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Manhunt For Teen Bomb Suspect

Aired April 19, 2013 - 17:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Wolf Blitzer in Boston. You're in the SITUATION ROOM.

An extraordinary manhunt under way right now for the surviving suspect in the Boston marathon bombings. We're awaiting word from authorities. They're getting ready to hold another news conference. We'll, of course, bring it to you live as soon as it begins. Right now, here are the latest developments. And as I tell you the latest developments, I want to point out, we expect to be speaking with the father.

The father of these two suspects, the father is in Dagestan, in Russia right now. We expect to be speaking with him shortly, get his perspective on his two sons, one of whom is now dead, one is now the subject of a massive, almost unprecedented manhunt here in the Boston area. There are unprecedented lockdowns with mass transit, schools, businesses all closed.

Thousands of police searching door-to-door, floor-to-floor for the 19- year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He escaped after an overnight gun battle, which left his older brother dead. Police in the suburb of Watertown, Massachusetts say they're recovering a significant amount of homemade explosives at the scenes of last night's violence. And they also say there is no proof yet, repeat, no proof yet of accomplices.

A U.S. official says the latest intelligence shows at least as of now no indications the suspects had any direct links to a major al Qaeda group or any of its affiliates. Let's get the very latest now on the manhunt and the investigation. Our national correspondent, Susan Candiotti, is joining us. Update our viewers here in the United States and around the world, Susan, on what we know right now.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly, Wolf. The investigation and the search for what happened to the young man we've been calling suspect number two, the younger Tsarnaev, has not ended by no stretch of the imagination. They've been working ever since the violence began last night, ever since the manhunt began after a police officer on the campus of M.I.T. University was shot and killed, and that's when the chase began.

What followed that was a carjacking. They caught up with the young man with two young men. They gave chase, the police gave chase, and then, someone else was hurt along the way. And eventually, the scene wound up here in Watertown, Connecticut. And as you indicated, at the beginning of this broadcast, they have recovered a large number, a significant number is what they're calling it, of homemade explosives.

They've been doing searches all day trying to find the second suspect, the first -- the older of the two brothers was killed. We know that they also found a pressure cooker. Remember they found pressure cookers that made up those two bombs used in the Boston marathon that killed three people and injured more than 180 others.

Well, they found another one that detonated last night as well here in Watertown. Meantime, the people living in this area have been living behind closed doors. They've been told to stay inside as police have been going door-to-door, neighborhood-to-neighborhood, to try to find the suspect who is still at large -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Susan Candiotti, stand by for a moment. We're awaiting an interview I'm about to have with the father of these two suspects in the Boston marathon bombing. He's in Dagestan right now in Russia. We're hoping to connect with him momentarily, get his perspective on the allegations against his two sons, one of whom is now dead. The other is the subject of an almost unprecedented manhunt in the Boston area right now.

We'll speak to Anzor Tsarnaev shortly here on CNN. Stand by for that. Drew Griffin of CNN's special investigations unit is in Watertown. He was there last night during the bloody events. He's joining us now from there as well. What's going on from your perspective, Drew?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE UNIT CORRESPONDENT: I'm on the other side of where Susan Candiotti is and I can just report to you an incredible amount of police activity and an expanding perimeter as we drove in. We were trying to get closer to this location where I'm at, and it seemed like the perimeter kept expanding, the roads being blocked off.

And as we were passing through, you could look down the roads and, Wolf, you could see what looked to be, if this was any other place, Afghanistan, for instance, it looks like army officers on patrol. SWAT officers going door-to-door, street-to-street, walking down streets, checking areas, clearing areas. Just ten minutes ago, we saw a huge contingent of officers. Those same kind of military dressed police officers exiting here on a city bus.

So, we presume that their duty or their quadrant or their area has been cleared. But otherwise, we've been getting no real official news. Just massive amounts of police going in, massive amounts of police going out. And we can't really read what that means other than they don't have this guy yet -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Drew, all right. Stand by. We're going to get back to you as well. Once again, we're also awaiting a news conference in Cambridge and Watertown. I should say in Watertown. That's coming up later this hour as well. We will have live coverage of that. Lots going on in this massive, massive manhunt. This dragnet that is under way, this manhunt that is under way right now.

The search for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, this 19-year-old who is on the loose and accused of these significant crimes. Our national correspondent, Jason Carroll, visited the gym where the suspect number one, the older brother, trained as a boxer, that older brother is now dead, dead in a shootout with police overnight. Jason, update our viewers on the latest from your vantage point.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, like so many people in this community, so many people who knew their brothers, they're trying to figure out a motive, a motive for why in the world these brothers would do something like this. From everyone that we've spoken to today, no one had a clue. And so, what investigators are trying to do at this point is trying to find a reason why.

Earlier today, we were at a martial arts school. And as you already know, Tsarnaev was an aspiring boxer. He wanted to be an engineer, but he also was very much into martial arts. And as we showed up there, you could see there were special agents there from homeland security that took out boxes. They took out bags, envelopes.

Anything that they could get their hands on to try and get possible evidence to give them some clues as to, perhaps, why these boys did what they did. Earlier, we were out here in Cambridge, spoke to some of the friends of the younger brother and tried to get some feelings from them in terms of if they saw any clues, anything at all, Wolf, that would lead them to believe that this young man would do what he's accused of doing.

And we spoke to one of the students who attended high school. He was also a wrestler along with this younger brother. We asked him about his relationship with him. Here's what he had to say.


ASHRAFUL RAHMAN, FRIEND OF DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV: Passive guy. He's a nice guy. You talked to him. You know, he wasn't all enthusiastic, but, you know, if you talk to him, he was cool, he was relaxed, he was very laid back.

CARROLL: No signs at all, nothing that would indicate that he would be capable of something like this?

RAHMAN: No. He never said anything about it. Whenever we would hang out, he'd just -- we'd just joke around. We're normal teenagers.


CARROLL: The younger Tsarnaev worked at the Harvard pool at one point, won a $2,500 scholarship for wrestling. So, once again, Wolf, when these people that we spoke to simply just don't have a clue as to why someone who was a mentor, someone who, by all accounts, at least from what we have, was a likeable guy. So, at this point, everyone looking for a motive -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Jason Carroll, thanks very much. The father of these two suspects is on the phone right now. He's joining us from Dagestan in Russia, Anzor Tsarnaev. I know you must be shocked by what's going on, but tell us your reaction to what has happened, your two sons accused of this major crime here in the United States. One of your son is now dead, the other on the loose. Give us your reaction, Mr. Tsarnaev to what's going on.

Mr. Tsarnaev, this is Wolf Blitzer in Boston. Can you hear me?

I think he's having trouble obviously hearing me. We're going to try to redial, reconnect. We will reconnect with Anzor Tsarnaev. He's the father, the father of these two suspects, one of whom is now dead, the other on the loose. He is in Dagestan in Russia. We'll get his perspective on what's going on. That's coming up.

In the meantime, Mike Sullivan is here, former acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, a former U.S. attorney here in Massachusetts as well. As we await this interview with the father of these two suspects, a lot of people are asking me, what's taking so long.?

How can a 19-year-old be on the loose in this area right now when you have this massive manhunt, probably thousands of law enforcement, military personnel searching for this 19-year-old?

MICHAEL SULLIVAN, FORMER ATF DIRECTOR: Well, they're working very hard obviously to find him. The question is whether or not he is still in the area. You have to do two three things. You got to follow up on any leads that they get based on tips. They're going to identify some locations where he might go to seek shelter -- family, friends, neighbors, that sort of thing, and then, they'll look at the area they saw him last, and that is the area of the shootout.

They'll process the scene to see whether there is any blood evidence there that might actually be connected to somebody other than his brother. That would help them determine whether or not he's injured.

BLITZER: His 26-year-old brother is now dead. And we're told in the shootout with law enforcement he was discovered having explosive, an explosive vest on, if you will, almost like a suicide bomb vest. And that's why there's so much concern that, perhaps, the younger brother, the 19-year-old who's still on the loose right now may also be wearing some sort of explosive device in the process. That could be extremely dangerous, obviously.

SULLIVAN: Sure. And that's the reason why they're being so cautious and so methodical about it, you know, going really from street-to- street, apartment-to-apartment, house-to-house. It's really to protect public safety, also to determine whether or not they can capture him in a way that doesn't cause any additional harm.

BLITZER: And so, what are the precautions from the law enforcement perspective, the precautions you have to take?

SULLIVAN: Well, first off, try to locate him, and then try to enter into some type of discussion to get him to surrender if he'll surrender at all to make sure other -- (INAUDIBLE).

BLITZER: What if there is an indication that he's likely to trigger that explosive device and take down some law enforcement personnel in the process? SULLIVAN: Well, certainly law enforcement is trained to use deadly force under certain circumstances. That would be a circumstance in which they would need to use deadly force in order to protect innocent lives.

BLITZER: And they've apparently found other explosive devices in that area in the Cambridge area where these two brothers lived, and they're doing these controlled detonations, if you will. Explain to our viewers what that exactly means.

SULLIVAN: Well, that's essentially taking something they know is potentially an explosive device and actually exploding it in a way that doesn't cause any harm or any damage to anybody else. So, they're doing it in a controlled fashion that allows two things. Obviously, enhanced public safety.

But beyond that, allows him to essentially get all the component parts in a really restricted area. And they'll do that for explosive devices if they think that they cannot move or remove safely or somehow dismantle.

BLITZER: And there's no way of knowing it, at least now, there's no way of knowing how many explosive devices may be around. These guys could have had a lot of stuff or maybe not so much.

SULLIVAN: Well, that's true. They'll look at all the material as well that might be in the apartments.

BLITZER: We're showing our viewers pictures. These are live pictures from Watertown right now. The reason there's so much activity in Watertown, Mr. Sullivan, is because this is the area where the exchange with the older brother occurred resulting in his death. And that's why they're going almost -- they're going literally door-to- door in every building, every house. They're searching and searching.

SULLIVAN: Well, that would be the principal location that they would start. The last location that they know that they've seen him. Hope that he's still contained in that area.

BLITZER: And this is a process that probably will get even more complicated as it begins to get dark --


BLITZER: -- here in Boston. Still daylight, but once it's nighttime, it becomes a little bit more complicated.

SULLIVAN: And I'm sure the growing concern is whether or not he's held up and has a hostage or hostages as well. So, you know, it's critically important, obviously, to locate him and locate him as quickly as possible for purposes of public safety and process the crime scene to see whether or not there's blood evidence here that would indicate beyond his brother that he might be injured as well.

BLITZER: All right. Mike Sullivan, we'll be staying in constant touch with you. Mike Sullivan, formerly of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

The father of the Boston marathon bombing suspects is speaking out. We are trying to connect with him in Dagestan right now. The father insisting these two young men were framed. We're going to bring you his comments from Russia, Dagestan, part of Russia. Authorities, also, here in the Boston area.

They're getting ready to hold a news conference on the manhunt which has this entire Boston area in lockdown. We'll take a quick break. Much more coming up right after this.


BLITZER: We're standing by here in Boston. We're expecting a news conference to be beginning shortly, a news conference with the authorities on this massive manhunt under way for the remaining surviving suspect, two suspects, one dead, two brothers, the other one still on the loose, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. We're going to get that news conference shortly.

We're also standing by to speak with the father of these two suspects. He's in Dagestan right now. That's part of Russia. We hope to connect with him on the phone. We've had some problems, some technical problems. We hope to speak with the father, Anzor Tsarnaev, shortly.

Luis Vasquez knew both of the suspects going back to their years in high school. He posted a local blog that they say never -- he says they never showed any sign either one of them of wanting to hurt anyone. Luis is here with us right now. Luis, thanks very much. Tell us about these two brothers. Give us, first of all, the nature of your relationship that you had over the years with them.

LUIS VASQUEZ, COMMUNITY ACTIVIST, BLOGGER: I knew the older brother just from the passing. My wife was a good friend of his sister's. So just through there, through him being a protective big brother, I got to know him and really got to personalize with him in a way that many people didn't get to do.

BLITZER: What was he like?

VASQUEZ: He was more of a serious guy, more so than his brother. His brother was a little more charismatic than him. He was a little more just a private person, but he was very friendly. He would welcome conversations with somebody. He was very approachable. But some people got the wrong impression of him because he was protective over his sister. But he was a great guy. He really was.

BLITZER: This is the older brother who died overnight, 26 years old, Tamerlan. Is that how we pronounce --

VASQUEZ: Tamerlan

BLITZER: Tamerlan -- so you know him as Tamerlan.


BLITZER: And did you know the younger brother also?

VASQUEZ: My only interactions with the younger brother was a positive thing. It was when I went back to my high school and I was the assistant varsity coach for Cambridge and he was on the JV and I would help out with that team sometimes.

BLITZER: On the wrestling?

VASQUEZ: Soccer.


VASQUEZ: He played soccer.

BLITZER: As we know, he was on the wrestling team as well.


BLITZER: And so, what was he like?

VASQUEZ: He was just like the other kids. He blended in. He was outgoing. He was a great person. He was willing to learn. He was a great listener. And he never stood out. He never was -- I mean, in a negative way, there was never anything, quote/unquote, "weird" about him that would separate himself from the others.

BLITZER: What kind of relationship did these two brothers have based on your interactions with them?

VASQUEZ: Right. I never saw them together. And I think that was because the big age difference I believe is 7. I didn't see them together and I really feel like that the little brother was more of a follower in this case which doesn't make it right at all. This is very horrendous. It's insulting what they did.

And to me and to many people that knew them on a personal level whether it be on the street or in high school, the crime doesn't fit the personalities.

BLITZER: I mean, can you -- you knew these guys. You didn't necessarily know them all that well. Can you believe they would do what they're suspected of having done, take two bombs to the end of the Boston marathon?


BLITZER: Bombs in a pressure cooker that included shrapnel inside to kill and maim as many people as possible? Do you believe that these two guys were capable of doing that?

VASQUEZ: I would never believe that they were capable of doing that. And the mystery that I think many of us curious about is what happened in the past year that made the -- made them -- just something clicked negatively in their minds or someone brainwashed them to do something so bad like this. Why? Because these -- what happened this week is not a representation of the memories. BLITZER: You knew their sister or sisters as well?

VASQUEZ: I knew one of the sisters.

BLITZER: What is she like, older, younger?

VASQUEZ: She was in the middle of them. She was -- I think she's 24 years old right now.


VASQUEZ: And she was very friendly. Again, very approachable. They were all normal.

BLITZER: Seemed like normal American kids, if you will, --


BLITZER: --going to high school, the younger one and the older one. And you had no indication that they were politicized.


BLITZER: Or hateful.


BLITZER: Seeking revenge or angry.


BLITZER: Or anything along those lines.

VASQUEZ: Right. And not only were they normal kids, but to be from Cambridge, my hometown, is something very special. I think a lot of people from here on out are going to get the wrong impression of Cambridge because when you say Cambridge now, they're going to think of the suspects and they were regular Cambridge kids, and being a Cambridge kid, we hold a lot of pride in that. And, this doesn't fit who they were.

BLITZER: If he's watching right now, this 19-year-old younger brother, the suspect, right now, and he knows you, speak to him from the heart. What would you say to him?

VASQUEZ: Turn yourself in. Turn yourself in. That's the smartest thing you can do right now. You can't get any lower than this. Don't do it to yourself. You still have opportunities out there. You can still do many things and you can still touch many lives. Believe in yourself. Just do the right thing. You've got it in you.

BLITZER: I hope he's watching and I hope he's listening to you before this second brother winds up like his older brother --

VASQUEZ: Absolutely. BLITZER: -- which is obviously very, very possible given the nature of this manhunt. When you saw the -- yesterday, I assume you were watching as the FBI released the photos, the video of these two suspects. Did you immediately put two and two together and say to yourself, I know these guys?

VASQUEZ: I did not. I did not. And I'll tell you why. The pictures that were released, they were pixilated and the older brother was sporting a different look than what I remember. He never wore a hat. He always had a nice beard, tightly trimmed, and he was clean shaven in the picture. He had glasses on. He had a hat on. It's not what I remember.

BLITZER: He always had a beard?

VASQUEZ: He always had a beard. He did.

BLITZER: So, do you think he shaved his beard deliberately to change his identity or something like that?

VASQUEZ: I can't speak to that because I didn't see him in a year, two years.

BLITZER: So, when you saw him without the beard, you didn't put two and two together.

VASQUEZ: I didn't.

BLITZER: You didn't recognize him.

VASQUEZ: No. That could have been anybody, especially with the disguise he -- to me it's a disguise. And the younger brother, when I coached him a few years ago, he had more of a baby face. He didn't look the way he does, especially when it's pixilated. He looked a little older. He has some facial hair, longer hair, very scruffy. So, it could have been anyone.

BLITZER: When you heard that the two suspects were the two guys that you knew, what was your immediate reaction?

VASQUEZ: It was tough to swallow. It really was, because putting two and two together like you said, it didn't equal out. It wasn't the right thing in my mind to believe that the memories that I have of them could fill what happened, they could -- pointing fingers at them wasn't something that was possible.

And I was still hoping for those little chances that it couldn't have been them. But all signs are pointing towards them being the suspects and that's incredibly insulting to me again and to many people.

BLITZER: And we are hearing the same story from a lot of the people who knew these two suspects similar words to what you're saying right now. And if he's watching, this 19-year-old, I hope he's paying attention to what you just said so he avoids what happened obviously to his older brother.


BLITZER: Luis Vasquez, thanks very much for joining us.

VASQUEZ: I really appreciate it. Thank you.

BLITZER: Thank you very much.

The father of the bombing suspects is now living in Russia in Dagestan. He insists his sons did not carry out the bombings. We're trying to connect with the father live here on the phone. He did speak out earlier. CNN's Phil Black is joining us from Moscow right now. He's joining us live. Phil, tell us what the father, his name is Anzor Tsarnaev. Tell us what he said earlier. And once again, we're hoping to speak with him shortly.

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: YES, INDEED, WOLF. The parents moved back to Dagestan here in Russia only recently after living the last ten years or so in the United States with their family and their children where they said they initially moved to try and give their children a better life.

I spoke to the father on the phone a short time ago. He is distraught. He is angry, especially when talking about the death of his eldest son. They also spoke today. They had an interview with a local Dagestani TV network. We're going to show that to you now.


ANZOR TSARNAEV, SUSPECTS' FATHER (through translator): Someone framed them. I don't know who exactly did it but someone did. And being cowards, they shot the boy dead. There are cops like this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): When you tried calling the younger one, the phone is off?

TSARNAEV: All phones are switched off. I can't even get through to my brothers. One of them is a great lawyer, and I can't get through to him. I want to get more information. Those are my kids, you understand? I'm afraid for my other boy. Maybe he will be shot dead, too. They will say, well, he had weapons.

Kids with weapons? You don't find weapons in a garbage dump. I have nothing more to say. It's all because I'm afraid for my son and his life. They should arrest him maybe and bring him but alive, alive. And justice should decide who's right and who is guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've been living there for a long time. Have you ever had any complaints about the justice there?

TSARNAEV: No. Never. But I didn't ever face it. So, how can I know about the justice system there? I didn't have any problems.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The day before you spoke to your elder son. What did he tell you?

TSARNAEV: He said everything was OK. I even asked him how's Dzhokhar? Did you help him, look after him, and make sure he's studying well so he would spend less time with friends and more time studying? You quit the university because you got married early. So, let the kid at least graduate because in this life, a person who doesn't learn is working. Working hard. That's why I'm always telling them, study. Study. Study.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you talk about this explosion and what happened there?

TSARNAEV: No. Not at all. Thank Allah that they were not there and didn't suffer. This is it. So, what explosion? I honestly can't imagine who could do this. Whoever did it is a bastard. I have nothing more to say.


BLACK: Wolf, the parent describe their sons as very religious. They say they are not dangerous. They say they are peaceful. And they both believe there is absolutely no way their sons had anything to do with the attack in Boston. Earlier on Friday, Anzor Tsarnaev told me that he was taken into custody by Russian security services, questioned for several hours about his sons, but then eventually released -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Phil Black, we're going to stay in touch with you. Once again, we're trying to connect directly with the father of these two suspects. We'll have that interview here on CNN as soon as we manage to reestablish contact with the father of these two suspects. Also, we're standing by for a news conference any moment now is getting ready to begin with the latest on the investigation, the manhunt under way. You'll see it live here on CNN.

And the mother of both suspects is also speaking out insisting her sons couldn't have possibly done what they are suspected of having done. We're going to hear from her and a lot more of the breaking news when we come back.


BLITZER: We're standing by for a news conference the latest on the manhunt. It's a massive, almost unprecedented manhunt under way here in the Boston area. They're searching for a suspect, the remaining suspect, the other brother is dead. The younger brother is still alive. They're searching for him and there is great fear he may have some explosive devices on him. The news conference begins, we'll have live coverage.

Meanwhile here are the latest developments, the latest developments we're watching right now in this investigation in this manhunt into the Boston bombing. Police in body armor, they are continuing to go door to door in the suburb of Watertown. That's where an overnight gun battle ended with the death of one suspect and the escape of his younger brother. A 19-year-old. A source says authorities recovered and detonated a pressure cooker bomb in Watertown. And police say they're turning up what they describe in their words a significant amount of homemade explosives.

Given the extraordinary security situation under way, the Boston Red Sox have postponed tonight's game at Fenway Park. The Boston Bruins and the Big Apple Circus also, they've postponed tonight's events as well. Good reasoning for that.

Let's get the latest now, Brian Todd is joining us.

Brian, you've taken a close look moment by moment as we await the start of the news conference with the latest from law enforcement authorities. Give us a picture of what has happened here for our viewers in the United States and around the world.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's an incredible picture, Wolf. You know, for the past 16 plus hours this has been one of the most intense manhunts in American history but it was at the point a little more than 24 hours ago when law enforcement gave us the first clear visual images of these suspects that really seem to set it all in motion.


TODD (voice-over): The release of these images on Thursday afternoon let the suspects know the feds were on to them. Even if the authorities didn't know their names yet or where to find them.

RICHARD DESLAURIERS, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: We consider them to be armed and extremely dangerous.

TODD: Around 10:00 p.m. that night it all began to unravel. The suspects allegedly robbed a convenience store outside of Boston in Cambridge near the famed Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Then they headed to the MIT campus where shots rang out.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN'S ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT: MIT is currently saying that the situation is active and extremely dangerous.

TODD: An MIT police officer was killed in his car, shot multiple times. Police swarmed but the suspects were on the move. Just blocks away, a Mercedes SUV was hijacked at gun point.

A source tells us the suspects made a stunning confession to the driver that they were the marathon bombers. The driver was released at a gas station about a half hour later. Remarkably he wasn't hurt. Now the chase was on into the night and into the Boston suburb of Watertown.

Just after 1:00 a.m. witnesses heard gun fire. Dozens of officers moved in. SWAT teams in full body gear carrying assault rifles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We heard gunshots and then we saw the explosion. I actually saw a black SUV come down Laurel Street, cross over Dexter, looked like it hit a police car and then they were just shooting at that and just unloaded with that.

TODD: Police now knew who they were dealing with, two brothers, 26- year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev and 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. They seemed cornered and were desperate to escape. Police say they threw explosives out the window at them. The older brother got out of the car. He was apparently ready to go down and take others with him. We are told he was wearing explosives and a device to trigger them. Police shot him. He would die soon. But first, his younger brother in a car ran over him and then escaped. With the fugitive on the run, more than 9,000 officers were mobilized. They went door to door searching homes in Watertown. Residents were told to stay off the streets.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is my home. And it's scary to think of your home as, like, a war zone? Almost.

TODD: Around 4:00 a.m. authorities released a new photo of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in a gray sweatshirt apparently taken from the convenience store camera.

GOV. DEVAL PATRICK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: There is a massive manhunt under way.

TODD: Boston area residents woke up to a city in lockdown and one of the biggest manhunts in the nation's history. Public schools and universities like Harvard and MIT closed. Trains, buses, subways, ordered to stay put. An historic city in danger and in fear.

COL. TIMOTHY ALBEN, MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE: We believe this to be a terrorist. We believe this to be a man who's come here to kill people. We need to get him in custody.


TODD: And a law enforcement source now tells us there are thousands of police officers going in different directions, Wolf. This intense manhunt is just grid by grid in the city. This entire metropolitan area looking for this 19-year-old young man, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, now eluding police for going on 17 hours.

BLITZER: You're getting new information also, Brian, on the number of police officers who were injured overnight?

TODD: That's right. A source telling us that about 15 police officers were treated for minor injuries at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in the Boston area. These were minor injuries, treated overnight due to that standoff in Watertown. They have since been discharged but significant, 15 officers hurt in that.

BLITZER: We're awaiting for this news conference, Brian. Thanks very much.

This news conference getting ready to begin momentarily. We'll of course have live coverage once it does begin.

Brooke Baldwin is in Cambridge. She spoke with an auto body shop owner who has some new information.

Brooke, are you there? Can you update our viewers on what you're learning?

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I am, Wolf. You know what, I've been here in Cambridge all day long. We're about a block away just to give you the lay of the land. We're about a block away from where the suspects apparently lived in Cambridge on Norfolk Street and talking to so many different people today from people who wrestled with the 19-year-old suspect, Dzhokhar as he was called, to even talking to sort of stumbling upon this auto body shop owner just a block away.

Started talking to him because he had some pretty interesting color. After Monday and the Boston bombings this 19-year-old very nervously went to this auto body shop. Apparently there was a car there that he needed to get. He, according to this auto body shop owner, was very, very nervous, he said he was biting his nails. The auto body shop owner said he appeared to be on drugs.

He's known this guy for two years. Lives in the neighborhood. Was acting totally irrationally. And then he saw the videos as we have all seen now, the video, the FBI video, the video of them on this convenience store surveillance tape. And he knew that that was Dzhokhar. Take a listen.


GILBERT JUNIOR, JUNIOR AUTO SHOP: Yesterday I looked at the picture, the one the FBI that put online. It was very blurry but one picture caught my attention because he had a long nose. You know. They got the picture from his side, you know, so it never came to my mind. I said, no, that's not possible. You know, I don't think it's him. You know, he is a nice kid. And you know, I don't think it's going to be him.

So this morning I woke up, and I used to wake up like 7:00, 7:30. And I woke up 6:00 in the morning and I saw his face from the -- you know, the surveillance camera on 7-Eleven Century Square and I could see his face. He's coming through the door and he had a hood on. That's why I knew that it was him. I mean, 110 percent.


BALDWIN: Junior kept telling Dzhokhar that, you know, listen, your car isn't ready. Your car isn't ready and he was insistent that he get this car on Tuesday to be able to get out of there. He said that Dzhokhar was very, very close to his older brother who we now know is deceased, the 26-year-old brother, very, very tight knit family, he said.

And basically, Wolf, also this auto body shop owner knowing now what he knows, he is racked with guilt that he didn't keep this 19-year-old right where he was and call police -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Brooke, all right, we're going to get back to you.

Brooke is in Cambridge where these two suspects lived. Susan Candiotti is also following the manhunt, the intense investigation that is under way.

Susan, you've covered a lot of stories. This is a pretty dramatic one. Something like this happening in an American city, I would have thought not necessarily possible but it is right now. Update our viewers on the latest information you're getting.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, I've never seen anything like it before. Being in Watertown right now the streets are empty. It's eerie. It's as though a bomb had dropped somewhere and the streets are clear. When you drive from street to street as we did, following all the police activity that is going on, and seeing people sometimes out on their screened in porches peering out to see what's going on, it's a -- it's a very stunning, uncomfortable feeling driving around because they know exactly what's going on.

They've been advised to stay inside and to see military officers and police officers for the Massachusetts area SWAT team and police officers going around in Humvees, in their gear, full gear, and hearing sirens from time to time and seeing caravans go through the streets. It's very unsettling. This has been going on for several hours.

And you wonder, is this it? Did they find them there? You hear all kinds of things by listening to police activities and you know what they're looking at and you know that they're looking for him. And people are wondering when they find him, will he have explosives on his body? These are all the unknowns that -- makes for a very uncomfortable feeling. We do know that they have recovered a significant number of explosives, homemade explosives.

We were always wondering, were those the only bombs they made? And did they practice somewhere? So by telling us that they have found these homemade explosives, what was the plan? To use them in an escape? To use them in the future? We don't have those answers just yet. But there sure are a lot of questions out there -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Susan, I know you're working on those questions trying to get answers. All of us are at the same time.

Susan Candiotti is watching this story.

Once again we're standing by for a news conference. You see the microphones over there on the right part of your screen. As soon as law enforcement authorities head over to those microphones, we'll have live coverage, the very latest on this massive, massive manhunt that is under way. Almost unprecedented in a major American city.

Let's talk a little bit about how unprecedented it is. Tom Fuentes is joining us. The former assistant director of the FBI. Also Juliette Kayyem is here, former Homeland Security adviser, Massachusetts, also in Washington, a columnist for the "Boston Globe."

Tom Fuentes, give us a perspective. How big of a deal is this as far as the FBI is concerned, historically speaking?

TOM FUENTES, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Wolf, as far as I can remember, in my 30 years in the bureau and years before and after in law enforcement, I can't recall a fugitive search that was this large of a scale. So as far as I can recall this is about the biggest that we've seen.

BLITZER: Juliette, what do you think?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY ASSISTANT SECRETARY: Absolutely I agree with Tom. And I think one of the challenges right now for people in government is how do you try to get some semblance of normalcy. That may be what we're going to hear at 5:30. How do you ratchet down, so to speak, if we don't find him? How do you make people feel safe and yet get back to work, be resilient and go on?

BLITZER: How do you do that?

KAYYEM: Well, part of it is going to be -- my guess is it's going to be tied to what's happening in Watertown which seems to be the focal point right now. I think once they go through each of the houses then you begin to make people aware that things are safer. You begin to relieve some public safety resources. Fortunately, tomorrow is a Saturday. I've been saying all along the reason why they did this, this shelter in place order, was to relieve public safety pressure, to let the police officers look for these -- focus on the manhunt.

And so, you know, Saturday people may willingly stay home. You know, there's games, things like that. And then we'll see what it looks like on Monday. So we have the benefit of having a slower weekend to get people back to normal and a lot of it is leadership. Governor Patrick is going to talk honestly about what we know and what we don't know at this stage. To be honest there's been nothing new in the investigation since very early this morning in terms of where in fact is he.

BLITZER: And the reason the Watertown now is the focal point is that's where the older brother was killed last night in this exchange with law enforcement.

KAYYEM: That's exactly right. So that's why they closed off Watertown and then the surrounding areas. And, you know, right now people are staying shelter in place. I should make it clear it's voluntary. So the amazing thing about this is there is no way to enforce it. People just understand this is a very, very big event for the city.

What's going to happen now is how do you get people to start to be resilient back to normal and that will happen fortunately over the course of a weekend and then we'll see what it looks like on Monday.

BLITZER: The smart thing is just stay put, stay in your homes right now. Don't go out on the streets because that is just -- that's just potentially a problem.

Fran Townsend is joining us right now. Our homeland security analyst as well.

Fran, the federal government, the FBI clearly the lead agency right now. But local and state law enforcement as well as the National Guard, there are thousands of people searching for this 19-year-old suspect right now.

FRANCES FRAGOS TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: Well, that's right, Wolf. And because of the difference in responsibilities, one, the local police obviously know the area better than the federal authorities and so they give especially in this sort of house-to- house, street-to-street sort of search, you need that local familiarity. The local Boston Police will know where the alleys are and where the streets are, where the dead ends, in a way that the federal authorities just won't.

The National Guard that doesn't -- is there not because they have arrest authority. They don't. They can't actually engage in a law enforcement action. But they can do just, as we've seen them, Wolf, on the streets of Boston, in Watertown, in particular, set up a perimeter and, basically, provide the safety and security for the law enforcement officers, both federal and local, to perform the search and the activities that they need to do and the National Guard is there really in support.

BLITZER: Fran, stand by for a moment. Juliette, stand by. Tom, everyone, stand by. You're looking at the right side of your screen over there. You see the microphones. That's Watertown. That's where this massive manhunt is focused in right now. We're awaiting the start of the news conference. Law enforcement authorities are expected to give us the very latest on the status, what's going on. We'll have live coverage as soon as they come to the microphones. Stand by for that.

The mother of both suspects is claiming one of, one of them, one of the suspects was actually followed. This is what the mother is now saying. Followed by the FBI for three years. The mother, the interview with her. That is next.


BLITZER: Boston and nearby towns are on lockdown right now. Once again we're waiting for the authorities to hold a news conference. As soon as it starts you will see it live right here on CNN.

But here are the latest developments in this massive, massive bombing manhunt. Residents, they are told to stay inside. Inside. They are also told to lock their doors as police go from building to building looking for the surviving suspect. That would be 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, on the run after an overnight shootout that killed his older brother. That gun battle took place in the suburb of Watertown where we're told police recovered and then detonated a pressure cooker bomb, among a significant, their words, significant amount of homemade explosives found there.

And the father of the bombing suspect, who said his sons were, quote, "framed." Telling CNN from Russia, Dagestan in Russia, that he was questioned and released by Russian security services. We're still hoping to reconnect with the father, doing a live interview here on CNN.

We're getting some more information now on the developments that occurred overnight including the shootout.

Fran Townsend, what are you picking up?

TOWNSEND: Wolf, we understand from three separate federal officials that during the police chase when they carjacked the first car, they admitted to the victim of the carjacking that the two brothers were in fact the marathon bombers. They proceed along in that carjacked car and they pull alongside a separate car.

They transfer materials from the separately parked car into the black SUV Mercedes that they had carjacked. When the police chase begins we know that there is a big shootout, Wolf. We've learned from authorities that the brothers threw one grenade and five pipe bombs. Three of the pipe bombs exploded. Two did not. There was also a gun fight. The suspects ran out of ammunition. When the suspect number two who stepped out of -- I'm sorry, Wolf.

When suspect number one, the guy with the black hat, gets out of the car, the other suspect with the white hat gets behind the wheel. When police approach the brother with the black hat, the one has run out of ammo, the other suspect, the one that is still at large, backs over his brother with the black SUV and flees. We know what happened to the -- to the suspect with the black hat. He has obviously been deceased.

Later when they find the black SUV that's been carjacked, that the suspect who is still at large fled in, they find inside ball bearings. We know, Wolf, that ball bearings were one of the things that were used in the -- the two bombs at the -- at the finish of the marathon.

BLITZER: So I just want to be careful, you're saying that they found hand grenades, pipe bombs, and that's how the dozen or 15 or so police officers who were injured in --

TOWNSEND: I didn't say that's what they found, Wolf. We're told by three federal officials that when -- during the course of the car chase, and they were throwing these things at police, one grenade, five pipe bombs. Of the five pipe bombs, three detonated, two did not.

BLITZER: And those were the source of the injuries to the police officers? Do we know that, Fran?

TOWNSEND: We don't know that. Wolf, the three sources didn't say which -- they didn't break down for me what the source of the injuries were. Obviously it was in the course of this gun fight and chase that the police officers were injured. But I don't know by which -- you know, which of these explosive devices caused those injuries.

BLITZER: And Drew Griffin was there last night. And I want to bring him in. But, Fran, I just want you to repeat, because we've been hearing this all day, the younger suspect, the younger brother was driving, and he actually drove over -- drove over the older brother, which in effect killed him, is that right?

TOWNSEND: The source said to me, the exact words, Wolf, were that the younger suspect backed over -- didn't say that's how he was killed. We don't know if the other -- if the brother who was killed was also hit with gunfire, in the gun fight. What -- to be precise, Wolf, what the sources have said to me is that the younger suspect, when they approached the older suspect, the younger suspect got behind the wheel of the -- the car, and backed over his brother before fleeing. BLITZER: Fran, stand by. We see some activity over in Watertown at that news conference behind the microphones. We expect it to begin momentarily.

Drew Griffin, you were there in Watertown overnight when this action occurred as described -- just described by Fran. Give us your perspective of what you saw, and obviously, your reporting on what you heard.

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT CORRESPONDENT: Yes, certainly everything Fran just said, you know, can be supplemented by the ear witnesses and the eyewitnesses that we talked to about this running gun battle, intermittent with explosions that seemed to be being thrown out of the car.

We also know that as dawn broke this morning in Watertown, and quite frankly, all along the route, from Watertown back into Cambridge, the police were searching for items.

We really didn't know what they were. But then suddenly we came across a scene where a bomb squad was very, very interested in a tiny piece of dirt, it seemed to us. Because we were so far away, in the median of one of these roads. The bomb squad came in, they did an air blast charge to see if it was -- you know, this is kind of what they do to make sure that whatever it is, is not a bomb. So they were very cautious about going back over.

Now, based on Fran's information, the route of this chase, to make sure that they had found all the unexploded ordinates that must have come out of that cars. Two other things just happened, we just saw two cars come out very quickly, one of them was a Watertown police SUV that looked to me like the back window, the side window were shot out and there was one either rock or bullet hole in the front windshield -- Wolf.

BLITZER: And do we know what that -- we're showing our viewers the tow truck carrying that car. Do we know what that car -- who was driving that car? What it's all about? It's going right in front of you.

GRIFFIN: I mean, if you see the -- the Watertown, you know, SUV obviously must have been by a police vehicle. There was a second car, a -- I think it was a Nissan, right? It was a Nissan sedan, with the back -- the back driver's side door, looked like it had been manually pulled off and removed. The door was not there. I didn't see any physical damage to that car. Nor did I see any physical body damage to the Ford Explorer, which means I don't think that was involved in an actual crash.

That may have been the result of some kind of a shootout activity. Looked to me like the windows had been shot out.

BLITZER: All right.

GRIFFIN: And there was a definite bullet or rock wound in the front windshield.

BLITZER: All right. Drew, thanks very much.

Drew will stand by and will continue to watch what's happening. We're also standing by for the news conference in Watertown. Looks like police, they're getting ready to come to the microphones to update us on the state of this massive manhunt that is now under way.

Our coverage continues here in THE SITUATION ROOM right after this.


BLITZER: Once again, we're standing by for the start of this news conference in Watertown. You see the microphones. It looks like they're getting closer and closer to beginning the news conference. We want an update on what's going on right now. A massive manhunt under way, they're searching for 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He is the younger brother. The older brother was killed in this exchange with law enforcement last night.

As we await the start of this news conference, Eric Mercado is joining us now.

You went to high school with this younger brother, Dzhokhar. Tell us about him.

ERIC MERCADO, HIGH SCHOOL FRIEND OF DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV: From what I can tell you, Dzhokhar was a -- you know, was a good kid. You know, just a regular normal kid, if you will. No signs of what you would see from a terrorist profile. You know, not a loner. He was -- had a good group of friends. And he would, you know, constantly be at parties. And you know --

BLITZER: He's now 19 years old. And you never suspected there were anything strange or weird or scary about him?

MERCADO: No. Not while I knew him. Not in high school. You know, I mean there -- yes, nothing. No.

BLITZER: So when you heard about these -- that he is a suspect in doing, allegedly, what he did at the Boston marathon, what did you think?

MERCADO: I mean, it was -- honestly, it didn't seem real. You know, the granulated pictures obviously didn't really -- didn't point -- for me, it didn't -- you know, at first it didn't tell me, you know, he was -- he was the culprit and --


BLITZER: When you saw the pictures yesterday, did you think this was the young man that you went to high school with?

MERCADO: In a joking manner with friends, you know, it was like, oh, that -- you know, maybe.

BLITZER: What did you joke?

MERCADO: I mean, oh, you know, that could be Dzhokhar. Or that looks like Dzhokhar.

BLITZER: You said that to your friends.

MERCADO: Yes. Right. I mean --

BLITZER: Did you call law enforcement or anything?

MERCADO: No. No, there was no -- I mean, it was no -- you didn't want to throw somebody under the bus, I mean, you know, with the idea that it could be an international affair, or you know -- it was just too much -- too much to really, you know, bring to the FBI's attention for, I feel, for my group of friends.

BLITZER: Did you ever talk to him about politics or terrorism or anything along those lines? Did he ever express any opinions as far as you could recall?

MERCADO: No. Not as far as I can recall. I know I had a conversation with a friend who had said something along the lines of, you know, he had a conversation with him, and it was in regards to politics, and saying that, you know, when warranted, you know, acts of terror are justified.

BLITZER: That this is -- you didn't hear this?

MERCADO: I didn't hear this.

BLITZER: A friend of yours --

MERCADO: A friend of mine.

BLITZER: When did he tell you this, your friend?

MERCADO: The friend told me this morning when I -- when we were all alerted of, you know, Dzhokhar's name and, you know, involvement in this whole thing.

BLITZER: Hold on for one moment, Eric.