Outside of movies and television shows, Mary Sullivan had never heard gunfire before. But she immediately recognized the firecracker sounds she heard while walking her dog Friday night outside her Watertown, Mass., home.
“We heard all these shots being fired and we hid behind a car,” she recounted Saturday to TODAY’s Erica Hill. “We just put the phone on and tried to hold it up.”
Sullivan ended up capturing part of the final shootout between police and Dzhokar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old suspected of planting the Boston Marathon bombs along with his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
“It just happened so quickly and so quietly. We didn’t notice anything out of turn happening and it’s as if they were very slowly coming in, and then we knew right there and then that it must have been the second suspect, so we stayed where we were,” she said. “And then we slowly inched our way in to try to get a little bit more video and see what was going on.”
Minutes earlier, Sullivan had left her home where she had hunkered down with her children and her son’s girlfriend. Once authorities lifted their lockdown order for residents, Sullivan took her dog out for a walk. At the same time just blocks away, a neighbor had discovered the bombing suspect hiding inside his 20-foot boat beneath a tarp.
Sullivan walked onto the street just as authorities had their final shootout with the suspect, who was eventually taken into custody.
Less than 24 hours earlier, witness Andrew Kitzenberg watched the first gunfire exchange between police and the two bombing suspects play out in front of his Watertown apartment. He said it began around 12:45 am early Friday morning.
“I saw the shooters in between their cars, taking cover, firing upon the Watertown police officers and that’s when I started taking pictures and live tweeted the event,” he said.
The shootout left several bullet holes in his apartment walls, he said.
“After a lot of gunfire and the use of explosives, I saw one of the shooters get back into his vehicle. He turned around on our street, and just floored it right into the Watertown vehicles, the police vehicles,” he said.
Once police confirmed they had the bombing suspect in custody late Friday night, both Kitzenberg and Sullivan said they ventured outside to celebrate with the rest of the community. Sullivan said she wanted to celebrate the work of Watertown police, Massachusetts state troopers and all other jurisdictions who helped with the investigation.
“They were wonderful,” she said.
Kitzenberg said he just wanted to be outside.
"We were basically confined to our homes all day long,” he said. “For me, it was nice to actually just to finally get out and have some freedom, go see friends.”