Despite initial accounts that Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was heavily armed when police fired on him as he hid in a boat on Friday, it is now being reported that he had no gun at the time. It was also believed that the 19-year-old university student possibly had an explosive device. That apparently was not the case.
Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis had previously said that shots were fired from inside the boat.
The FBI has not revealed what caused officers to fire dozens of rounds at the boat that Tsarnaev was hiding in. They also chose not to say whether he was wounded during that incident or whether the wounds he had when he surrendered were from the earlier shootout with police that took the life of his brother Tamerlan.
Some have speculated that his wounds were from a suicide attempt. Although authorities are saying Tsarnaev did not have a gun when he was captured, it is not known whether he had a knife or not. Tsarnaev is recovering from a neck wound in a Boston hospital.
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The final 30 minutes of the search for Tsarnaev were described as the "fog of war," by one law enforcement official. It is possible that an accidental shot might have prompted other officers to begin discharging their weapons, USA Today reported.
"Law enforcement was placed in an extraordinarily dangerous situation," FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said. "They were dealing with an individual who is alleged to have been involved in the bombings at the Boston Marathon. As if that's not enough, there were indications of a carjacking, gunfire, an ambushed police officer and bombs thrown earlier. In spite of these extraordinary factors, they were able to capture this individual alive with no further harm to law enforcement. It was a tremendously effective outcome under dire circumstances."