Fear, adrenaline and confusion reigned supreme in Boston late Thursday morning and throughout the day Friday, as thousands of law enforcement officials conducted one of the most intense manhunts in U.S. history, searching for a pair of suspects allegedly responsible for deadly bombings Monday and a firefight that left one suspect dead and a campus policeman dead Thursday.
Residents in Cambridge, Mass., sat cowering in their homes as news that the suspects, identified by news organizations as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and Dzhokhor Tsarnaev, 19 -- both of Cambridge -- had hijacked a car and were involved in a late night shootout with police.
"From probably about 11:30 to 4 a.m. we sat, almost frozen, listening to the police scanner," says Hillary Peterson of Cambridge, describing how she and her husband, Ben, monitored the events. "It was literally, the most incredible thing I have ever heard in my life."
Peterson says despite living just four blocks from the suspects' home, most of the action took place away from the area.
"The only thing we could hear personally were racing sirens everywhere and a really low flying helicopter looking for the shooter," she says. "As soon as the chase moved towards Watertown, things went relatively quiet here."
Law enforcement officials said in a Friday evening news briefing that the two suspects, feeling pressure since the FBI distributed their images, allegedly hijacked a car but left the driver unharmed before murdering Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus officer, Sean Collier, 26.
The Tsarnaev brothers then, according to police, engaged in a firefight with law enforcement, ending with more than 200 rounds fired. The pair of suspects also allegedly threw grenades and other explosives at police from their vehicle before Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was strapped with explosives was killed.
Dzhokhor Tsarnaev fled the scene, police said, by flooring the accelerator and driving into law enforcement officers. He eventually discarded the vehicle and fled on foot, according to Col. Timothy Alben of the Massachusetts State Police.
Boston and residents in surrounding towns were asked to remain indoors most of Friday, as investigators conducted a sweep of a 20-block section of Watertown. They were not able to find Dzhokhor Tsarnaev, police said.
"We do not have an apprehension of our suspect this afternoon, but we will have one," Alben said. "We are committed to that."
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick told residents the "shelter in place" policy was lifted and the subway system would be up and running, but cautioned people to remain vigilant as the manhunt continued.
"We are going to continue to move forward as a community," he said, noting that developments were ongoing in the fluid investigation. "Based on those developments we feel it is prudent to say to people you can get back out as long as you are vigilant."
Cambridge resident Peterson says she cautiously ventured outside Friday to check out the police and media presence in the neighborhood. But while the suspect remains at large, she will remain anxious, she says.
"Cambridge feels relatively safe, but they still haven't found the second suspect and it is going to get dark soon," Peterson says. "I think everyone feels ok; everyone is confident they will catch this guy and we will all be ok, but we want it over with."