Boston – The city of Boston and its surrounding suburbs are virtually paralyzed as police fan out in search of a 19-year-old college student wanted in the Boston Marathon bombing after his older brother and alleged accomplice were killed in a furious overnight getaway attempt.
During the long night of violence, the brothers killed an MIT police officer, severely wounded another lawman and hurled explosives at police in a car chase and gun battle, authorities said.
The suspects were identified by law enforcement officials and family members as Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, ethnic Chechen brothers who had lived in Dagestan, which neighbors Chechnya in southern Russia. They had been in the U.S. for about a decade, an uncle said, and were believed to be living in Cambridge, Mass.
The manhunt brought life in large swaths of the notoriously gridlocked Beantown to a screeching halt, leaving residents and tourists alike frustrated and angry.
"It took me an hour and a half to find a coffee this morning," Daniel Miller, a financier from New York, said as he wandered the desolate plaza beside a statue of patriot Samuel Adams. "I was joking with a person that I guess the strategy is we'll make this person not be able to get a coffee in the morning, and maybe they'll give up."
For Steve Parlin, who is staying at a veteran's shelter on Court Street, in the shadow of City Hall, the scene was nothing to joke about.
"Helicopters are flying over," the Gulf War-era Coast Guard veteran said as he strolled across the plaza, a bottle of water in his hand. "Everything's closed. It's creepy. Machine guns. Creepy."
Gov. Deval Patrick, Mayor Thomas Menino and Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis ordered all people in the city of Boston to shelter in place. Thousands of workers were told to stay home.
Authorities in Boston suspended all mass transit and warned close to 1 million people in the entire city and some of its suburbs to stay indoors as the hunt for Dzhokhar continued. Businesses were asked not to open. People waiting at bus and subway stops were told to go home.
From Watertown to Cambridge, police SWAT teams, sharpshooters and FBI agents surrounded various buildings as police helicopters buzzed overhead and armored vehicles rumbled through the streets. Authorities also searched trains.
"We believe this man to be a terrorist," said Davis. "We believe this to be a man who's come here to kill people."
As the manhunt stretched into the afternoon, Amtrak stopped all trains between New York and Boston. All major intercity bus lines suspended service to the area. Passengers were being allowed to get refunds or rebook for travel at a later date. And the airlines were allowing customers to change plans without paying a fee.
Amtrak was stopping northbound service at New York City's Penn Station. Part of Amtrak's Downeaster service, which runs from Brunswick, Maine to Boston, was also stopped according to spokesman Cliff Cole.
Authorities suspended service on commuter trains into Boston as well as the city's subway — called the T — and the city's buses. That includes the Silver and Blue lines between Logan and downtown.
All major highways remained open, according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. The exception was in Watertown, Mass., the center of the manhunt.
Megabus canceled at least 22 buses between Boston and New York, New Haven, Conn., Hartford, Conn., Burlington, Vt. and Philadelphia. More than 1,000 passengers were affected, according to spokesman Mike Alvich. They received emails offering a refund or the option to rebook for free.
Bolt Bus, Greyhound and Peter Pan Bus Lines also suspended service. Passengers booked on canceled Bolt trips received refunds to their credit cards, according to Timothy Stokes, spokesman for Greyhound and Bolt Bus.
Along with mass transit, sporting and music events planned for Friday evening were also put on hold due to the manhunt.
Boston Bruins and Red Sox games scheduled for Friday night postponed and the filming of David O. Russell's film "American Hustle" in Boston was suspended.
Sony spokesman Steve Elzer said Friday that the film's producers are heeding official requests to remain indoors as a massive manhunt Friday virtually shut down the city and some suburbs.
All schools in the Boston area have been closed, including Harvard and MIT where last night’s chaos began.
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth says it closed its campus and ordered an evacuation after confirming that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is registered there. The school says it closed the campus "out of an abundance of caution" as the search continued.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.