“This is 100 times more than that,” Sideris said.
As the manhunt stretched into the afternoon and early evening, city officials remained largely in the dark — relying almost exclusively on news reports for information — leaving them unable to effectively field the questions of residents desperately calling them for updates.
The perimeter began slowing expanding, as officers searched neighborhood after neighborhood for any sign of the escaped suspect.
While some feared the suspect had escaped Watertown, his final showdown with armed officials came in a Franklin Street backyard, just outside the original search area.
In the moments before, Marina Der Torossian’s 13-year-old daughter, tired of being confined indoors, decided to take a quick stroll. But as officers closed in on Franklin Street, she found herself cut off from her mother and 14-year-old brother Joey, who were evacuated to another street.
“I had no home to go to because they were blocking off the street, so I went and sat on someone’s steps,” said Julie Der Torossian. “I got scared, I didn’t know where he [suspect] was, and the shots sounded really close. I was panicking, shaking.”
As tactical officers closed in, some Franklin Street residents gathered on the top floors of their house, others in the dark, with their televisions turned on.
But the fright that had gripped the city turned to jubilation. As officers emerged from the yard declaring, “We got him,” residents broke into cheers.
“It’s overwhelming,” said Arman Dilan, who owns an apartment complex within the police perimeter and was holed up in his home much of the afternoon.
But even before the suspect’s capture, Dilan refused to allow the week’s events deter his spirit.
Around lunchtime, as convoys of police and emergency vehicles raced down the street, he hung a US flag in the complex’s doorway, offering a burst of patriotism in a city held hostage for a day.
Brian Ballou, Scott Helman, Meghan Irons, Akilah Johnson, Eric Moskowitz, Maria Sacchetti and Martine Powers, all of the Globe staff, and correspondents Christina Pazzanese and Andrew Tran contributed to this report. Wesley Lowery can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @WesleyLowery.