Dzhoklar Tsarnaev, 19, one of 2 Boston Marathon explosions suspects is alive, in custody and with medical needs. Around 7:30 PM, Friday, an alert resident spotted something that was out of synch. There was a quantity of blood on a boat. The man lifted the covering and saw a young man in the boat covered with blood. 911 was immediately called and law enforcement responded in force locking down the area of the shrink-wrapped boat dry-docked at the end of a driveway at 67 Franklin St. in Watertown, Massachusetts. A neighboring family of 10 children and adults was quickly evacuated and the job of removing a frightening threat to Boston-area safety commenced. A giant on and off floodlight played on the boat in an intermittent symphony of light and dark.
Considering the final hours before the capture included about 20 initial shots, a series of small explosions, 6-10 flash grenades, a possible exchange of gunfire and repeated demands that Tsarnaev get his ass out of the boat; “Come out with your hands up”, things were downright serene and uneventful at the very end. Most likely young Tsarnaev was too weak to offer any more resistance. The suspect was tucked into a police car and the officer drove the accused killer of multiple victims to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital for treatment for what was found to be serious gunshot wound most likely suffered in a Thursday night shootout. He may be there for a few days. He remains in serious condition. He looked like a mess in a close-up photo published online by the Washington Post. He was lucky. Had he not been found, he most likely would have bled to death.
After being released, Tsarnaev will go through the perp walk of being booked, processed and arrested. There’ll be no bail and a grand jury will undoubtedly indict him and we’ll be treated to a trial that will enrapture the country. The bad guy will get his due in spite of the fact that an aunt thinks the videos of the defendant and his brother were faked. Of course the older brother and terror mentor, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, has already paid the ultimate price of death. The media reported his age as 27 as the story broke. He was actually 26. Another reporting misstep was the robbery of a convenience store. The brothers did not commit the robbery as first reported. It was someone else, but it may have been serendipitous insofar as the store’s camera’s captured a perfect image of the younger Tsarmaev.
Death was the overarching stench in the aftermath of the series of terrorist events permeating Boston and its surrounding suburbs. At the Marathon, 3 died; an 8-year-old boy, a 29-year-old young woman who loved life and a 23-year-old female Chinese grad student, poised to have a great future. There were an estimated 140 injured in the explosions, 3 are still in critical condition.
There were at least 10 amputations. A young MIT police officer was shot to death on campus and a 33-year-old Transit police officer remains in critical, but stable condition after the early morning shootout with the brothers. The elder suspect was killed and 15 officers injured by bullets and the explosive debris in that exchange of gunfire and explosives. That’s a huge trail of evil chaos from 2 brothers who were afforded every opportunity for success and a good life in their adopted country.
So the death of one brother and the capture of another has been accomplished. There was a huge collection of law enforcement officers from Boston and every corner of the state. The FBI played a key role as well. All involved did their jobs deliberately and professionally with no injuries to residents. There was some inconvenience and I’m sure a few angry citizens undergoing a few uncomfortable minutes misidentified as possible accessories or fellow travelers. On balance though, it was really an extremely speedy job wrapping things up in the matter of days. All involved in the effort deserve our thanks and appreciation.
It was and will continue to be tragic theater with an endless stream of unanswered questions. What was the older brother doing in Russia for six months in early 2012? There were suggestions that he was on the FBI’s radar for the last 3 years. Did the brothers receive any training, money and/or ongoing advice from committed and experienced international terrorists? What turned a young man universally beloved by all who knew him into a monster beyond forgiveness? Is this a two-man terror statement or part of a larger planned scheme that may continue at high-profile events? Did the brothers have any help from local acquaintances in carrying out the Boston Marathon attack?
Senseless violence again captures its unseemly percentage of the American culture grid. Also, as colleague Jason Easley pointed out, guns played their inevitable role in killing even more of our citizens.
I’ll admit to being surprised that young Tsarnaev didn’t take his own life. Perhaps he tried by inviting police gunfire. I don’t know quite the full extent of his injuries other than the gunshot, but, while I think he’ll survive, he may yet accomplish his goal.