One of the officers rushing to join the fight was Watertown Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese, a 33-year veteran and a trained firearms instructor. His arrival would turn the tide.
Pugliese ran along the side of one house, through its back yard, jumped a chain-link fence and circled back, walking up a driveway to within 12 feet of the older Tsarnaev. The two men started shooting at each other.
“Sergeant Pugliese feels he hit the suspect a number of times,’’ said Dupuis, noting that Pugliese is an excellent shot. “If he says he hit him, he hit him. The suspect’s shooting and returns fire but he misses.’’
When Tamerlan ran out of ammunition, he threw his weapon at Pugliese, hitting him in the arm, Dupuis said. Tamerlan then tried to run, but Pugliese, with the aid of Reynolds and MacLellan, tackled him in the street and handcuffed him.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may have injured himself in one of the blasts — he had what appeared to be shrapnel cuts on his neck and ear when he was captured — but that didn’t stop him. He jumped into the stolen SUV and started driving straight toward the three officers and Tamerlan.
“He’s coming toward us!’’ MacLellan yelled in time for the other officers to roll off Tamerlan at the last minute.
The SUV ran over Tamerlan Tsarnaev with a sickening thump. Blood pooled around him. Red streaks stained the pavement where Dzhokhar had dragged his older brother under the SUV.
“He was on his belly; he was moving,” said Jean MacDonald, who was watching from her second-floor bathroom window on Laurel Street. “I saw him trying to lift up his head.”
Police said Tsarnaev dragged his brother’s body about 30 feet.
“I could see the SUV headlights go up and then down when he drove over his brother,” said Rob Mullen of Laurel Street, who watched the gunfight unfold in disbelief.
Somehow, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev maneuvered the careening SUV between the two police cars on Laurel Street and sped off at 12:48 a.m. Wounded, he didn’t get far, abandoning the vehicle about half a mile away and setting off on foot.
“Police were heroic,” said Jane Dyson of Dexter Avenue. “They stood their ground. They did not retreat an inch.”
Friday, 12:51 a.m.
Race to rescue
“Gunshots. Officer down.’’
When that alert pierced the silence of the small firehouse on Orchard Street in Watertown — the city’s north station — firefighters Patrick Menton and Jimmy Caruso — both trained as emergency medical technicians — jumped into a boxy ambulance and roared toward Laurel Street.
There are few more urgent words in public safety than “officer down.’’ For Patrick Menton they buzzed now with extra electricity. His younger brother Tim is a Watertown police officer. Is the officer in trouble my brother? Menton wondered.
They sped down Orchard Street to School Street. Mount Auburn to Laurel.
“Get some rubber gloves out,’’ Caruso told Menton. “Get ready.’’
The seven Watertown officers who responded first were quickly being augmented. State Trooper Christopher Dumont, a paramedic, and Linskey, the Boston Police Department’s superintendent-in-chief, had joined the response.
Other reinforcements poured in. Just blocks from the shooting, other officers emerged from their vehicles clutching weapons and listening for instructions.
As Dzhokhar Tsarnaev escaped, officers returned to Tamerlan to check on his condition when urgent word went out. “Officer down.’’
In all the chaos, MBTA officer Richard H. Donohue Jr. had been shot near his groin, possibly by a fellow officer, and collapsed in a pool of blood at the corner of Dexter Avenue and Laurel Street. One civilian witness, who asked not to be identified, said there were police officers positioned behind Donohue and they appeared to be firing in his direction. The Middlesex district attorney’s office is investigating.
Two Harvard University officers, Ryan Stanton and Michael Rea, used tourniquets to stanch the flow of blood from Donohue’s wound. Others officers also assisted.
“So they immediately go to the aid of that officer — the first officer who was there and a number of other officers,’’ said Watertown Police Chief Edward Deveau. “This guy is bleeding out.”
Mullen said he heard desperate voices screaming in the night: “We’re losing him. We’re losing him. Get an ambulance here. Now.”
A dazed Jeffrey Ryan stumbled out on his porch on Dexter Avenue to witness the frantic efforts to save Donohue, 10 feet away in his driveway.
“I ask what I could do to help,” he recalled. “They said ‘Get towels, for tourniquets.’ My wife brought out a handful of towels. They did a great job saving his life.” Continued...