an exchange of gunfire. I was not there when he was taken out of the
REPORTER: No Miranda warning made public (INAUDIBLE). Could you
explain that for us?
DAVIS: Actually, the United States attorney may – the FBI may want
to explain that. It`s a federal issue.
REPORTER: Had the boat been searched earlier –
ORTIZ: Just a minute. We`re going for the question.
DAVIS: No, it did not.
ORTIZ: What was the question?
REPORTER: There was no Miranda warning given, they were claiming a
public safety exception. Could we get an explanation?
ORTIZ: There is a public safety exemption in cases of national
security and potential charges involving acts of terrorism. And so, the
government has the opportunity right now, though I believe that the suspect
has been taken to a hospital. We`ll start there. Thank you.
Yes? I`m sorry –
REPORTER: Will you seek the federal death penalty?
ORTIZ: You know, what I indicated earlier is that this is still an
active, an ongoing investigation. We`re going to be reviewing all of the
evidence before that kind of a decision is made in terms of whether or not
to seek the death penalty, you review all of the evidence, and it`s a very
thoughtful, long process that is engaged. And it`s the attorney general of
the Department of Justice that makes that final decision.
REPORTER: Commissioner –
ORTIZ: I`m sorry. Karen?
REPORTER: Straight to the boat and then can or the colonel talk a
little about what happened when you were on the scene. Was he moving
around, how did you know it was finally a chance to take him into custody?
Yes, I`m going to –
DEVEAU: We know he didn`t go straight to the boat. We – when we
set up the perimeter with the best intentions with a lot of information.
We found blood in the car that he abandoned, we found blood inside the
house behind the perimeter. So, we had no indication that he had gotten
outside of the perimeter. As we said, it was very chaotic early this
morning. We had an aide, police officer, who was shot, bleeding. So
there`s a lot going on.
We thought we got the perimeter solid, and we pretty much did that,
but we were about one block away. So – he had to be moving a little bit
after he was behind a house for a period of time that we know.
REPORTER: How did you know that you could take him into custody?
Had he been moving around –
ALBEN: Sure. The reason we knew this is our helicopter had detected
the subject in the boat. We have a – what`s called a forward looking
infrared device on the helicopter. It picked up the heat signature of the
individual even though he was underneath what appeared to be the shrink
wrap or a cover on the boat itself and there was movement from that point
on. The helicopter was able to deliver the tactical teams to the area and
ultimately take him into custody.
REPORTER: Was the boat searched during the day on the perimeter?
ALBEN: Yes, it was outside the perimeter during the day. It was not
searched. This was the act of a citizen who went out and discovered this
individual in the boat and ultimately called the Watertown Police
Department and resulted in this – our response.
REPORTER: What were the suspects doing at MIT? Were they –
REPORTER: Is there a chance the suspect won`t make it and won`t live
to tell what happened?
ALBEN: I`m sorry?
REPORTER: Is there a chance the suspect won`t make it?
ALBEN: I don`t know. I did not see him when he was taken into
custody. I know he`s in serious condition, but I don`t know to what
ALBEN: I think we`ve taken enough questions for now. Thank you.
Thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
MADDOW: Press conference in Watertown, Massachusetts, wrapping up,
hearing from the governor, from the mayor of the city of Boston, from head
of the police department in Watertown, to the U.S. attorney, to the special
agent in charge of the FBI, the special agent in charge of the ATF, it was
the round robin of all the agencies involved.
We got the most from the commissioner of police, Ed Davis, that gave
us a number of granular details about what happened to take this suspect
I should tell you that as I run down these details, that we are
awaiting President Obama who`s due to speak live on this matter within a
matter of minutes. So, we will go to that as soon as it happens.
In terms of new information that we just learned, the most remarkable
thing is how they found him. The Watertown police chief got up his turn at
the mike, said we got that call from a Watertown resident and that`s how we
got the guy.
We`re told that a resident once the shelter in place order was lifted
stopped sheltering in place, went outside. His boat was parked outside the
house. He noticed blood on the tarp that covered the boat. The resident
approached it and pulled the tarp back and saw the suspect hiding inside
the boat covered in blood.
The resident retreated, called 911. Police immediately screeched to
the scene, set up a perimeter, and flew a helicopter over the site. A
helicopter that was equipped with thermal imaging technology so they could
use essentially the suspect`s heat register, they could tell there was a
live body inside that boat. They knew there was then a reason to go in.
Ultimately, we`re told that it was the hostage rescue team of the FBI that
tried to talk him out of the boat. He was described as non-communicative,
presumably talking didn`t work. We don`t know how they got him out.
We`re told that there was exchange of gunfire. Shots were fired at
the boat at that time, but they do not know if that`s where the suspect
sustained his gun shot wounds. Since the resident saw him covered in blood
when he first pulled back the tarp, imagine that moment when they make the
movie of this, since the guy was already covered in blood, they presumed
that he was already wounded from previous exchange of gunfire last night,
although it could have been somebody else`s blood, we don`t know.
They don`t know if he was hit again. He`s described as being in
Apart of being asked if there might be other assailants, if there
might be people on the loose that pose a threat to the people of Boston,
the answer from police commissioner was essentially not a direct answer,
but he said sort of vague terms that he believes that Boston can feel safe
tonight with this young man in custody.
Again, this is detail that we didn`t necessarily have at this point,
in terms of how he got away last night, interestingly, what they`re saying,
the Watertown chief giving the most detail on this, essentially saying they
set up a perimeter, it was a firm perimeter. They don`t believe they lost
anything out of the perimeter they set up but it was too small. He eluded
the perimeter by one block. And that is how he eluded capture until that
shelter in place order was lifted and law enforcement could once again
count on members of the public to help them get this guy.
Joining us now, NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker.
Kristen, how did the president find out about the capture?
KRISTEN WELKER, NBC NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rachel, I
can tell you according to administration sources, FBI Director Robert
Mueller made the president aware of tonight`s arrest. Of course, this is
the phone call that he has been hoping to get all day and really all week,
if you think about it. Robert Mueller has been keeping the president up-
to-date not only through the day briefing him, but really briefing him the
past several days during this developing story. Now, the president also
held a briefing with his entire national security team early this morning,
Rachel. And, he`s continued to monitor the swaying.
We haven`t really heard from anyone from the White House today on
camera. That is by de. They didn`t want to speak about it because it was
evolving, there were so many unknowns. And before any top official here
came out and said something on the record, they wanted to be sure they
understood exactly what was happening. I can give you a sense of what was
going on behind the scenes, Rachel. Administration officials were watching
not only our newscasts but local feeds as well so they could monitor
exactly what was happening and have a tick tock as we were doing all night
long, watching this incredible scene unfold.
But as you point out, President Obama is expected to speak. He
wanted to wait for the press conference in Massachusetts to wrap up. We
expect him any minute now – Rachel.
MADDOW: Kristen Welker at the White House – thank you.
I want to bring in to this discussion, my friend Richard Engel.
Thank you for being here, Richard.
We have since learned since we started talking this suspect, when
he`s well-enough to be questioned, will be question by a federal government
team called high value detainee interrogation group, consists of FBI, CIA,
and the Defense Department and Obama administration officials telling NBC
News tonight that no Miranda warning is going to be given when he`s
physically able to be interrogated. They`re going to invoke the public
safety exemption is something they can only do for about 48 hours or so.
RICHARD ENGEL, NBC NEWS CHIEF FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it`s a
public safety exemption that`s designed to get immediate actionable
intelligence. Are there more bombs out there? Do you have suspects, are
there other suspects on the loose? Are you working with anyone? Those are
the immediate questions.
Two pieces of very good news that came out of this tonight. One,
that he was taken alive.
ENGEL: All day I have been speaking with counterterrorism officials,
their number one priority was get this guy alive because they want to know
was he part of an international terrorist organization? Does he have other
colleagues out there? Are they still working on other kinds of attacks?
The second was that reaction we saw, the applause. Because in the
forums that celebrate terrorism, and there are many of them all day, they
were saying this is great thing. These jihad forums, that people are
afraid, they`re spending millions of dollars for the city in lockdown. And
instead of seeing a city cowering, they saw a city clapping.
MADDOW: A city in the street, this live shot in Watertown, the
people in the street relieved to be out of their homes and applauding,
tearfully applauding and cheering every law enforcement vehicle that goes
We will be back live at midnight Eastern with a live look what
happened today. MSNBC`s rolling coverage continues.
Stay with us. Lots to come, including the president`s remarks from
the White House expected in just a moment.
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