[Episcopal News Service] The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts asked for prayers early on April 19 while the entire city of Boston and some surrounding towns were locked down as police searched for the second of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing.
“Given the ongoing police activity that you are no doubt seeing on the news, I want to let you know that we have been in touch this morning with our chaplains at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, and with the clergy and wardens at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Watertown, and everyone there, as well as at Episcopal Divinity School, are safe, as far as we know,” Bishop M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE, told clergy and diocesan leadership early on April 19.
“Please pray for all in the affected communities, and pray for a speedy and violence-free resolution to these disturbing events. Keep watch, Lord, with those who work or watch or weep this day.”
The diocesan offices and the Cathedral Church of St. Paul office near Boston Common at 138 Tremont Street in Boston were closed.
The Facebook page for the Rev. Amy McCreath, Good Shepherd’s priest-in-charge, soon began to fill with messages of concern and promises of prayers. During its weekly Hidden Brook contemplative prayer evening service on April 18, Church of the Good Shepherd included prayers for the victims of the bombing and “support for the rest of us in dealing with the tragedy.”
Events began to unfold on the evening of April 18 after the FBI released photos of two men they called “armed and extremely dangerous.”
FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers said during a press conference just after 5 p.m. EST that “no one should approach them. No one should attempt to apprehend them except law enforcement.”
Overnight, the brothers apparently attempted to rob a convenience store near MIT. Soon after, a MIT police officer was shot and killed in his car, according to the Boston Globe.
The brothers later carjacked a Mercedes SUV, the Globe said. The car’s owner escaped and the two men led police on a long chase during which they fired on Watertown, Massachusetts, police and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Transit Police officer, Richard H. Donahue Jr., 33, was wounded. The Globe reported that 10 officers were being evaluated at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton after they were injured by explosives thrown from the car.
During the gunfight, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was wounded and brought to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center emergency room about 1:10 a.m. with multiple traumatic injuries. Doctors told the Globe that those injuries included both gunshot wounds and explosive-caused wounds. He later died.
Since then police have been conducting an intense search, at times going door-to-door, for Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19. The Associated Press reported that he and his older brother, Tamerlan, came from the Russian region near Chechnya, which has been plagued by an Islamic insurgency. The two had been living together on Norfolk Street in Cambridge, about two miles from EDS.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick asked people who live in the entire city of Boston, and the nearby communities of Watertown, Waltham, Newton, Belmont and Cambridge, to “shelter in place” — stay inside and not open their doors to anyone, except police with proper identification.
The search has also led to the sudden shutdown of the MTBA’s commuter rail, bus, and subway services. Taxi service was shut down. Officials asked businesses across the area not to open this morning.