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The Manhunt in Boston Continues

Aired April 19, 2013 - 11:00   ET


TOM FUENTES, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: ... for some other reason to believe that he could be in another place, but with someone that's a relative for the old country. So that could be what the interpreter is for.

ERIN BURNETT, ANCHOR, "CNN NEWSROOM": We want to bring in Deb Feyerick. We have her now on the phone. Deb?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Hey, Erin. We've been moved back significantly.

And one of the police officers who is trying to get all of the members of the press out of the way, basically, said, you guys are in the line of fire. You're in the line of fire. And then they proceeded to move us back significantly.

I am told by -- I'm told by an intel source, that, in fact, they may -- it may be that they have found somebody else, an associate, who may have had -- sorry, just seeing what the noise is about.

I'm told by an intel source that it may be that they are -- you know, have found an associate -- an associate -- of the younger bomber, the younger, suspected bomber, so that is what I am being told right now.

They've called for a Russian translator. They have moved us back. There are sharpshooters everywhere. They are monitoring the situation.

But they have surrounded either a home or a vehicle. It's very difficult to see from where we are right now. But they pulled us back significantly.

What we were reporting earlier today, earlier this morning, well, now, we're probably about a block away from that.

Like I said, the police officer yelled and said, you are in the line of fire. You are in the line of fire.

I can see a couple of people, some law enforcement, some police with rifles. They are walking the perimeter.

But, again, you've got to imagine about 20, 25 police cars and other vehicles surrounding one particular -- surrounding something, and we think it's a car.

And I'm being told by an intel source that it may possibly be somebody known to the younger bomber.


BURNETT: All right, Deb, thank you.

And what Deb just said there is very important because they're trying to figure out -- at this point, we had thought it was just the two brothers.

The family members, the friends that we have spoken to, knew nothing about this. The uncle, as we have heard, knew nothing about this.

But now, what they're saying, is that they may have had an associate. And that that could have been the need for an interpreter.

This was the crucial question all the way through, which was how many people may be involved?

There's a lot of ...

CHRIS CUOMO, CO-ANCHOR, "CNN NEWSROOM": I mean, you're definitely going down the right road. That's what we're understanding and we're hearing.

But it also could be, I'm being told, that they've met someone who may be helpful and the man is not very conversant in English. That's why they brought in the translator.

So it's not necessarily broadening the net of people who are involved, but just trying to get someone who may be able to help them to do that.

We got word that they're supposed to be having a press conference soon and about what's going on. And we will brings that to you, obviously, as soon as we can. It may be delayed, given the exigent circumstances surrounding Watertown right now.

Also, something to remember, at home, this is not an unusual protocol in a situation that could turn violent.

Police don't like having people in the immediate vicinity of something that could turn violent, so them clearing the area doesn't mean that there's something special about this situation. It could just be the urgency of wanting to keep it as safe as possible.

Now, we believe Deb is in a better situation right now. Deb, can you hear us? Are you still on the phone?

FEYERICK (via telephone): Stand by, Chris. Stand by. One moment, I'll be right with. Standby. I've got a call.

BURNETT: All right, sounds like she's taking a call. This, obviously, is heating up.

I want to emphasize again this happened once earlier this morning, and then it calmed down for a little bit, so we don't know the exact situation or what's happening here, lots of information coming across the scanners.

Of course, we don't really discuss that on the air because that's a police conversation, what they're trying to figure out is happening.

But what Deb is able to report is that an associate -- that she believes that they may have found some sort of an associate of the younger suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar in this area in Watertown and that could have been why they called for the interpreter.

CUOMO: Absolutely right.

BURNETT: But if there's one associate, how many other people were there? The chairman of the Homeland Security yesterday told me, look, I think there could have been a conspiracy, something broader he was getting from intelligence.

Now, he wasn't sure, no one is sure.

CUOMO: Right. Goes into the column of "what we don't know."

BURNETT: Right, how -- when people plan this, how many people does it take? How small was it? And they need to be able to pull every single thread so that, when this is over, they know everyone.

CUOMO: And to be clear, they've made incredible -- I know you've been making this point on your show and it's very true. They've made incredible progress in this situation in such a short amount of time given how multi-factorial it was.

This place was so crowded. They have no prior threats. They have no one taking responsibility for the act.

And just by going through amazing amounts of video tapes and photos, they wound up isolating suspects. That is really rare.

This has been a series of firsts for us in this investigation, the most recent one is what's unfolding right now, this, again, a five- second delay just because we can't control exactly what's going to happen.

We're going to go back to Deb right now. She's on the phone at the location that you're seeing on your screen, now moved back to a safe distance.

Deb, can you hear us?

FEYERICK (via telephone): Yeah, I can hear you, Chris and Erin.

We have been moved back. We just saw a bomb truck moving towards what we believe is a vehicle or something that they're interested in.

One of the things that they're concerned about is that this individual may have -- may have -- planted other pipe bombs. That's one thing that they're careful about because he was found with them, because there may be a distraction. That's one of the reasons that they're telling people to shelter in place, to stay where they are, because they don't know how much access he had to Boston when he and his brother stole that car.

So, again, one thing I am told and it's perfectly logical, makes perfect sense, is that, whether it's a vehicle that's surrounded or whether it's an individual that's surrounded, the cars are close enough, close enough, the police cars are close enough, so that they don't believe there's a risk of it exploding.

We were moved back. We were told, you're in the line of fire. But the cars, themselves, they seem to be closer to that vehicle, certainly, than they would be if there was some sort of device certainly like the one that was used in the marathon.


BURNETT: And, Deb, at this point, from what you're saying, just to make sure we're very clear for our viewers, you're talking about that they could be, at this point, focusing in on an associate, someone who may have been helping?

But it's not a hundred percent clear as to whether they believe the suspect, Dzhokhar, is also in that area, right?

FEYERICK (via telephone): They believe he has been in this area. They believe he has been in this area.

Now, what they're doing is that they're -- and that's why they mastered the kind of presence they did this morning. When we got here when it was dark out and you saw all the cars, they were closing off the perimeter, and they were choking it off.

And, so, now, they don't know whether he is here, whether he may have made contact with the particular individual who was trying to get to him.

If that's a possibility, we have no information to back that up, but they are treating this very, very seriously, so we're monitoring it. We're about a block away.

We don't know why this individual is of interest, but we did hear them calling for a Russian translator on the phone.

You've got to remember, that area of the Russian caucus, Russian is spoken. And, also, Erin and Chris, I do want to tell you that I spoke to someone earlier who said, now it appears that the brothers, the brothers lived on the water about 200 miles -- about two hours, two hours from the center of Chechnya, so they were on the border.

They were on the border, so that's why there's been so much confusion as to whether they were from Chechnya or whether they were from Kyrzakhstan. So that, right now, may explain why people are saying that the brothers were from the Russian caucuses or right on the border of Chechnya.

Erin? Chris?

CUOMO: Deb, let me ask you something. Just take a half step back.

Why are authorities there? Do they believe this is where he was living? Or is this where a known friend was? Or is this where they believed they pursued him to? Just to set the scene as to why there's this activity in this area.

FEYERICK (via telephone): Well, it could be all of that. The first location, where all the law enforcement came, we reported earlier that we smelled smoke. That was the first location. We were told, you've got to pull back. You've got to pull back.

We saw the helicopter. We saw the smoke. So whether there was somebody in that house that they wanted to talk to -- every location they go where they believe he may have been, or where somebody who was known to him might be, they have got to treat it as if it is a hostile environment, that it is potentially booby-trapped and they have to proceed with great caution.

So right now, we have the first location which they cleared with forensic teams, then there's the second location, which is now very hot, very active.

So, again, anywhere he's been, anybody who he may have been with, that they are being treated as a potential threat, a potential danger.

CUOMO: All right, Deb, thank you very much.

BURNETT: Deb, thank you.

CUOMO: Please keep us in the loop and stay at a safe distance.

They have every reason to believe he could have explosives because when they were in hot pursuit of the vehicle last night, they were throwing improvised explosive devices, grenades, out of car.

The brother, who was killed and allegedly run over by his own brother in his attempt to escape, had on an explosive device, which may or may not have detonated, to a certain degree when they were ...

BURNETT: Yeah, we're still not exactly sure how he died, what those injuries came from.

But at some point, (inaudible), can we just -- I know you're still there -- just bring you pack in here.

What's your belief on how quickly they're able to wrap this up. I know that we, sitting here hosting this, that our viewers, everybody is hoping and anticipating that this would happen relatively quickly.

Given that this area is cordoned off, given that they last saw him there, they haven't -- they've been trying to cordon it off, so he isn't able to leave.

Do you believe that this is something that gets wrapped up very quickly?

FUENTES: Well, it's possible that it could be wrapped up quickly, especially if he chooses to do it.

Again, the two brothers initiated the combat last night when they assassinated the police officer who had not encountered them, had not made an approach against them. They just chose him to go shoot and kill.

So that's all we're talking about here is, if he chooses to go out in a blaze of glory, that may come sooner than later.

If he's somehow slipped out of the area, maybe he hijacked another car last night right after the high speed pursuit and the shootout with the police, he got out of their sight when he got around the corner.

Maybe he's not there, maybe he's gone, so that's always a possibility. This could take a long time, then.

Secondly, they're going place to place to place right now, again, known relatives or classmates or friends or any of that, so as they clear those, one at a time, that takes time, but that should be able to be resolved pretty quickly today, at least most of those type of addresses.

I know talking to a couple of people that there's a little bit of frustration on the part of the commanders only because there are a lot of false positives. And that's something that we're seeing, as well.

So when all of the sudden, there's a flood of police cars and bomb disposal trucks and SWAT team members racing into a particular area, many of those have been due to a false alarm or a false suspicious package or something else, but they have to treat it that way.

But then, at the end, it's just they're getting a little bit tired of having to do that and having these false things.

Some of the reason, also, to back media trucks and others out and expand the perimeter, another reason to do that, is so they have room to run those vehicles in and out quickly when they have to go from one spot to another spot to another spot.

So, again, we just -- there's no way to really predict how soon this could take, but if you go back to 5:00 in the afternoon yesterday, when those pictures get put out to the Internet, some of us thought it could be within eight hours that somebody is going to know or a lot of somebodies are going to be calling in and saying, I know them, or it could be a long time.

There's just too much difficulty to predict that right now.

BURNETT: Right. It's interesting. Some of people who knew him said, we saw those pictures -- one of his former classmates -- and we were joking that's the way Dzhokhar always wears his hat.

But they didn't call the FBI. I mean, maybe perhaps some of them did, but the ones that he -- the other friends that Eric McCottaugh (ph) knew did not because they said there's no way it could actually be him.

CUOMO: Let me ask you something, Tom. That's an excellent point that Erin's making, though, that this was hard for people to believe, but now we're in a situation where they believe they have him, the authorities, so that's advanced.

But, going back to last night, you had these two deciding they wanted the confrontation. Do we know the circumstances around the shooting and killing of the m. MIT security officer?

FUENTES: Well, from what I've been told, the police officer was sitting in his squad car and didn't see them, or didn't -- you know, had no radio contact that he was approaching suspicious subjects or anything to alert the dispatcher that something might come up.

So he's sitting in his police car. and, apparently, these two came up to him and killed him where he sat. So they're the ones that chose to accelerate and start this process.

And, again, going back to last Monday, or the date of the bombing of the marathon, you know, we were saying at the time that they did not choose to leave the site for a long time. They stood around and watched their handiwork.

So it didn't appear that they were in too big of a hurry to leave Boston, or too big of a hurry to leave the crime scene.

Now, today, they might be -- it have come -- or, I should say, last night, it might have changed to where they weren't ready to leave Boston, but they are ready to leave this world, and, again, suicide of, by and with police officers, taking them with them.

BURNETT: All right, Tom, thank you. And we want to bring Deb Feyerick now. We were able to get her shot back up.


FEYERICK: Yeah, so, Erin, what we're going to do is we're going to show you. We are about a block away from where we were early this morning.

I'm listening to you through my cell phone, but you can see. If you see the green light, that was where we were located just about 15 minutes ago. So we've pulled back an entire block.

And all of those vehicles there, they have surrounded an individual. We believe he was in a car. They are that close to him. And we understand that he may be on the ground. So whether he was an associate, whether he was known to the younger brother, that is something that we're trying to get an answer to.

But, again, that is a very, very hot area. And, as I told you, it's probably less at this point, a question of the bomb given just the proximity of law enforcement to the vehicle. And it is more likely that it is, in fact, an associate. And they want to know, exactly, what he's doing here and why. Look, this young man had a lot of friends. This young man had a lot of friends. He had 77 friends on his web site page, all of them associates or -- people he knew. I don't want to use the word associates. That's a loaded word. But possibly a friend of his.

And so he may be reaching out to these people. People who may think that he didn't do anything. So that's one of the reasons that they're being very careful. Investigators are running down all of these kinds of leads just to make sure that anybody who may be known to him is, in fact, talked to. They want to know, investigators want to know what his friends know, basically. An that's what they're doing right now.

But the big fear, the really big fear from law enforcement right now, is that this young man, he's got nothing to lose right now. His brother is dead. He's got thousands of people, law enforcement, police, ATF, FBI, sharp shooters, all different agencies from across the state. All of them are looking for him. And that's what he is up against. So if he decides to go out in a blaze of glory, you know, perhaps with explosives on his body, like his brother, that is something that law enforcement is very fearful of right now. Erin? Chris?

BURNETT: All right, Deb, thank you. We're going to keep going back to Deb, and Chris, you know, when we talk about this question about whether he wants to go out in a blaze of glory taking law enforcement lives and his own life, makes me think back to the situation in France. You may remember the shooter ended up being a Muslim extremist, in that case, who was shooting the Jewish children and shooting them point-blank and then they ended up finding him an apartment and it ended badly. They were never able to get him and talk to him about why he did it. That's what they're trying to prevent here. That he wouldn't say -- they describe it as sort of a trapped animal. That at the last moment, he wouldn't just put that gun on himself.

CUOMO: Excellent. Excellent. I also think it's important for people to remember as Erin and I are here processing information, what we're dealing most is what we don't know. We do not know the motivations of this young man or his brother. They are men who decided to kill. We know that. That's what they told their hostage. We know that. That's what investigators say.

And they believe they have this second man pinned down. Why he did it. Who he is. How he's going to go out. The only expectation there is, is that he may well have explosives on him because his brother did. They used them in an attack. They were throwing them out the window of a car that they had stolen last night, improvised hand grenades. (AUDIO BREAK) explosives, what they may or (AUDIO BREAK) explosives. We don't know yet.

There a lot of question marks in this situation and you can see it in the investigation itself. There's tons of manpower here. We've never had anything like this in the history of our country, where there's such pursuit with an individual involved in an alleged terrorist attack. And again that phrase can , of course, get complicated, but at the end of the day, you blow people up who are innocents. It sounds like terrorism to most Americans. So this is a lot of firsts going on. And you're going to see some randomness in the investigation. Not every movement means that something meaningful is happening.

BURNETT: Of course, we have no idea on the motivation. We want to emphasize that again and again and again. At this point, we have no idea. You can think of some Chechen-related violence that the Russians have dealt with, it has been this sort of thing. The bombs on the subways. This sort of mass crowd, surprise terror. That's the message that had been used. But, you know, I say that only in the context that they were originally from Chechnya. They have not spent time there, there's no indication that there was any inspiration from there. At this point, we just don't know.

CUOMO: What we heard from people, you're making a great point, you hear the people who knew them, they were fully Americanized. Grateful to be here, said someone who knew them very well. Loved being here, appreciate the opportunities of America. The older brother was trying to compete for the country as a boxer. These are indications of somebody who is just like all the other ethnic people in this country. They come here and make America their own.

BURNETT: They want to assimilate.

There's two things that we have heard from the friends that we have spoken to, that have sort of stood out as red flags. The older brother saying that he had no friends and didn't understand Americans. And the younger brother, we were earlier talking to a friend who said he had a conversation with friends about terrorism and said if the cause is justified, it's not terrorism.

Two small points at some point in these young men's lives that now appear to be red flags. But, from everything we've heard, those are the only two things that stand out, especially about the younger brother, the suspect who right now you're looking at on your screen, who is on the run.

We've hear words, I was writing them down, from people we've talked to - that he was grateful, jovial, compassionate, caring, good work ethic, lovely lovely kid, normal, a great athlete. These are the words we're hearing about a killer.

CUOMO: Jim Walsh, you're with us on the phone there? I'm sorry, you're with us? You have your camera up? Can you understand us?


CUOMO: Yes? All right, great. You understand -- you hear the conversation we're having right now trying to put together the picture of this. Try to put into context for us with your experience.

WALSH: Let me just say this. I want to underline what you've said so far. I think it's important. The analogy I would make is if these guys were, you know my name's Walsh, if these guys were Irish Americans, or from Ireland originally, we might be inclined to jump to think it's the IRA or terrorism associated with Northern Ireland. And I think it would be a mistake to leap to that conclusion. I think you're right to say the Chechen angle may be part of it. It may be something else. It may be a fully domestic issue that animates them or has motivated them. So I think we need to be cautious about this. And I think you're right to say that.

BURNETT: We were also talking, just before you came back up, how this is going to end. And the police were worried this is sort of like a trapped animal. He could try to go out in a blaze of glory that would cost law enforcement lives and also his own life. We were recalling the situation in France. With the extremist, and Jihadist who had killed young Jewish children, ended up holding himself up in an apartment and in a shoot out was killed. They weren't able to take him alive. How do they prevent a situation where someone goes out in a blaze of glory? When you think about how this is setting up, it seems almost impossible to prevent.

WALSH: Well, it's a fair point, Erin. It's not just the terrorists in France. We've had incidents in this country where you've had a gunman who has killed someone and then gets holed up and then ends up killing themselves. So that is certainly one outcome we've seen happen again and again. And that could be the case here. Presumably, they'll be able to manage this in some respect. If they're able to identify a location, then they'll be able to evacuate that location, ring him in and limit the damage that might be done.

Presumably, as with a hostage situation, law enforcement that have experience in this regard, will attempt to talk him down and talk him out of this. But even there, it's going to be very difficult to assure the safety of police even as they apprehend him. So I think this is going to be very, very difficult.

BURNETT: Jim, standby for a moment. Please don't go anywhere. We just want to bring Deb Feyerick back. Every time we can get her shot up for her on the phone, they just keep bringing her in. Deb?

FEYERICK: Yes, Erin, again, it's now been about 15 minutes. The police cars are still there. Huge presence. A lot of activity, guns, we believe, are still drawn. Our understanding is that there's an individual that they surrounded, that they want to question. That they want to talk to. They have not pulled back. They have not pulled back nor have they -- nor have we seen any vehicles moving in this direction.

We've seen a couple of small cars, but not the kind that you would necessarily transport an individual who you wanted to speak with. So we are watching, we are waiting. A couple of cars are now beginning to move. But, again, we're trying to understand exactly who this young man -- who this person -- who this individual is.

We are being told by sources that there is somebody else who they are definitely interested in finding. And somebody else that they are definitely interested in speaking with. We'll see what's going on. Just a couple of cars are moving. So what that means is that there's at least one additional person in addition to those brothers who law enforcement, who they do want to speak with. We're going to move out of the way as cars start to come. That's all we've got so far.

Again, just to clarify, a little bit of confusion. The brothers are from the area on the border of Chechnya in Dagestan. They lived in a small town there, but they were not in Chechnya proper, but on the border. That is what we're learning now. Erin? Chris?

CUOMO: All right, Deb, thank you very much. The benefit of 24 hour, constant coverage, is that you learn things first. The burden (ph) is when you don't know, we just don't know. All we can piece together from that great sense of urgency. However, the one fact that we do understand, them calling in a Russian interpreter, has to lead you away from the possibility of this being the primary suspect that they're now pursuing because he is certainly fluent in English.

And what that raises, according to sources close to the investigation, is that they're trying to help people who can help them find the suspect. And one of them may not well be conversant in English that's the need for the Russian interpreter. We just don't know at this time. We're just showing you and telling you what develops as it does.

BURNETT: All right. There's a press conference. I want to take this right now, we're going to listen in.


UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: The CRV was present at the time of the carjacking. One of the suspects then drove away with it. And that's why we were looking for it. We have recovered it in Massachusetts. I think we recovered it in Cambridge, but I'll double check that for you. That answers the question of the CRV, hopefully.


UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: We heard a report that there was a carjack. I just believe it was in their possession. I don't know if they owned it or what have you.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was there someone in it, or was it abandoned?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was there anything in it? (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: I cannot discuss that at this time.


UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: The question was that a state police truck was stolen last night. Was it part of it? That was false.


UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: I don't know the answer to that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's going on now?

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: The governor and the mayor are being briefed by the commanders of various agencies and we expect that they'll be briefing you soon.

We also have some police activity down the street. I don't know if you can see it from here. There was an initial report of a possible suspect. It is not suspect number two. It is not white hat. They're clearing that scene.


UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: The Arsenal (ph) mall (ph) parking lot.


UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Yes it is. Okay. Thank you. I'm going to turn this back off.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ma'am, get back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: : Can you guys tell us if you've heard anything?


CUOMO: All right. So we believe that the press conference is now over. We're looking at live pictures from the scene on a five-second delay because we don't know what we can't control. And we want to be careful about that. Not a lot of headlines out of that other than it's a fluid situation. They're trying to keep the rest of the investigation looped in.


CUOMO: Did you pick anything else up from that?

BURNETT: I just wanted to say that John Kerry was just asked -- I want to share this looking at my Blackberry, was asked about Chechen separatists as people are obviously wondering about that angle. Again, anything in terms of motive or inspiration at this point is pure speculation. But John Kerry, Secretary of State, was just asked about that. He's, at this point, declined to comment. He says he thinks it's just a little bit too early. He did just receive a couple of questions about whether this was linked to Chechen separatists who have, of course, been implicated in bombings in Russia. But, at this point --

CUOMO: It could just be two men --

BURNETT: It could just be two men inspired by something completely domestic who happened to have been Chechen with names that could imply a link to separatism, but it has nothing to do with that. CUOMO: That's exactly right, so let's get back to the situation as it unfolds. Deb Feyerick is where - to describe what's going on with the picture that you're watching right now on your screen. Deb?

FEYERICK: Yes, and, Chris, so a number of cars pulled out and then a number of cars pulled back in. This is what we're seeing. It's sort of an ebb and flow of different kinds of police vehicles. For example, this morning, we saw a lot of tactical units that were coming in. The snipers, the tactical team. Once they pulled out, then the forensic team came in to search a location. And we're trying to figure out who may have lived at that location.

Now what you're seeing is you're seeing an area that was surrounded by a number of police vehicles. An individual, we are told, was on the ground. They were questioning him. Now we're seeing some cars pull out. Others pull in. So it's just -- it is really an ebb of flow of activity here. And they're very, very interested in this area. We can't state that enough.

This is an incredibly unusual show of police force. You've got Boston police, state police, Medford police, you've got police from all different locations across the state. You've got FBI, ATF, S.W.A.T teams. You have bomb-sniffing dogs. At one point, I saw somebody moving passed in a military uniform. And Erin and Chris, this really looked like this was someone who is doing a sweep for IEDs. As we see everything that's developing, everything that's going on, we're keeping an eye and we're monitoring it. But you know, if this is -- you almost get the feeling that what they're trying to close the news, that they're pushing and basically trying to get this guy. So that's what we're keeping an eye on right now.