Specially trained operators with the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team made the final capture, following a standoff and exchange of gunfire.
Tsarnaev was taken to a hospital where doctors declared he was in serious condition. The U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, Carmen Ortiz, said last night that no decision had yet been made about whether to seek the death penalty.
While Boston’s streets were empty, electronic airwaves and the Internet were jammed as television crews swarmed Tsarnaev family members for interviews from Maryland to Canada, and as far away as Russia. Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook lit up with news, rumors and commentary.
The number of people following Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Twitter feeds skyrocketed to more than 35,000 in just a few hours. The FBI used the Twitter messaging system to alert citizens that the surviving brother might be driving a “1999 four-door, green Honda Civic with Massachusetts license plates,’’ only to cancel the alert an hour later.
Meanwhile, his former classmates at Cambridge Rindge & Latin School posted online expressions of sorrow.
“He’s a smart guy,’’ his aunt, Maret Tsarnaev, told reporters in Canada. “Studied well.’’
The unanswered questions include any idea of motive or explanation for how the two brothers came to be possible murderers.
“Somebody radicalized them,’’ the brothers’ uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, told reporters outside his suburban Maryland home late Friday morning.
In one hint of potential radical interests, a profile published under Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s name on Vkonta, a Russian-language social media site that resembles Facebook, had links to news videos about terrorist attacks on the subways in Moscow and in the Belarus capital of Minsk.
The uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, told reporters that the brothers were ethnic Chechens, though they were not born in Chechnya. The younger brother was born in Kyrgyzstan, Tsarni said. An aunt, Toronto resident Maret Tsarnaeva, said on Canadian television that the father worked as a lawyer and in an “enforcement’’ agency in his home country, which she said eventually put him at risk.