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Watertown, Boston suburbs on lockdown as search for suspect intensifies
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Two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing killed an MIT police officer, injured a transit officer in a firefight and threw explosive devices at police during their getaway attempt in a long night of violence that left one of them dead and another still at large on Friday morning, according to the Associated Press.
Authorities have described the remaining suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev of Cambridge, Massachusetts, as a dangerous terrorist and have urged residents of several Boston-area cities and towns to stay in their homes. All modes of Boston-area transit have been suspended. Businesses are being asked to remain closed as the search continues. The AP is reporting that an empty SUV linked to the suspect has now been found in Boston.
Katie Zezima, a correspondent with the Associated Press covering the events from Watertown, says clashes between the suspects and the police took place in a very residential area of Watertown.
“There were people in the street just because they were woken up by it at two or three in the morning. They were nervous, there were sounds of gunshots that were going off, there were dozens and dozens of police cars, SWAT team vehicles,” says Zezima.
This morning, Boston police took to Twitter to urge people not to use social media to reveal where police are conducting searches.
“If the suspects themselves were on a smartphone or some kind of mobile device and were monitoring social media, they could get information that would put those officers at risk,” says William Ward, professor of social media at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Ward adds that the directive may also help to keep local area residents safe and accurately informed.
“It’s kind of a nervous, scary feeling,” says Arthur Paloukos, who owns Linda’s Donuts in Belmont, Massachusetts. “We locked the back door, it is nerve-wracking, especially when the SWAT teams came walking by with the dogs, and yelled at us to be inside and don’t open the door.”
This morning’s events began only a few hours after the FBI released photos and videos of the two young men, who were seen carrying backpacks as they mingled among marathon spectators. The bombings on Monday killed three people and wounded more than 180 others, and authorities revealed the images to enlist the public’s help finding the suspects.
This story has been updated to include the name of the suspect and the directive from the Boston Police Department. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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