The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Breaking News

State and Nation

April 20, 2013

In Boston and beyond, thanks and jubilation

(Continued)

The surviving suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was taken to a hospital after engaging in a firefight with police while hiding out in a parked boat in a Watertown backyard. Earlier in the day, his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, had been killed in a gunbattle and car chase during which he and his younger brother hurled explosives at police from a stolen car, authorities said. During the getaway attempt, the brothers killed an MIT policeman and severely wounded another officer, authorities said.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I think that this would result in a shootout in Watertown," said Sheamus McGovern, of neighboring Belmont.

Less than 24 hours after the shootout, police officers and firefighters stood grim-faced with guns and rifles, lining the street leading to the property about a mile away where the younger brother was believed to be holed up in the boat.

Reporters and spectators lined up on the other side. The mood was tense, with the few neighbors who ventured out hugging and crying as they heard bangs. Others merely looked on curiously.

Then, one officer slowly started clapping. Then it spread to the crowd. Then loud cheers broke out.

People in the crowd started asking, "Is he alive?" One of the officers nodded, yes. Any time a first responder emerged from the street, there was loud applause.

"They finally caught the jerk," said nurse Cindy Boyle, 41. "It was scary; it was tense." She said she knew when police started clapping that everything would be all right.

Celebratory bells rang from a church tower in Watertown after the capture. Teenagers waved American flags in the center of town. Every car that drove by honked. Every time an emergency vehicle went by, people cheered loudly.

Liz Rodgers, a 65-year-old attorney, took one of the pieces of yellow police tape and tied it around her neck like a necklace.

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