The search for the vehicle led to a chase that ended in Watertown, where authorities said the suspects threw explosive devices from the car and exchanged gunfire with police. A transit police officer was seriously injured during the chase, authorities said.
In Watertown, witnesses reported hearing multiple gunshots and explosions at about 1am yesterday morning. Dozens of police officers and FBI agents were in the neighborhood, and a helicopter circled overhead.
Watertown resident Christine Yajko said she was awakened at about 1:30am by a loud noise, began to walk to her kitchen and heard gunfire.
“I heard the explosion, so I stepped back from that area, then I went back out and heard a second one,” she said. “It was very loud. It shook the house a little.”
She said a police officer later knocked on her door and told her there was an undetonated improvised explosive device in the street and warned her to stay away from the windows.
“It was on the street, right near our kitchen window,” she said.
Police spokesman David Procopio said: “The incident in Watertown did involve what we believe to be explosive devices, possibly, potentially, being used against the police officers.”
Boston taxi driver Imran Saif said he was standing on a street corner at a police barricade across from a diner when he heard an explosion.
“I heard a loud boom and then a rapid succession of pop, pop, pop,” he said. “It sounded like automatic weapons and then I heard the second explosion.”
He said he could smell something burning and advanced to check it out, but area residents at their windows yelled at him: “Hey, it’s gunfire. Don’t go that way.”
Doctors at the hospital where Tamerlan Tsarnaev died said they treated a man with a blast injury and multiple gunshot wounds.
In the past, insurgents from Chechnya and neighboring restive provinces in the Caucasus have been involved in terror attacks in Moscow and other places in Russia.
Those raids included a raid in Moscow in October 2002 in which a group of Chechen militants took 800 people hostage and held them for two days, before special forces stormed the building, killing all 41 Chechen hostage-takers. Also killed were 129 hostages, mostly from effects of narcotic gas Russian forces used to subdue the attackers.