A holdup at a Cambridge 7-11 store around 10pm Thursday set off an all night pursuit for the suspects in the Boston Marathon blasts. By sunrise, an MIT police officer was dead, an MBTA officer was wounded, one of the suspects was dead and another suspect remained on the loose, both have been identified as brothers, originally from Chechnya, living in the Boston area. With multiple crime scenes in multiple locations, one suspect still at large, and the area in virtual lockdown, the overnight events kept local and national news crews on the air nonstop.
The first reports began coming in after 1am. Networks were cautious of not connecting the shooting of the MIT officer with the search for the bombing suspects. CNN International broke in to CNN/U.S. at 1:13am. MSNBC’s Mara Schiavocampo broke in at 1:18 with the news along with correspondent Kerry Sanders. At 1:24am Fox News’ Marianne Rafferty broke in to a re-air of “On the Record” with news of the MIT shooting.
At 2:24am, as it was becoming clear the holdup, carjacking and MIT incident were related to the blast investigation, CNN’s Jake Tapper held up his iPad to show new photos of the suspects that he’d been emailed.
ABC’s overnight show World News Now kept viewers up to date throughout the night with help from affiliates. George Stephanopoulos anchored his first special report for ABC at 4:30am. NBC’s Lester Holt anchored an NBC News special report around 3:30amET and CBS News broadcast a special report at 4:40am with Anne Marie Green.
More, 8:27am: CNN’s Jake Tapper and John Berman, anchoring coverage, are talking to a Cambridge Rindge & Latin High School friend of 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the suspect still on the loose: “To think he’s capable of something like this is beyond belief.”
More: 8:35am: A Fox News is trained on a home in Watertown, MA where local and FBI officials have guns drawn. “Our cameraman is being told to back off,” said Brian Kilmeade.
FNC’s Griff Jenkins was near the firefight last night and this morning explained his rental car “is in the middle of the crime scene.”
More, 9:12am: On CNN, via an interview with CBS owned station WBZ-TV, the uncle of the brothers says his 19-year-old nephew had called another relative last night after his older brother was killed and said, “Forgive me and from now on we will be together.” After reporters apologized to him, the uncle added: “I’m sorry too, if he did this, I’m sorry too. I can’t believe it. It’s so crazy. It’s not possible. When I heard this on TV news, I was thinking how can it be like this?”
Update: ABC and CBS have expanded their morning shows beyond 9am as the manhunt for the 19-year-old suspect continues. NBC’s 9am hour of “Today” is also devoted to the breaking news. At one point, new ABC News correspondent Byron Pitts was reporting live as police officers moved him and other reporters away from an active location. A police officer could be heard telling the reporters: “Come on. Let’s go. Off the sidewalk, please. Around the corner.”
More, 9:35am: ABC showed what it called exclusive video of a bullet-riddled SUV being taken away by investigators. Brian Rossreported: “Our cameraman caught a shot of that car being towed away, a Mercedes SUV that the two brothers hijacked — carjacked at a gas station in Cambridge near Memorial Drive.” Explosive devices were reportedly thrown from car by the suspects. The driver was released by the brothers, unharmed.
More, 10:50am: All networks have their cameras trained on a neighborhood in Watertown, MA. CNN has said it is putting programming on a 5-second delay as local and federal authorities have their guns drawn imploring media to stay back.
More, 12:24pm: On CNN, correspondent Deborah Feyerick reported that, after being pushed back from an area in Watertown, police are now allowing reporters to return to their original positions closer to the search scene.
More, 1pm: CBS special report ends. Diane Sawyer continues on ABC; Brian Williams picks up across NBC.
More, 1:45pm: ABC’s Bianna Golodryga, who speaks fluent Russian, spoke to the father of the two bombing suspects, Anzor Tsarnaev, on three separate occasions today. Tsarnaev, who lives in Russia, tells Golodryga that neither the U.S. government nor the Russian government has contacted him at that time.
More, 2:09pm: Anderson Cooper cuts away from remarks from the suspects’ aunt in Toronto, who claims her nephews are innocent. “Clearly she is in a state of denial or not really aware of the whole impact of what has happened here, what is going on,” Cooper said. Megyn Kelly comes to the same conclusion on Fox News: “That’s the aunt,” she said.