Police killed one suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing during a shootout and were engaged in a house-to-house search for the other on Friday in the Boston suburb of Watertown.
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Authorities warned people in Watertown not to leave their homes and not to answer the door after a night in which a university police officer was killed, a transit police officer was wounded, and the suspects carjacked a vehicle, leading police on a chase.
Police were searching for the man known as Suspect 2 who was photographed wearing a white hat just before the explosions that killed three people and wounded 176. The blasts triggered security scares across the United States and evoked memories of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
The bombing suspects attacked police with explosives and gunfire before the man known as Suspect 1 was shot, apprehended, and taken to a hospital, where he died, officials said.
Officials shut down area transit systems while the manhunt was under way.
According to U.S. media reports, two suspects are brothers of Chechen origin who have been residing in Cambridge, Massachusetts for more than a year. A National Security official confirmed the names of the Boston suspects as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
"We believe this to be a terrorist," said Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis of the bombing suspect still at large. "We believe this to be a man who has come here to kill people. We need to get him in custody."
Anzor Tsarnaev, the father of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, spoke with The Associated Press by telephone from the Russian city of Makhachkala on Friday after police said one of his sons, 26-year-old Tamerlan, had been killed in a shootout and the other, Dzhokhar, was being intensely pursued.
He claimed that his son who is still on the loose is a smart and accomplished young man.
"My son is a true angel," the elder Tsarnaev said. "Dzhokhar is a second-year medical student in the U.S. He is such an intelligent boy. We expected him to come on holidays here."
The two men were wanted for Monday's twin bombings at the Boston Marathon, when two blasts ripped through the crowd near the finish line.
The massive police operation was under way in Watertown after the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation on Thursday released pictures and video of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing.
The FBI had enlisted the public's help in identifying two men wearing backpacks and baseball caps in the crowd minutes before bombs exploded near the finish line.
How the night began
About five hours after the FBI released the pictures of the bombing suspects, a police officer was shot and killed on the campus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Middlesex County District Attorney said in a statement.
A short time later, police received reports of a carjacking by two men who kept their victim inside the car for about half an hour, the statement said.
Police pursued that car to Watertown, where explosives were thrown from the car at police and gunfire was exchanged, the statement said.
"During the exchange of the gunfire, we believe that one of the suspects was struck and ultimately taken into custody. A second suspect was able to flee from that car and there is an active search going on at this point in time," Colonel Timothy Alben, superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, told a news conference.
"What we are looking for right now is a suspect consistent with suspect No. 2, the white-capped individual who was involved in Monday's bombing of the Boston Marathon," Alben said.