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April 19, 2013

Bombing suspect dragnet locks down Boston

(Continued)

BOSTON —

Officials said the suspects threw grenade-like bombs and fired guns at police during and after the chase. A transit policeman helping with the pursuit was seriously wounded. Officers shot Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of the two brothers, when he rushed toward them firing a gun. He was later found to have a small bomb strapped to his body. Emergency room doctors said he died from bullet and shrapnel wounds.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, described by the FBI as the "white cap" suspect in video and photo images from the marathon bombings scene, fled the shoot-out by speeding the carjacked SUV through police. Officials said he later switched to another car and then fled on foot.

The driver of the SUV said he was held hostage by the suspects for a half-hour. He said they told him they were the marathon bombers and that they had killed a police officer that very night. He was let go unharmed at a gas station after they had withdrawn $800 from an ATM with his bank card.

Authorities identified the MIT police officer killed Thursday night as Sean Collier, 26, of Somerville, Mass. The MBTA Transit Police Officer shot during the gunfight with the suspects is Richard H. Donahue Jr., 33, of Boston. He is in serious condition.

The suspects went from being unknown for four days after the marathon bombings to the details of their lives being broadcast around the world on Friday.

Officials said the family once lived in the predominantly Muslin region of Russia before coming to the United States in 2002 as refugees from the violence in Chechnya between residents there seeking independence and Russia. The parents later returned to Russia but the brothers and a sister stayed in the U.S.

The dead older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was reportedly married and the father of a 3-year-old daughter. He wasa a part-time student for three semesters at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston from 2006 to 2008, and was known for his boxing and martial arts skills. An acquaintance said he competed in Golden Gloves competition and talked about qualifying for the Olympics. The Boston Globe said he also commented in a photo essay posted to a social network that he "loved the USA"  but also remarked,  "I don't have a single American friend. I don't understand them." His profile said he quit smoking and drinking because of his Muslim faith.

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