Broadcast news operations and cable news channels had a busy morning today trying to keep up with developments in the Boston Marathon bombing.
The news broke early this morning that one of the suspects in the bombing was dead following a shootout with police, while a second suspect remained at large and was the focus of a huge manhunt. Much of Boston was on a virtual lockdown as authorities issued a recommendation for residents to “shelter in place.”
Marathon suspect No. 1, who was seen wearing a black cap in photos released Thursday by the FBI, died early Friday morning after he and the second suspect engaged police officers in gunfire, the Boston Globe reported. The suspect was brought in to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center emergency room at about 1:10 a.m. with multiple traumatic injuries and was pronounced dead at 1:35 a.m. One officer was also reportedly killed in the shootout.
Information about the suspects — brothers Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, who was still at large, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who was killed — continued to come in from a wide range of sources, with relatives and acquaintances surfacing and offering anecdotes and details about them in often chaotic TV interviews. The men were reportedly from the predominantly Muslim Chechnyan region of southern Russia, and had been living in the U.S. for several years.
Acquaintances from high school described the younger brother, the subject of the ongoing manhunt, as a normal American teenager, saying no signs were evident that he was capable of a bombing.
CNN, Fox News and MSNBC devoted their full attention to developments in Boston this morning, with many local TV stations around the U.S. also focused on the story. Broadcast news feeds from CBS, ABC and NBC filled the airwaves at many stations across the country.
As we approached deadline this morning in Los Angeles, a check of the coverage on local stations showed that the ABC, CBS and NBC stations were focused on the bombing story via network feeds while the local Fox station had coverage from Boston Fox station WFXT-TV.
Some L.A. stations opted to carry regular programming, with a live police pursuit in Thousand Oaks, Calif., capturing the spotlight for a while on a few stations. Meanwhile, Rachael Ray was cooking on KCAL-TV, while KCOP-TV aired “I Love Lucy.”