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ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox switched back to live coverage from Watertown, Mass. Friday evening after reports of shots fired and heavy police activity in the Boston suburb.
The networks switched roughly an hour after Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick told reporters that a lockdown of the city and its environs — which lasted through most of Friday — had ended without finding bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
PHOTOS: Inside the Boston Bombing Manhunt
His brother, suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a shootout early Friday morning. He was pronounced dead at 1:35 a.m. at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital.
At approximately 7:40 p.m. ET, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams apologized after NBC cut to a local network’s news feed, and broadcast a local reporter saying on air “we don’t know s–t.”
The networks reported law enforcement had converged on a home, which had a boat on its property. An unidentified suspect thought to be hiding in the boat was being sought. At approximately 8:40 p.m. ET, CBS reported on police scanner chatter saying a suspect was in custody, but noted there was no confirmation on who the suspect was.
Five minutes later, the network read from a Boston Police Department tweet: “Suspect in custody. Officers sweeping the area. Stand by for further info.”
Shortly after, images of an ambulance leaving with the suspect inside were broadcast. CBS cited a tweet from Boston Mayor Tom Menino, “We got him,” as apparent confirmation that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was in custody.
NBC retweeted a celebratory tweet from the Boston PD:
CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody.
— Boston Police Dept. (@Boston_Police) April 20, 2013
The networks broadcast a press conference with government officials held in Watertown at 9:30 p.m., with Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick thanking those who “worked so well and so hard” to bring the suspect to justice.
“It was a very, very complicated case, a very challenging case, and there are still some questions remaining to be answered,” Patrick said. Patrick and Mayor Menino both thanked the media for its role in spreading pictures of the two suspects.
“Thanks to people in the media for all the support you gave to us,” Menino said.
Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said Tsarnaev was in serious condition in the hospital, and that the suspect had been discovered after a man went outside and saw blood on his property. The blood trail lead the man to his boat, where he found Tsarnaev hiding inside. The man alerted police.
“My city was ruthlessly attacked…there is no explanation for it,” Davis said.
In a separate press conference, President Barack said the nation’s thoughts were with the victims “struggling to recover,” and with the three killed, Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell, and Lu Lingzi. He also spoke of the MIT police officer killed, Sean Collier.
“They’re lives represent the diversity of our country,” Obama said. “
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