Chilling Details in Bombing, Manhunt Are Revealed

Suspect to car-jacking victim: "Did you hear about the Boston explosion? I did that."

The criminal complaint filed against Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev provides a chilling new look at the moments just before and just after the explosions, as well as new details of the manhunt to capture him.

Tsarnaev was charged Monday with the use of a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death.

The details of the bombing were pieced together from video surveillance and photographs, according to the complaint:

  • The suspects -- referred to as Bomber One and Bomber Two in the complaint -- are first seen on surveillance footage at 2:38 p.m. on April 15, when they turn from Gloucester Street to Boylston Street. Both are carrying large knapsacks. "As set forth below," the complaint says, "there is probably cause to believe that Bomber One is Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Bomber Two is his brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev."
  • As seen on several security cameras and photos, both men walked down Boylston Street towards Fairfield Street. At about 2:41 p.m., both suspects stood together a half-block from the Forum Restaurant, between Fairfield and Exeter Streets.
  • At about 2:42 p.m., the suspects split up. Bomber One walked towards the Marathon finish line by himself, with his backpack still on his back.
  • Three minutes later, Bomber Two walks in front of the Forum Restaurant and stands near a metal barrier among the spectators. His backpack is still on, and he's facing the runners. He then slipped the backpack onto the ground -- a photograph taken from across the street showed the backpack at his feet, on the ground.
  • Bomber Two remained in that spot for about four minutes. He occasionally looked at his cell phone, and once appeared to take a photo with it. About 30 seconds before the first explosion, he held the phone to his ear and talked into it for about 18 seconds. A few seconds after he finishes the call, the crowd reacts to the first explosion. "Bomber Two, virtually alone among the individuals in front of the restaurant, appears calm," according to the complaint. "He glances to the east and then calmly but rapidly begins moving to the west, away from the direction of the finish line. He walks away without his knapsack, having left it on the ground where he had been standing."
  • About 10 seconds later, the second explosion occurs where he left the backpack.

Three days later, at about 5 p.m. on April 18, the FBI released photos of the two suspects. That kicked off an intense manhunt that included a carjacking, a wild chase and the shutdown of the entire city of Boston and some surrounding areas before Tsarnaev was found hiding in a parked boat in a backyard in Watertown, Mass. Here are details from the complaint:

  • At about midnight that night, a man was sitting on his car in Cambridge, Mass., when a stranger approached the car and tapped on his passenger-side window, according to the car's driver. When the driver rolled down the window, the man reached in, opened the door, got in the passenger seat and pointed the gun at the driver. "Did you hear about the Boston explosion," the gunman said, according to the complaint. "I did that." The man removed the magazine from the gun and showed the victim that the gun was loaded, and then said, "I'm serious."
  • The suspect forced the victim to pick up the second suspect. Then they took the victim's keys and made him move to the passenger seat. The two suspects spoke in a different language.
  • They demanded money from the victim, and he gave them $45. They forced the victim to give them his ATM card and password. They stopped at a gas station on Memorial Drive in Cambridge, and the victim managed to escape.
  • The stolen car was located soon after in Watertown, and police gave chase. The suspects threw two explosive devices out of the car on Laurel Street, and a gunfight ensued. "One of the men was severely injured and remained at the scene," the complaint said. "The other managed to escape in the car." The car was found soon after, abandoned a few blocks away. There was another explosive device in the car.
  • At the scene of the shootout, the FBI found two unexploded IEDs, and remnants of several exploded IEDs.
  • Later that night, on April 19, police discovered someone hiding in a covered boat on Franklin Street in Watertown. After a standoff in which police exchanged gunfire with the man, he was captured and  searched. He had suffered gunshot wounds to the head, neck, legs and hand.
  • Police found a University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth ID card, credit cards and other forms of ID, all in the name of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. 
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