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The Epic, Crazy, Horrifying, Ongoing Story Of The Boston Marathon Bombers

The entire story, start to finish — at least so far. A bad week gets worse.

Posted on April 19, 2013, at 6:56 a.m. ET

It began on the afternoon of April 15, when the Boston Marathon was attacked.

A beautiful day turned to scenes of terror.

John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe / Getty Images

And while people ran for their lives...

Many ran directly toward the danger.

This strange, wonderful breed of people just needed to help. They valued other people's lives over their own.

This spirit of love and devotion to the lives of strangers was never more apparent than in Carlos Arredondo.

Darren McCollester / Getty Images

Carlos and his wife were at the race in the VIP section passing out American flags. The couple is still mourning the loss of two sons, one of whom died in Iraq, while the other took his own life.

But when the bombs went off, Carlos ran to do what he could, which, it turned out, was a lot. He was able to help save 27-year-old Jeff Bauman by closing his femoral artery to stem the bleeding. A moment that was captured in an instantly iconic photo.

Charles Krupa / AP

And it's good Carlos was there, because it was a hospital bed tip from Bauman, who had "looked into the eyes of the man who tried to kill him," that helped the FBI identify the men responsible for the attack.

On Thursday, the FBI, in turn, released photos of the two men...

As well as short security video clips.

The FBI was, in effect, asking the country to keep an eye out for these guys. Little did anyone suspect they would make themselves known again in short order.

Very late Thursday night, the suspected bombers allegedly robbed a convenience store. This would be the beginning of one of the longest nights in Boston history.

Shortly thereafter, a shooting occurred on MIT's campus, killing an MIT officer. The suspects had reportedly reemerged.

MIT identified the officer killed in the line of duty Thursday night as 26-year-old Patrol Officer Sean A. Collier.

MIT Police Department / Via

As police were responding to reports of the shooting, they received notice of an armed carjacking of a Mercedes SUV near the campus. The two suspects had commandeered the car, eventually releasing its driver unharmed. The police chased the car through the city, and the pursuit came to a head in a small community called Watertown.

Several explosive devices were thrown from the car at the chasing police officers. Residents of Watertown were warned to stay in their homes.

Police exchanged gunfire with the suspects on the streets of this small town.

View this video on YouTube

An MBTA transit police officer was shot during the exchange and is being treated at a local hospital.

This is Richard Donohue, the transit officer wounded in the gun battle with the suspected bombers.

Suspect 1 was taken into custody during the firefight but died of gunshot wounds.

Suspect 2, however, escaped on foot, and is, according to police, armed and dangerous.

According to the AP the bombers are naturalized American citizens of chechen descent. The surviving brother is reportedly 19-year-old Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, who has been living in Cambridge, MA.

Here's a photo from Tsarnaev's account. is a Russian equivalent of Facebook.

Authorities locked down the city. A perimeter around a section of Watertown was established.

Matt Rourke / AP

The MBTA was shut down and repurposed to bring in more SWAT officers.

The plan? To go door-to-door until they find Tsarnaev. That kind of hunt looks something like this.

Swat teams went door-to-door, helping families evacuate their homes.

Here a SWAT member gave a little boy a high five to put him at ease.

Streets around Boston remained empty during rush hour as police urged everyone in the area to remain in their homes.

More pictures surfaced of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old suspect who remains at large.

My beloved nephew on right, djohar tsarnaev on left, happy cambridge Rindge and Latin grads.heartbreaking

My beloved nephew on right, djohar tsarnaev on left, happy cambridge Rindge and Latin grads.heartbreaking Robin Young

SWAT officers move from door to door in Watertown searching for the second bombing suspect.

#watertown residents be patient with the ongoing investigations please

#watertown residents be patient with the ongoing investigations please feyza burak adli

The suspects’ uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, says "Of course we're ashamed" and pleads with his nephew to "Turn yourself in and ask forgiveness from the victims.”

Syrians send their condolences to the people of Boston.

Great picture coming out of Syria about to Boston Bombings. #watertown #boston

Great picture coming out of Syria about to Boston Bombings. #watertown #boston Laura Kreitzer

On Friday afternoon, family members of the accused suspects expressed doubt that the brothers Tsarnaev could have been involved in this. First their aunt:

And then their father.

Their father's statement in particular was heartbreaking. It's impossible to imagine the anguish that would come from learning that your kids have possibly committed this kind of act.

For context, here's a map of the Boston area marked up with the events of Thursday night and Friday:

A press conference was called, and the police lifted to lockdown and said they would be reducing police presence.

Matt Rourke / AP

An hour after lifting the lockdown, police rushed back into Watertown and told residents to return to their homes.

But even as people headed home, gunshots could be heard.

The gunshots continued as police flooded the scene.

Law enforcement were seen holding weapons and preparing for some kind of confrontation.

Residents in Watertown close to the scene were evacuated from their homes.


Police began to approach and engage a suspect.

The Boston Globe reported that the suspect was found in a boat secured in a Watertown backyard.

A Google Maps shot of the residence, and the boat, that ran on NBC.

A blockade of police officers and firefighters blocked off the street that the suspect was on.

Twitter: @jtes

"Can't see full group I'd estimate 60+," Jessica Testa tweeted.

While a crowd of civilians gathered at Mt. Auburn Street in Watertown, waiting for word on the suspect.

The crowd erupts with applause as reports spread that the suspect is reportedly in custody and alive.

The Boston Police Department confirm that the suspect is in custody.

Mayor Tom Menino tweets this photo with the words, "We got him."

The suspect is in custody, though it's unclear what his condition is.

The crowds in Watertown applaud the police force and emergency crew as they leave the scene.

To see where the shootout took place in relation to the initial search, The New York Times created this map.

A press conference was held at 9:30 p.m., and Col. Timothy Alben said, "We're exhausted, folks, but we have a victory here tonight."

Governor Deval Patrick told reporters, "It's a night where I think we're all going to rest easy."

Carmen Ortiz, the Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, stated, "Tonight you're going to have many questions...This will continue to be an ongoing and active investigation."

Mayor Menino starts his address with, "Thank you, thank you, thank you."

Commissioner Davis told the crowd, "The citizens of this city have been incredible."

The FBI's Richard Deloreay told reporters, "Today the city of Boston, the city of Cambridge, and the city of Watertown...can breathe a sigh of relief."

In a press conference, President Obama expressed gratitude to law enforcement officials, and sends prayers to the victims.

Obama also expressed the need for answers in this case, and explained that resources have been sent to help collect intelligence and protect the country's citizens.

President Obama also addressed the tragedy in West, Texas, and vowed his support for those victims.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.