Boston Bombing Day 5: The Car Chase and The Suspects

For the Boston Bombing Day 1 go ➤ Here
For the Boston Bombing Day 2 & 3 go ➤ Here
For the Boston Bombing Day 4 go ➤ Here

April 18 and 19 (Day 5):

We left off at the Shell gas station on Memorial Drive where Danny, the Boston bombers’ hostage, had escaped from the car and ran across the street for help.  As you may remember, there were some discrepancies in my last post regarding an article run by the Dailymail.co.uk about what actually happened at the Shell gas station.  In the article, Dailymail interviewed the owner of the Shell station who said in so many words that:

1.  The FBI was notified about the Shell station because the carjacking victim escaped and ran across the street to a Mobil station for help.

2.  The owner claimed that the picture of Dzhokhar (otherwise known as DzT in my previous post, Jahar to his friends and family or just Suspect #2 to the FBI) Tsarnaev seen in the grey sweatshirt was taken from his CCTV footage at the Shell.

3.  The owner also stated, “Yes, one of them came in here, but I am told before he could buy anything his brother (known as Tamerlan or Suspect #1) came and hammered on the window and told him they had to go.  He had some stuff in his hands but he just put it down and left.”

First, let’s clarify where this CCTV picture of Jahar was taken.  Here’s a picture of Jahar (with his older brother behind him) walking into the store/gas station in comparison to a picture taken at the Shell gas station located at 820 Memorial Drive in Cambridge (**Shell gas station picture has been mirror imaged**):

7 eleven & shellYou can see the similarities –
1.  The two yellow signs across the middle of the doors.
2.  What I believe may be a Monster energy drink sign to the far upper right of the doors.
3.  The blue and yellow Nitrogen shield sign on the bottom right door.
4.  The white square sign on the right hand door.

Here’s a photo from the 7-Eleven at 750 Massachusetts that is said to have been robbed – and folks, it doesn’t even have a parking lot:
7-11

Obviously the CCTV picture came from the Shell station – not from the 7-Eleven.  This may be old news to most of you, but for me I was under the impression from the get go that the photo of the suspect was taken from the 7-Eleven.  Why would I think that?  This gives you an idea of what was reported by the news media:

“Police also released a new image of ‘suspect number 2,’ which they said was taken from a local 7-11 in Cambridge, Mass., Thursday night. – ABC News

timothy alben
Timothy Alben

But let’s just go straight to the horse’s mouth – again, the infamous Massachusetts State Police Superintendent Timothy Alben:

“We have a picture, a video, from the 7-Eleven in Cambridge last night, that he is dressed in a grey hoodie-like sweatshirt…”

Want to hear him for yourself at the early morning press conference, April 19, 2013? Go to Youtube at the 2:22 mark ➤ Here  

Remember my previous post where Alben corrected the story that these guys robbed the 7-Eleven and said they didn’t rob it but were at the 7-Eleven around the time it was robbed.  Hmm.  Was Jahar or his older brother ever really at the 7-Eleven that night?  

Just google this stuff and maybe you’ll get lucky and find a news outlet that corrects all of this.  Moving on…

Let’s do a quick timeline:
At approx. 10:45pm (on the 18th):  Danny is kidnapped/carjacked in his Mercedes SUV/Crossover by Tamerlan.  Although, the Department of Justice Criminal Complaint states,

“Near midnight on April 18, 2013, an individual carjacked a vehicle at gunpoint in Cambridge, Massachusetts.”

Hmm, typing error?  They really meant “Near 11:00pm?”  Folks, I have no idea.  No.idea.  Moving on…Danny states in subsequent interviews that an “old sedan” followed them after the carjacking.  In one particular interview with NBC, Danny stated the car following behind them was “very light-color” Honda.  Shortly after the carjacking they pulled over so Jahar, who had been driving the Honda, could get into the Mercedes with Tamerlan and Danny.  Just a note that some news reports state the Danny and Tamerlan drove somewhere to pick up Jahar – implying that Jahar was never following behind…?

At 11:18pm (on the 18th):  According to deadspin.com, Jahar is seen withdrawing money from an ATM in Watertown Square.

At some point, the men drive to the Shell gas station, still in the Mercedes.  Again, here’s where things get a little tricky – and we’re just trying to do a timeline here, folks.  Shouldn’t be rocket science. But then again we haven’t had a normal crime spree since Winona Ryder was caught on camera shoplifting.  I digress.  Here are the top stories of how Danny escaped his captors:

1.  Jahar went inside to pay for the gas, leaving Danny and Tamerlan in the car.  According to the Boston Globe’s interview with Danny:

“…Dzhokhar, was forced to go inside the Shell Food Mart to pay, older brother Tamerlan put his gun in the door pocket to fiddle with a navigation device –  letting his guard down briefly after a night on the run.  Danny then did what he had been rehearsing in his head.  In a flash, he unbuckled his seat belt, opened the door, stepped through, slammed it behind, and sprinted off at an angle that would be a hard shot for any marksman.”

In Danny’s interview with NBC, he stated,

“I think Dzhokhar is like, a follower…because Dzhokhar – he went out to the A.T.M.  He went out to get the gas.  Tamerlan never get out of car.”

“Dzhokhar went inside of the store to pay cash.  So I thought it’s a very good chance, ’cause only one of them is in the car.”

2.  Both men got out of the Mercedes at the Shell station, leaving Danny the opportunity to escape.  According to the Department of Justice Criminal Complaint:

“The two men and the victim then drove to a gas station/convenience store in the vicinity of 816 Memorial Drive, Cambridge.  The two men got out of the car, at which point the victim managed to escape.”

3.  One brother was pumping gas while the other was inside the gas station and that’s when Danny made his escape.  According to WMUR 9 News out of New Hampshire, who actually did an “off camera” interview with Danny:

“When one brother went inside to pay for the gas, the other pumped.  And that’s when the victim took off.”  – Watch at the 1:36 mark ➤ WMUR 9 News

And the NYPost’s David K. Li wrote:

“The man told WMUR that his lucky break came when Tamerlan and Dzhorkhar Tsarnaev stopped at Shell station in Cambridge, Mass., leaving him alone in his car as one man pumped gas and another went inside to buy food.”

4.  The brothers decided to just let Danny go.  According to Boston.com’s Metrodesk via the Chief of Police:

“The chief described the chain of events that led to Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s death, beginning late Thursday, after the brothers allegedly carjacked a man in Cambridge.  The two brothers let the driver out unharmed…”

And usnews.com:

“The carjacking victim was released unharmed at a gas station in Cambridge and the accused bombers sped in his car toward Watertown.”

Seriously here, folks?  Smh.

Let’s look at that picture from the 7-Eleven, oops, the Shell station again (I’ve lightened the photo):
customer 1
In this photo we see what appears to be a customer standing right outside the door and to the left.  The man doesn’t appear to be bothered that Tamerlan has just been allegedly banging on the door and yelling – but perhaps he’s watching some strange Chinese guy run for his life towards the Mobile station across the street.  Who knows.

Second of all, why is Jahar bringing his purchases (or soon to be purchases) back into the store? Did Tamerlan start banging on the door, Jahar went over to see what all the hubbub was about and Tamerlan said, “Yo, jive turkey, I lost him.  We gots to go.”  The picture is then a shot a few moments after that – Jahar turning back around into the store to put the stuff down?  Gotta say, they don’t look that alarmed.

Or, is this a picture of both brothers going into the gas station together, leaving Danny alone in the car?  I mean…what?  And that still doesn’t explain why he’s walking back into the store with purchases.

DzT at an ATM
DzT at an ATM

And when did these two brothers, who were on the run for murder andwhite cap terrorist acts, find the time to discuss who was going to wear the white cap and when?  “I want to wear it!”  “No, you wore it at the ATM, I get it now.”  “No, it’s looks way better on me.”  Come on.  Ya got Danny’s card.  Buy two caps.  Just pointing how normal these guys appeared to be during this whole thing.

So when was all of this going down at the gas station?  According to the Criminal Complaint,

“I have reviewed images of two men taken at approximately 12:17 a.m. by a security camera at the ATM and the gas station/convenience store where the two carjackers drove with the victim in his car.”

So at 12:17 a.m. the brothers were seen at the Shell station?  Is it safe to assume Danny is either at the Mobile station or on his way over there at this point?  Who knows but I’m rolling with it.  Once Danny got to the Mobile and frantically explained the situation, the man working at Mobile called the police.  Under the circumstances at the time, I’d say it’s safe to assume at least one officer answered the call within 1-3 minutes.  So at 12:17 am the brothers are still at the Shell, at some point they take off, Danny’s at the Mobile, the police have arrived by 12:30 am and already in the process of interviewing him?  I’m assuming.  In the Boston Globe interview with Danny, it states his “ordeal” lasted 90 minutes.  I believe this fits that timeline.

When the police arrive at the Mobile, Danny tells them that they can track the brothers in his Mercedes by using his iphone (that was left in the vehicle) or the Mercedes’ navigational system.  The police then call Mercedes-Benz.  AOL wrote,

“Donna Boland, a spokeswoman for Mercedes, told AOL Autos a call came from the police just after 12 a.m. Friday.  They put Danny on the phone, and he confirmed he was the owner by providing his PIN number.

Mercedes then relayed the location of the car to police, updating the location as it moved around the Boston suburbs.  They tracked the car to Laurel Street in Watertown, where a gunfight ensued between police and the Tsarnaev brothers.”

Obviously the time here doesn’t exactly jive with the timeline.  A little after midnight?  How about half past midnight?  And the way the news was being broadcasted they may have just used just his iphone to track the brothers.  Forget the Mercedes navigational system, right? –

“Deveau said police tracked one of the cars because the carjack victim’s phone was still inside.” – USNews.com

“The two brothers let the driver out unharmed, but the driver’s cellphone was still in his car, said Deveau.  Police ‘pinged’ the phone to determine where it was, he said, which alerted police that the suspects were in Watertown.” – Boston.com

Or heck, maybe authorities didn’t used the iphone or the navigational system at all (with emphasis for the following quotes)  –

“A short time later, the stolen vehicle was located by law enforcement in Watertown, Massachussetts.” – The Criminal Complaint, US Dept. of Justice

“A short time later, at least half a dozen police agencies responded to a call from help from the Watertown Police Department, after an officer spotted two cars that the Tsarnaevs were driving.” CNN

“Donohue and his partner drove around Watertown and Cambridge looking for the suspects.  ‘We ended up on one side of the street, and there’s a lot of the Watertown guys were on the other side of the street.  The bad guys are down the street,’ Donohue said.

At first Donohue thought it was just some crazy, random act of violence.” – CBS News

A lone small-town police officer confronted the two Boston Marathon suspects on a dark street after they got out of their cars and started shooting at him, the Watertown, Mass., police chief said Saturday.” – USNews.com

A local officer spotted the brothers driving in two cars, a Honda sedan and the stolen Mercedes SUV, said Deveau.” – www.boston.com

Photo taken by Andrew Kitzenberg. Resident on Laurel Street, Watertown, Mass.
Photo taken by Andrew Kitzenberg, resident on Laurel Street.

“That looks like just two vehicles.  And sure enough, on Sunday Watertown’s police chief confirmed that police had surprised the suspects before having time to set up a cordon.” (picture to the left)  – deadspin.com

A single officer was the first to encounter the two cars that Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev were driving, just before 1 a.m.” – CNN

Now I ask you, how is it that one small-town officer happened upon these guys when authorities were pinging Danny’s cellphone and using the Mercedes navigational system?  Mercedes has a tracking system in their vehicles called “mbrace technology” or its “mbrace telematics system.”  Want to know how easy it is for Mercedes to track a vehicle with mbrace technology?  Straight from Mercedes’ mbrace website:

mbrace

Yeah.  Not difficult for them to locate and track the vehicle.  So again, why did only one officer happen to stumble upon these guys?  I might be willing to say that this officer found them before authorities could use the mbrace technology but we don’t have a single news source to confirm this theory.  On the contrary, Mercedes Benz CEO tweeted:

steve cannon, mercedes CEO

As usual, no concrete answers.  It’s now almost 1 a.m.  So this officer finds the brothers in Watertown, Mass., now apparently in two cars.  It sounds like after Danny escaped the Shell station, the brothers went back to Watertown to pick up that “old sedan,” where shortly thereafter they were found by “Officer Mayberry.”  That’s when the mayhem began.  Let’s start with the Criminal Complaint:

“A short time later, the stolen vehicle was located by law enforcement in Watertown, Massachusetts.  As the men drove down Dexter Street in Watertown, they threw at least two small improvised explosive devices (‘IEDS’) out of the car.”

So we got these guys throwing IED’s out of their car at whom exactly?  The lone officer?  All the officers that showed up shortly thereafter? Uh…no one?  Frankly, there’s a ton of articles out there saying that after the officer showed up the brothers jumped out of the vehicle, guns a blazing.  Not a peep about one officer in some sort of car chase with these guys while they’re tossing out IEDs:

“Before the officer could get backup, the two cars stopped, and the brothers got out…’they jump out of the car and unload on our police officer,’ Deveau said. ‘They both came out shooting — shooting guns, handguns.  He’s under direct fire, very close by.  He has to jam it in reverse to try to get himself a little distance.” – CNN

“The brothers stopped, jumped out and started firing on the officer, while more police rushed to the scene, he said [Police Chief Deveau].” – Boston.com

“The lone officer, whom he identified as Joe Reynolds, was told not to engage the suspects, but the suspects fired on him from separate locations, Deveau said.” – USNews

“There, Watertown Police Officer Joe Reynolds spotted them…’He sees the two cars riding in tandem,’ Deveau said.  ‘He knows these are the bad guys…’  Reynolds radioed for backup, but immediately the brothers leaped from their cars and began shooting at him, Deveau said.  Reynolds gunned his car in reverse to get out of the line of fire as four other on-duty officers and two off-duty officers arrived.” – USAToday

Folks, I openly admit I love the DailyMail for all of it’s tabloid deliciousness.  They’ve even been right at times during this whole Boston thing, so I was surprised that they ran the opposite story, saying the brothers were throwing bombs during a car chase:

“The suspects threw explosives from the car as police followed it to the Boston suburb of Watertown.”

What?

Screen shot 2013-05-17 at 12.41.34 PMBottom line?  I’m guessing that the brothers were spotted by one police officer, they immediately jumped out of their cars and someone started shooting first.  Obviously.  Then the officer attempted to withdraw from the situation until back up could arrive.  When back up did arrive, things got even more cray.  Let’s go to twitter where a man by the name of Andrew Kitzenberg posted multiple photographs of the shootout as it unfolded on Laurel Street:

12:46:11 a.m.  Brothers are out of the vehicles and shooting towards police.
Boston Shootout12:46:25 a.m.  Only two police vehicles are seen on the street.

Photo taken by Andrew Kitzenberg. Resident on Laurel Street, Watertown, Mass.

12:47:57 a.m.  Brothers behind the Mercedes SUV.  The green Honda is seen on the left.
Boston Shootout

12:50:57 a.m.  Tamerlan was seen running towards the officers.  Meanwhile, Jahar turned the Mercedes around and proceeded to accelerate towards the officers.  He broke through the police and continued driving west on Laurel Street.
A. Kitzenberg 3

News reports and further photos from Kitzenberg suggest IEDs were thrown during this shootout.  Do I believe that?  Yeah.  No problem.  But explosives being thrown at one lone police officer during a car chase 10 minutes prior?  Not so much.

For a full interview with Andrew Kitzenberg ➤ Youtube

So by 1:00 a.m. apparently it was all over.  Jahar managed to take off in the Mercedes, allegedly driving over his shot brother in the process.  Or did he?  One witness by the name of “Linda” called into a radio station to tell her version of events:  Tamerlan was hit by a police vehicle (not by Jahar) and then shot multiple times.  LISTEN ON YOUTUBE HERE.  Tameral was then taken to the hospital where authorities say he died of his wounds.  I’m pretty certain that if this guy was walking towards this many cops shooting at him, he was dead before he was picked up off the pavement.  Just saying.

But if you’re not sure watch the video from the shootout seen on youtube ➤ Here and you be the judge.

A few things to note:

1.  News media and even the authorities originally reported that the brothers were armed to the hilt.  I’ve read everything from multiple handguns, shotguns and long guns.  Hate to break it to you, folks, but they only had one firearm.  A hand gun.  Tamerlan was using it.  One gun.  And yeah, for all of you that want to skip ahead that means Jahar didn’t have a gun while he was hiding in the boat.  Not one.

2.  What happened first?  Did police shoot at these guys or did the suspects shoot first?  Or did they throw explosives first?

Here’s another first hand video of the shootout ➤ Youtube

mercedesThere has been a recent development with the shootout video.  The website, clevelandchallenger.com (graphic photo of Tamerlan’s body on top of page, warning), posted a story yesterday about an amateur video that was recently released.  Jamie Lee Karlos, an admitted amateur, isolated the audio portion of the shootout video.  He claims you can hear the brothers yelling “We give up,” and “We didn’t do it.”  In between the yelling you hear the cops shooting a barrage of bullets at them.  Now whether or not this video is legit, well…no word on that.  But it’s interesting.  I’ve watched it and it certainly sounds like they’re yelling some of this stuff.  Definitely worth checking out:

Listen and watch the video on Youtube HERE.

Beyond disturbing if the audio of this video is legit.

So what happened next, you say?

As you read, Jahar escaped in the Mercedes.  Apparently he drove about 5 blocks, hopped out of the vehicle and took off into the neighborhood.  Did the police run out of bullets when Jahar was driving past them?  You know, to maybe shoot out the tires or maybe just shoot him?  Just wondering since they didn’t have a problem unloading over 300 rounds at them moments before.

The last thing I’ll bring up is the green Honda.  Apparently a 1999 green Honda Civic is registered to Tamerlan and Jahar’s father.  This is probably the “old sedan” seen during the carjacking (although it’s hardly “light” in color) and the car left behind after the shootout.  Remember Andrew Kitzenberg?  He took a few pictures of the green sedan and posted them to twitter.  Here’s one:
116GC7Folks, this tweet was posted the night of the shootout, April 19, 2013.  Yes, the time’s off (based on Twitter’s goofiness with time zones, GMT/Universal time and the like) but it’s not like this was taken the following night.  And do you notice he even adds the license plate # (man, I so love this guy) #116GC7.  So I ask you, why were news sources running headlines such as these the very next day?:
green honda 1

Yeah.  I checked back for further details CNBC and your details suck.  No offense.  How can the police be searching for a car that’s been sitting on Laurel Street for at least 9 hours prior to you running this headline?  What?  And no, CNBC was not the only one in on the green Honda action.  How’s Governor Dan Malloy for ya?  Uh huh.
gov. dan malloyAgain, this car has been sitting on Laurel Street since the shootout.  What the…?  Here’s another one from The Atlantic Wire online:
green honda 2

How about this?  By 2:19pm on April 19th, 13 hours after the shootout, FOX runs a story:

green honda 3“Authorities have canceled a ‘BOLO’ – ‘Be on the lookout for’ – for a 1999 four-door green Honda Civic with the Massachusetts license plate 116GC7, the Massachusetts State Police said.

The FBI had said that Dzhokar Tsamaev might have been driving that car in Connecticut, but police said they have that car.”

Wow.  13 hours later.  Maybe law enforcement and the government should be happy there are conspiracy theorists running around.  If there wasn’t, they’d all be focused on what appears to be incompetency and complete failure of communication at every single level between these agencies.  Seriously.

By early day on April 19, 2013, the suspects were identified by authorities as Tamerlan and Dzhokhar A. Tsamaev.

Up next:  Boston Bombing Day 5 Con’td:  The Naked Guy, Suspects Identified

4 Comments

  1. Good job on this but one mistake: you’re looking at the shell station photo wrong. Jahar is leaving the store with the items, pushing the door open with his back, Tamerlan about 6 feet behind Jahar, that’s his reflection in the door.

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