[Gary] DeLong and his wife, Susan, are busy with other things but the TV stays on, as it has all day. It’s a captivating story that has caught the world’s attention, and it’s playing out in his back yard. Everything that’s happened over the past few days –the marathon bombing, last night’s carjacking and subsequent shootout with police that claimed the life of the surviving suspect’s brother –occurred within a few miles from DeLong’s Brookline, Mass., home. He attended the marathon Monday but left before the bombs exploded.
The semi-retired emergency room physician said it’s disappointing to realize a single individual can virtually “shut down” such a huge metropolitan area. At the same time, he said it’s encouraging to see so many people cooperating with police requests to shelter in place and thus aid in the manhunt. He’s scheduled to depart for a fishing trip in Florida Saturday, but doesn’t at this point know if leaving Boston will be possible.
The bombing itself, DeLong said, leaves him sad and reflecting on the evil nature of those associated with such an act. It’s a decidedly unwelcome point in history for the city he loves so much.
“It’s horrific,” DeLong said. “From my perspective, it brings out a piece of humanity that shouldn’t exist. There is no place for this kind of senseless violence.”
Boston and several surrounding suburbs have been on lockdown all day. Pretty much the only people who've been outside are law enforcement officers and media reporters. Imagine having to spend an entire Friday at home. That's the fate that many in Massachusetts have had to suffer today.
Yet while much of Greater Boston is on lockdown, we've seen a media feeding frenzy. It's had Salon's Willa Paskin asking why the rush.
The news networks are trying to make sense of everything before they have the information needed to make sense (or the information needed to know it will never make sense). As an NPR reporter put it —and this helps explain why NPR, not as slavishly devoted to the new and fast, has had so much better coverage than TV news —“We are collecting dots. It’s a day to be careful about connecting them.” TV news keeps trying to connect them anyway. It’s against this backdrop of puffed-up insight that all the interviews with the people who knew the two bombing suspects are so gripping. The uncle, the aunt,the kid who smoked a bowl with Dzhokhar and the one who still can’t believe that he did it are all processing what’s going on in human, not news time: You can see them working it through, struggling with it, not providing answers they don’t have. There’s something to that.
As we discussed earlier, the media feeding frenzy has sometimes led to inaccurate reports. And that led to innocent people being hurt by false accusations. We need to be careful not to led prejudice lead us to wrong conclusions.
Many have been wondering why Dzhokar Tsamaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev would commit such a brutal and heinous crime. A cousin recently spoke to The Boston Globe. He offered his experience with his cousins and his thoughts on this week's events.
A picture has begun to emerge of 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev as an aggressive, possibly radicalized immigrant who may have ensnared his younger brother Dzhokhar — described almost universally as a smart and sweet kid — into an act of terror that killed three people and injured more than 170 at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday.
“I used to warn Dzhokhar that Tamaralan was up to no good,” Zaur Tsarnaev, who identified himself as a 26-year-old cousin, said in a phone interview on Friday from Mkhachkala, in the Russian republic of Dagestan. “[Tamaralan] was always getting into trouble. He was never happy, never cheering, never smiling. He used to strike his girlfriend. He hurt her a few times. He was not a nice man. I don’t like to speak about him. He caused problems for my family.”
Zaur Tsarnaev said he most recently expressed his concerns about Tamarlan — the alleged bomber pictured in a dark hat in FBI videos released Thursday — to Dzhokhar when Dzhokar visited last summer. He added that Dzhokhar went to mosque sometimes but he was “never an extremist.”
“Dzhokhar is a sweet boy, innocent. He was always smiling, friendly and happy,” Zaur Tsarnaev said. “I don’t know how he is involved in this.”
This story has become increasingly tragic over the course of this week. But at this point, we still don't know all the facts yet. And we still shouldn't jump to too many conclusions.
At this point, the stay-inside order is finally being lifted for Greater Boston. However, Dzhokar Tsamaev is still at large and wanted. And police still suspect he's somewhere in Massachusetts.
We'll provide more updates on this story this weekend. And we'll do our best not to jump to wrong conclusions.
4:35 UPDATE: Is the second suspect being caught? Here's the latest update from Watertown, MA.
Mutiple networks, including NBC, FOX, and CBS, are reporting that a body is in a boat in Watertown, MA after being shot by police. The identity has not yet been confirmed. FOX News' Shep Smith reported that police searched a woman's backyard after she called to report blood on her shed, leading them to the boat where they engaged in a major firefight.
Right now, Twitter and the cable networks are lighting up over this. The suspect may finally be cornered in Watertown. Some outlets were ready to report him dead, but those reports were quickly retracted.
We don't know yet if he's dead or alive. We're not even 100% sure yet this is the suspect. But so far, it looks like he's being cornered.
Stay tuned for further updates.