On April 15, 2013, two homemade bombs exploded a few meters from the finish line of the Boston Marathon, in Massachusetts (northeastern United States). The extremely popular sporting event then turned into a tragedy: three people were killed and several hundred injured. One hundred and two hours later, Djokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was arrested, seriously injured. As his trial opens on Monday January 5, a look back at the key moments of this manhunt.
On this public holiday marking Patriots’ Day in Boston, tens of thousands of people gathered on the marathon course. At 2:49 p.m., two bombs, placed 195 meters apart, exploded twelve seconds apart.
Some five thousand seven hundred runners did not finish the race. It is stopped and downtown Boston cordoned off. There are two hundred and sixty-four injured, of which fifteen will have to be amputated.
The investigation starts with a bang: more than twenty agencies are grouped under the direction of the FBI. President Barack Obama promises “Full resources” from the federal government.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, is apparently returning home to care for his three-year-old daughter, his younger brother, Dzhokhar, 19, posted this message on Twitter: “There is no love in the heart of the city, protect yourself. ” The two men, Muslims of Chechen origin, have been living in the United States for ten years.
In a city under pressure, rumors multiply. A Saudi student is suspected, then exonerated. Investigators go through hours of surveillance camera recordings. They spot two men – the Tsarnaev brothers – without being able to identify them yet. Djokhar Tsarnaev, for his part, is back on his campus at the University of Massachusetts, in Dartmouth, south of Boston.
Investigators publicly mention a suspect. False information about an arrest rushes journalists and onlookers to court. Djokhar Tsarnaev, meanwhile, continues to tweet.
An ecumenical ceremony is held at Boston Cathedral. President Obama attends.
A 17 h 20 : the FBI releases photos and footage from the surveillance cameras at a press conference. Investigators then show two suspects they nickname “white cap” and “black cap”. They ask for the help of the population to identify them.
Around 10:20 p.m .: as the noose tightens on the Tsarnaev brothers, they try to flee. They kill a policeman on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) campus to try to steal his gun.
Around 11 p.m .: they assault the owner of a Mercedes 4 × 4, force him to get $ 800 from an ATM and drive with him to the suburbs of Boston. Along the way, they talk about going to New York to carry out a bombing in Times Square.
Around 12:15 a.m.: the hostage manages to escape while his vehicle is stopped at a gas station. He gives the alert to the security forces.
Around 12:45 a.m.: the car is spotted in Watertown, a western suburb of Boston. The police intervene. During the confrontation, Tamerlan Tsarnaev is killed and several police officers injured. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev fled. He abandons the car eight hundred yards further, then disappears on foot.
Residents of the region are kindly requested to stay at home. Nine thousand members of the police, assisted by armored vehicles and helicopters, track down the suspect. Public transport is suspended, schools and universities closed.
Around 6:30 p.m .: Djokhar Tsarnaev is located by a resident who saw that the tarpaulin of his boat had been moved in his garden. He sees a body covered in blood and warns the police.
A 20 h 45 : the police announce on Twitter the arrest of the young man. It is broadcast live on television channels. He is seriously injured.
See also our interactive timeline: Boston: how the hunt for the suspects went