Investigators had their break.
Although police had previously said the carjacking victim had left his cellphone in the Mercedes SUV, enabling police to track its location via GPS, Haas said Sunday the phone was found on Memorial Drive near the gas station. It was past 11 p.m. now, and as the Mercedes sped west into Watertown, one of Deveau's officers spotted it and gave chase, realizing too late he was alone against the brothers driving two separate cars. When both vehicles came to a halt, Deveau said, the men stepped out and opened fire. Three more officers arrived, then two who were off-duty, fending off a barrage. When a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officer, Richard Donohue, pulled up behind them, a bullet to the groin severed an artery and he went down.
"We're in a gunfight, a serious gunfight," Deveau said. "Rounds are going and then all of the sudden they see something being thrown at them and there's a huge explosion. I'm told it's exactly the same type of explosive that we'd seen that happened at the Boston Marathon. The pressure cooker lid was found embedded in a car down the street."
In the normally quiet streets of Watertown, residents rushed to their windows.
"Now I know what it must be like to be in a war zone, like Iraq or Afghanistan," said Anna Lanzo, a 70-year-old retired medical secretary whose house was rocked by the explosion.
As the firefight continued, Tamerlan Tsarnaev moved closer and closer to the officers, until less than 10 feet separated them, continuing to shoot even as he was hit by police gunfire, until finally he ran out of ammunition and officers tackled him, Deveau said. But as they struggled to cuff the older brother, he said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev jumped back in the second vehicle.
"All of the sudden somebody yelled 'Get out of the way!' and they (the officers) look up and here comes the black SUV that's been hijacked right at them. They dove out of the way at the last second and he ran over his brother, dragged him down the street and then fled," he said.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
A few blocks over, Samantha England, was heading to bed when she heard what sounded like fireworks. When she called 911, the dispatcher told her to stay inside, lock the doors and get down on the floor. She reached for the TV, trying to figure out what was going on.
"As soon as they said it on the news, that's when we started to freak out and realize they were here," England said.
But after all the gunfire, the younger Tsarnaev had vanished. Officers, their guns drawn, moved through the neighborhood of wood-frame homes and cordoned off the area as daylight approached.
At Kayla DiPaolo's house on Oak Street, she scrambled to find shelter in the door frame of her bedroom as a bullet came through the side paneling on her front door. At 8:30 a.m., Jonathan Peck heard helicopters circling above his house on Cypress Street and looked outside to see about 50 armed men.
"It seemed like Special Forces teams were searching every nook and cranny of my yard," he said.
Unable to find Tsarnaev, authorities announced they were shutting down not just Watertown, but all of Boston and many of its suburbs, affecting more than 1 million people. Train service was cancelled. Taxis were ordered off the streets. Filming of a Hollywood movie called "American Hustle" — the tale of an FBI sting operation — was called off. In central Boston, streets normally packed with office workers turned eerily silent.
"It feels like we're living in a movie. I feel like the whole city is in a standstill right now and everyone is just glued to the news," Rebecca Rowe of Boston said.
But as the hours went by, and the house-to-house search continued, investigators found no sign of their quarry. Finally, at about 6:30 p.m., they announced the shutdown had been lifted.
- 2 cops in New York City ambushed, fatally...
- The Associated Press' top 10 movies of the year
- NYPD: Cop ambush killer told passers-by to watch
- Police boss: NYC cops 'quite simply,...
- 9 films advance in Oscars shortlist for best...
- 'Hobbit' goes out on top with $90.6 million...
- What people never mention when they talk...
- Christmas 1914: The day even WWI showed humanity
- Obama: US re-establishing diplomatic... 49
- Vermont governor abandons single-payer... 32
- A post-election flurry: Obama tests his... 16
- Police boss: NYC cops 'quite simply,... 16
- Forget Santa Claus, Virginia. Was there... 16
- Sony cancels 'The Interview' Dec. 25... 15
- NYC premiere of Rogen film 'The... 8
- NYPD: Cop ambush killer told passers-by... 8