Boston bombing suspect in serious condition

Photo of suspect caught on boat in backyard
Surveillance photo of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the boat that he was attempting to hide in as police cornered and arrested him.

(CBS News) BOSTON - We are Boston. We are strong. We are Boston strong.

That was the message of an emotional ceremony at Fenway Park before the Boston Red Sox game Saturday afternoon -- and the feeling throughout the city after the capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, suspect #2, in the Boston Marathon bombing.

As of early Saturday evening, Tsarnaev is in serious condition under heavy guard. He is unable to talk to investigators. No charges have been filed yet. Fifty-three bombing victims are still in hospitals, six are critical. And 12 victims are at Beth Israel where Tsarnaev is also being treated.

When a Watertown neighbor saw someone bleeding in his backyard boat Friday night, he called the cops. And when a state police helicopter with special heat-sensing technology spotted the contours of a body in that boat, law enforcement moved in.

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After an hour or more of sporadic gunfire, the suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, emerged -- a bloody and bowed 19-year-old, lying prone outside the home of Dave Henneberry.

"The tarp from the boat was kind of askew," said Robert Duffy, Henneberry's stepson, "he went over to it, trying to adjust the straps. He realized one of the straps had been cut. At that point, he noticed there was a small amount of blood. He looked forward, not knowing actually what we was looking at. His brain told him there was a body, but he wasn't sure there was a body. At that point he immediately jumped down, called 911."

Word that Tsarnaev was in custody was cause for celebration.

Doctors at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital say Tsarnaev is in serious condition, under armed guard and unable to speak for now. But a special federal interrogation team for high-value suspects will introduce themselves to him when he improves.

Gov. Deval Patrick said the motive remains the mystery.

"All of the law enforcement professionals are hoping for a host of reasons that the suspect survives because we have a million questions," he said.

On Saturday, Watertown police said they believe the plot was confined to Tsarnaev and his 26-year-old brother Tamerlan, who was killed in a shootout with police early Friday.

And with federal charges certain to be filed in the four deaths and the wounding of hundreds more, Tsarnaev could face the death penalty.

Watch CBS News' John Miller explain below the current condition of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev:

Currently, Tsarnaev is not in good shape and lost a lot of blood, explained CBS News correspondent John Miller. The suspect has a bullet wound to what appears to be the back of his neck and another to his leg. But it's bullet wound to the neck that is actually pretty intriguing to investigators.

Of course, he and his brother were in a big shoot-out," said Miller. "But [investigators are] saying that wound to the back of the neck is very possibly a suicide attempt. They say it appears from the wound that he might have stuck a gun in his mouth, and fired and actually just went out the back of his neck without killing him. That's one of the reasons he's unable to communicate, but he can understand what they're saying. And they believe there will be a point where he will be able to talk to him.

As for what investigators hope to learn when Tsarnaev is able to recover and communicate with them, Miller said it will be to know three primary things: 'Did you do this alone? Is there anyone else out there? Is there another plot?'

Another question to pose is what were the brothers doing when they encountered police in the shooting of the MIT officer and then the later shootout? "What they had with them in the car was really the kit required for another terrorist attack," said Miller. "They had a fully-formed device just like the one they used at the Boston Marathon -- they had a bunch of homemade grenades to use as anti-personnel device. There is the possibility, investigators are looking into, that they were looking for another crowd, another venue to launch another attack since they knew they'd already been identified and would soon be caught."

  • Dean Reynolds
    Dean Reynolds

    Dean Reynolds is a CBS News National Correspondent based in Chicago.