Watertown police chief remembers bombing aftermath - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Watertown police chief remembers bombing aftermath

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WATERTOWN, Mass. (WHDH) - Watertown Police Chief Ed Deveau said he was proud of the way his officers responded last April when his city was under siege.

When the reports started coming in that there was an active incident in Watertown, none mentioned that police were involved in a gun battle with the suspected Boston Marathon bombers, who were allegedly throwing bombs at police from a hijacked car.

By the time it was over, one police officer was fighting for his life, one of the suspects was dead, and the other was on the loose, causing a city-wide shutdown.

"I had so many fears," Deveau said. "They had already hijacked one person. That was one of the reasons we wanted to stop all the movement of vehicles, for people's own protection...We didn't want to see anybody else get hurt. And then you had the fear of him maybe getting into a home. You had the fear of him escaping. So there's a lot of things that went through all our minds about what's going to happen next."

Hundreds of officers from dozens of agencies were brought in to help in the manhunt. After nearly 20 hours of door-to-door searching by SWAT, a Watertown resident found the wounded suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hiding in a boat.

"Once we realized this was most likely it, we were able to, with the resources we have, just slow everything down, slowly bring the armored vehicle in, take the shrink wrap off the boat and try to do everything right and make sure that we could take him alive if at all possible," Deveau said.

In the end, Tsarnaev was captured alive and Deveau was able to breathe a sigh of relief.

"I felt a lot of relief that we were able to have no more injuries, able to catch your breath and see, okay, it really did work out here. We got the job done, and everybody's safe, and that was, you know, a big deal."

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