Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, is reportedly awake and responding in writing to questions from authorities.
By Nick Allen, Boston
April 22,2013 (The Telegraph) Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is under guard and handcuffed to the bed in a hospital in Boston and cannot talk due to a gunshot wound to the throat.
The authorities had expressed fears that his injuries meant he might never be able to answer their questions, but ABC and NBC reported that he had started responding sporadically in writing. USA Today also cited a law enforcement official as saying he was awake and responding, but the reports have not been officially confirmed.
Investigators are hoping he will be able to shed light on why the pair attacked the Boston Marathon. They have reportedly asked him about the possibility that other cell members might exist and for information on any unexploded bombs.
Police are unsure whether they inflicted the throat wound or if Dzhokhar shot himself by putting a gun in his mouth as he hid in a boat in a suburban garden during a day-long manhunt.
Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said: “It’s hard to know how he received that injury. That’s being looked into.” He also suffered a gunshot in the leg.
While police wait for Dzhokhar to talk, federal prosecutors are preparing charges against him. If he is charged with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill people, he could face the death penalty.
Police said that Dzhokhar and his brother 26-year-old brother Tamerlan – who was killed in a shootout a day earlier – had been arming themselves for “further attacks” when they were found.
Edward Davis, the Boston police commissioner, said: “It’s my belief that they were already manufacturing explosive devices. Further violent acts were inevitable.”
Three people were killed and 180 were injured last Monday when two bombs exploded near the finishing of the Boston marathon last Monday.
Edward Deveau, the police chief in Watertown, where the brothers were caught, said that they acted alone. “I believe it is limited to the two brothers,” he said. “As far as this little cell, this little group, goes, I think we got our guys.”
Chief Deveau also disclosed dramatic details of the shoot-out, in which Tamerlan was killed, and revealed how, in the chaos, his death was caused by Dzhokhar. [Next page]