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Published April 19, 2013, 07:22 PM

Gunshots Erupt in Watertown Where Boston Bomb Suspect Vanished

Gunfire erupted shortly this evening in Watertown, Mass., where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, was believed to be hiding.

Gunfire erupted shortly this evening in Watertown, Mass., where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, was believed to be hiding.

Dozens of law enforcement officers rushed to secure a perimeter around Franlin Street in Watertown, where residents were immediately warned to stay indoors and "shelter in place."

The developments came just minutes after a press conference by law enforcement officials and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said a massive dragnet had failed to find the suspect.

Erik Thompson, who lives across the street from the home where police activity is centered, said he heard gunshots and saw law enforcement rush to the scene.

"There was some gunfire earlier which was almost immediately stopped. People were yelling to cease fire, and it seems to be focused on some homes across the street from where I am, which I think is the western side of the street," Thompson said.

"There's still a significant presence of law enforcement there," he said. "It's like D-Day."

The governor lifted an order that kept people in Watertown, Boston and surrounding suburbs inside all day.

The officials had said at the press conference that they thoroughly searched Watertown and had not found any sign of Tsarnaev.

Following a late-night shootout with police that involved more than 200 rounds of ammunition and explosive devices, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, abandoned his car and slipped away on foot.

His older brother and alleged accomplice in the bombings, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in the gunfire. The pair are believed to have dropped two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday, killing three and injuring more than 170.

Massachusetts State Police Superintendent Col. Timothy Alben said at a press conference this afternoon that the Tsarnaev brothers opened fire and threw explosives at cops around 10:30 p.m. Thursday as they fled from Cambridge to Watertown. But he said law enforcement were forced to choose between providing first aid to those in need and securing a perimeter to contain the suspect.

Gov. Deval Patrick ordered everyone in Watertown, Boston and surrounding suburbs to stay indoors, shut down public transportation and taxi service for the day as the search for Tsarnaev proceeded.

Heavily armed officers and military-style vehicles conducted a door-to-door search of Watertown, but the search turned up nothing, Alben said.

Police did find evidence of homemade pipe bombs and a pressure cook at the scene of the shootout, they said.

Shortly after 6 p.m. today, the governor lifted the "shelter in place" order and reopened the city's mass transit system. He asked residents to remain vigilant.

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