The eight police officers from Watertown, Mass., who engaged in the infamous firefight with the accused Boston Marathon bombers recalled their harrowing ordeal in an exclusive interview with the New York Post on Monday.
Watertown officer Joseph Reynolds was the first cop to catch sight of Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev hours after the two brothers had been publicly identified by the FBI as lead suspects in the Marathon case. The Tsarnaevs allegedly set off pressure cooker bombs at the finish line on April 15 that killed 3 and injured 267 others. They allegedly killed an M.I.T. police officer a few days later as they tried to flee the area.
“I was in my patrol car, just doing routine,” Reynolds told the Post.
At 12:41 a.m. on April 19, Watertown’s dispatcher alerted him and all other units that a carjacked Mercedes SUV had been traced to their jurisdiction. Reynolds then saw a car that matched the description.
When Reynolds approached in his cruiser, the vehicle came to a stop. Tamerlan got out and started shooting. Meanwhile, Sgt. John MacLellan had been driving toward the scene in his own cruiser and quickly got on the radio.
“My thing was, I didn’t know how many guys there were,” said MacLellan. “I didn’t know what type of weapons they had. We weren’t set up. We weren’t ready for this. I needed to create some sort of diversion.”
MacLellan jumped out of his cruiser and sent it rolling toward the Tsarnaevs. Over the next few minutes, the brothers threw four pipe bombs, the first of which blew out the windows of the empty cop car. The next two were duds, but the fourth detonated. While it damaged nearby cars and houses, neither cop was injured.