Boston Police: Bombing Suspect in Custody - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Boston Police: Bombing Suspect in Custody

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President Barack Obama says the capture of a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing closes what he calls "an important chapter in this tragedy."

Obama spoke from the White House briefing room shortly after law enforcement took 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev into custody in a boat in a Watertown, Mass., neighborhood. His older brother was killed earlier Friday in an attempt to escape police.

Obama says the nation owes a debt of gratitude to law enforcement officials and the people of Boston for their help in the search for the men.

Obama says there are still many unanswered questions about the Boston bombings, including whether the two men had help from others. He is urging the public to not rush to judgment about their motivations.

Police say the 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings exchanged gunfire with law enforcement for an hour while holed up in a boat before being captured.

Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis says the suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was hospitalized late Friday in serious condition.

His brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan, was killed earlier Friday in a furious attempt to escape police.

Police announced via Twitter that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was in custody.

The suspects' clashes with police began hours after the FBI released photos and videos of them.

The burst of activity came at the end of a tense day in and around Boston, and less than an hour after police announced that they were scaling back the hunt because they had come up empty-handed following an all-day search that sent thousands of SWAT team officers into the streets and paralyzed the metropolitan area.

Before the gunfire, State Police Col. Timothy Alben said at a news conference that he believed Tsarnaev was still in Massachusetts because of his ties to the area. But authorities lifted the stay-indoors warning for people in the Boston area, and the transit system started running again by evening. 

"We can't continue to lockdown an entire city or an entire state," Alben said. At the same time, he and other authorities warned that Tsarnaev is a killer and that people should be vigilant.

Tsarnaev fled on foot after a furious overnight gun battle that left 200 spent rounds behind and after a wild car chase in which he and his brother hurled explosives at police, authorities said. His brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died in the shootout, run over by his younger brother in a car as he lay wounded, according to investigators.

During the overnight spasm of violence, the brothers also shot and killed an MIT policeman and severely wounded another officer, authorities said.

Law enforcement officials and family members identified the brothers as ethnic Chechens who came to the U.S. from Russia. They lived near Boston and had been in the U.S. for about a decade, an uncle said.

Around midday, as the manhunt dragged on, the suspects' uncle Ruslan Tsarni of Montgomery Village, Md., pleaded on television: "Dzhokhar, if you are alive, turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness."

"We believe this man to be a terrorist," Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said. "We believe this to be a man who's come here to kill people."

Monday's bombings killed three people and wounded more than 180 others.

The brothers came from a Russian region near Chechnya and lived together in Cambridge, Massachuetts.

Chechnya was the scene of two wars between Russian forces and separatists since 1994, in which tens of thousands were killed in heavy Russian bombing. That spawned an Islamic insurgency that has carried out deadly bombings in Russia and the region, although not in the West. (AP)

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