Donations toward a new boat for Watertown hero David Henneberry – the man who came face-to-face with Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hiding inside his vessel – are already pouring in from around the country.
David Henneberry, 66, is the man credited for ending a nightmarish manhunt for the most wanted man in America.
The after effect was a sacrifice, however was countless holes in his boat that neighbors would describe as his “baby”.
“That boat’s his baby. He takes care of it like you wouldn’t believe. And they told him it’s all shot up,” David Henneberry’s friend and neighbor George Pizzuto told ABC News.
“He’s going to be heartbroken.”
Doborah Newberry of Orlando Florida, so moved by David Henneberry’s heroism and sacrifice, says she’s already mailed a $25 check to his home marked, “towards a new boat”.
“I just want him to know that people care about him because I know he’s probably the guy that would say, <<Well, that’s okay>>,” Deborah Newberry, 66, told ABC.
“But I just would like him to know that we’re all thinking about him and appreciate his spirit.”
Jacksonville attorney John Phillips says he also plans to send David Henneberry a check for $1,000 toward a new boat.
“[The boat] is fairly insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but that’s what’s significant to him,” John Phillips told ABCNews.com.
“If that’s what the guy’s passion is, I have no problem whatsoever chipping in and helping out.”
John Phillips suspects the boat, believed to be a 22-foot Seahawk cruiser featuring a fiberglass hull that retails for around $50,000, will be held as evidence for a while anyway leaving David Henneberry well beyond empty handed.
Meanwhile Watertown Police Chief Edward Deveau said that someone in Detroit, Michigan has emailed asking to fully replace David Henneberry’s boat as well.
“It’s just incredible,” Edward Deveau said of the outpouring of support which comes toward his police department as well.
“I’m getting emails and things from all over the world.”
Like thousands of other residents of Watertown, a sleepy middle-class suburb of Boston, David Henneberry had been cooped up in his home, at 67 Franklin Street, since police imposed a curfew in the early hours of Friday.
The curfew followed a 2 a.m. gun battle just a few streets away that left Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, dead and his 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar on the run.
A thousand police, SWAT teams, dog units and explosive experts had been going door-to-door as frightened residents were ordered to shelter inside their homes.
But by 5.30 p.m., Dzhokhar Tsarnaev still hadn’t been found and the curfew was lifted.
Despite cool temperatures and intermittent rain, residents – many of whom had been locked inside their homes all day – began emerging on to the streets. Some jogged, others walked their dogs while most stood chatting to neighbors.
David Henneberry, whose “passion” is his 24-ft white fibreglass Seahawk pleasure cruiser, strolled into his garden at 6.05 p.m. – and immediately noticed the tarpaulin covering his prized boat had been disturbed.
His neighbor, George Pizzuto, said: “He got his ladder and put it up against the side of the boat and climbed up. He saw blood on it and what he thought was a body lying at the back. He immediately ran inside and called the police.
“David was totally distraught and in shock. That boat’s his baby. He takes care of it like you won’t believe.”
Robert Duffy, David Henneberry’s stepson, added: “As soon as he saw the tarp on the boat he knew something wasn’t right. It was flapping in the wind and, when he got the ladder he realized one of the straps had been cut – not chafed, or unhooked but cut.
“He stuck his head under it and noticed a pool of blood and what he thought was a man’s leg. He saw someone crumpled up in a ball.”
Minutes later and all hell broke loose as around 300 police officers, FBI and SWAT teams descended on the quiet neighborhood.
At 6.15 p.m. police had cordoned off a three-block, area, erecting barricades and sending sharpshooters to “cover” street corners and take positions on rooftops. A police helicopter with heat sensors flew over the garden to verify there was a body inside the boat.
Just before 7 p.m., an FBI negotiating team rushed past the barricades at high speed. A police spokesman later said: “They were on stand-by all day to talk to the suspect. We always wanted to bring him out alive if possible.”
At 7.25 p.m. there was a burst of gunfire as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and police exchanged more than 40 shots, quickly followed by a series of bangs as flash bombs were thrown into the boat to “smoke him out”.
A bomb squad robot was also sent in to peel back the tarpaulin, while FBI negotiators using megaphones attempted to talk Dzhokhar Tsarnaev down. Police footage later showed the suspect surrendering.
A source said: “The suspect waved his arms and officers made him lift up his shirt and lower his trousers to show he had no explosives strapped to his body. There was a very genuine fear that he might be wearing a suicide vest.”
AT 8.43 p.m., a SWAT team stormed in, dragging Dzhokhar Tsarnaev out and to the ground. Watertown police chief Edward Deveau said that, at that stage, “he put up no resistance. He knew it was over”.