Boston bomb suspect 'dead' after shooting of MIT guard

Suspects in marathon bombings tied to guard's murder and explosions in Watertown

LAST UPDATED AT 09:50 ON Fri 19 Apr 2013

ONE of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings is dead and another is on the run, following a shoot-out with police and a series of explosions, The Boston Globe reports.

Commissioner Ed Davis told a press briefing of the man on the run: "We believe this to be a terrorist. We believe this to be a man who's come here to kill people."

The Globe says an "official with knowledge of the investigation" has linked the hunt for the bombing suspects – whose faces are shown in a photograph released by police last night [see picture above] – with the overnight shooting of a campus security officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. So far, the link has not been confirmed by US authorities.

The murder of the guard – who was responding to a disturbance at MIT's Strata Center – was followed by chaotic scenes in Watertown, a Boston district near MIT. There are reports of a carjacking, heavy gunfire and several explosions. About 20 residential blocks of Watertown are still in "lockdown" this morning and residents have been ordered to remain inside.

Andrew Kitzenburg of Watertown told the New York Times he saw a confrontation from a third-floor window last night. Two men in jackets were "engaging in constant gunfire" with police officers.

Kitzenburg said the gunmen tried to detonate a bomb. "They lit it, still in the middle of the gunfire, and threw it. But it went 20 yards at most," he said.

There are also reports that "explosives and a pressure cooker" have been found by police in Watertown. State police spokesman David Procopio said: "The incident in Watertown did involve what we believe to be explosive devices possibly, potentially, being used against the police officers."

The Globe confirms that witnesses in Watertown have reported hearing "explosions" and a police helicopter has been circling the area and using its spotlight. Dozens of police officers, members of the National Guard and heavily-armed Homeland Security officers have moved into the district and reporters have been told to switch off their mobile phones.

"We are aware of the law enforcement activity in the greater Boston area. The situation is ongoing," the FBI said in a statement issued this morning. "We are working with local authorities to determine what happened." · 

Disqus - noscript

was the MIT guard armed?

It is likely that the MIT guard was armed, although very lightly and almost useless if confronted by a planned attack of several people. They are usually there to stop fights and enforce the school. Typically with low-grade or no armor he would definitely have a baton and a small-arms pistol, perhaps a Glock 17 as the common pistol of choice.

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.