David Henneberry from Boston suburb Watertown, who discovered 19-year-old marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev cowering, bloodied, in his beloved boat “didn’t try to be a hero”, his stepson Robert Duffy revealed today.
David Henneberry, who is in his mid sixties, had stepped outside with his wife for some fresh air at around 5:45 p.m. yesterday afternoon when he noticed that a tarp had lifted off his boat and a strap had been cut.
The man climbed in for a closer look, which is when he saw a pool of blood and what he thought was a crumpled body.
“He saw something hunched down toward the forward of the boat, and his mind instantly did the right thing,” Robert Duffy said.
“He didn’t try to be a hero, he didn’t yell.”
Instead, David Henneberry dropped off his stepladder, ran inside his house and called 911, Robert Duffy told the Today show.
Having followed the rolling news coverage of the manhunt, and with SWAT teams already in his street, David Henneberry knew almost instantly what, or who, he had uncovered in the boat – and the danger that entailed, Robert Duffy said.
“He probably just peeked his head up into his boat, his beloved prize, and saw the pool of blood and with what has taken place all day via the media 24 hours of non-stop it was just probably was one, two, three – he knew exactly what was going on,” Robert Duffy told Fox News.
“He dropped out of the boat and his first instinct was 911. Knowing gunshots had been fired, he probably just dropped off the ladder and walked away for 911.”
According to CBS, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was forced out of the boat by “flash-bangs”, had been shot in the neck and in the leg.
Based on the amount of blood David Henneberry saw in the boat, investigators believe Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was probably wounded as long as 20 hours before he was discovered, in the Thursday morning battle that left the other bombing suspect, his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, dead.
The nightmarish 24 hours came to an end in Boston at around 8:45 p.m. yesterday as the 19-year-old suspect Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev was taken into custody alive but injured after a gun battle with police and federal agents.
The final chapter in the drama began shortly after 5 p.m. on Friday, when Boston police told the nation that the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings was still on the loose. Authorities had leads, but they didn’t know where he was.
Three hours and 45 minutes later, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev was found and captured alive after David Henneberry went outside for a breath of fresh air and to check on his boat.
About 5.45 p.m., David Henneberry stepped outside his house on Franklin Street in Watertown, less than three quarters of a mile from the center of police search in the town.
Neighbor George Pizzuto told ABC News that David Henneberry found the canvass tarp that covered his 25-foot plasure boat appeared to be askew.
“He looked and noticed something was off about his boat, so he got his ladder, and he put his ladder up on the side of the boat and climbed up, and then he saw blood on it,” George Pizzuto said.
David Henneberry fled to the home of his neighbor, George Pizzuto with his ill wife, while officers fired on his beloved boat.
“That boat’s his baby. He takes care of it like you wouldn’t believe. And they told him it’s all shot up,” George Pizzuto said.
“He’s going to be heartbroken.”
“He got out of the boat fast and called police,” the neighbor said.
By 6 p.m. cavalcades of police began arriving at David Henneberry’s house.
Authorities re-issued their orders for residents to stay inside as dozens of heavily-armed Boston police and federal agents surrounded the house.
Neighbors reported hearing dozens of rounds of automatic weapons fire as police closed on the house.
Officers said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev fired at them and that they returned fire.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a 19-year-old American citizen from Chechnya, was wounded by police at some point during a gun battle on Thursday night, authorities say.
Officers then backed off, hoping to take the suspect alive. Orders went out on Boston police radio that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was to be taken alive and that officers should not fire first and not return fire.
A robot was sent into the scene and pulled away the tarp with its mechanical arm.
That allowed a state police helicopter used an infrared camera to locate Dzhokhar Tsarnaev laying on his back in the back of the boat.
At 7.05 p.m. witnesses reported hearing police lob flash grenades, meant to stun the suspect, into the boat.
Police shouted at Dzhokhar Tsarnaev through bullhorns: “Come out with your hands up!” and “Come out on your own terms”.
By 8.43 p.m. it was over. A bloodied Dzhokhar Tsarnaev emerged from the boat and was taken into custody, loaded into an ambulance and rushed to the hospital.