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Watertown, Massachusetts, Shut Down in Hunt for Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect

Friday, 19 Apr 2013 09:01 AM

By Alexandra Ward

The city of Watertown, Mass., has effectively shut down as police search door-to-door for the second Boston Marathon bombing suspect Friday after a night filled with car chases, gunfire, and explosives left the first suspect dead.

The suspects have been identified by NBC News as the Tsarnaev brothers from Chechnya. Suspect #2, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is reportedly still on the loose.

As of Friday, Police have suspended all vehicle activity in Watertown, a surburb about six miles northwest of Boston, and shut down all businesses and mass transit. Residents in other neighborhoods, including Cambridge, Waltham, Newton, Arlington, and Belmont have also been instructed to stay indoors.

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A 20-block area of east Watertown around Dexter, School and Laurel Streets has been locked down as police go door-to-door searching for Tsarnaev, Watertown Police Chief Edward Deveau said in a statement.

"The most important message that we are doing right now is for public safety and for the safety of the people in that neighborhood," Colonel Timothy Alben said in a statement. "We are asking everyone to shelter in place for the time being, not to leave their homes and if they see something suspicious other than a police officer coming to their door they should call 911 immediately."

The chaos began about six hours after authorities released photos of the two bombing suspects to the media Thursday. Overnight, the men reportedly robbed a 7-Eleven, shot a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer to death, carjacked an SUV, and threw explosives out the window during a chase with police. A Transit Officer was wounded in the scuffle. 

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Neighbors described hearing gunshots and explosions overnight as police traded shots with the suspects.

"Gunshot, gunshot, gunshot, gunshot," Watertown resident Adam Healy told the Boston Globe. "Then I saw an explosion and saw a burst of light in the sky." 

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