My team and I (Regional Team North of Boston) were a part of the many teams involved in the manhunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the evening of April 19th. My team was one of the first teams on the scene after patrol officers initially located the suspect in a boat in a backyard and reported exchanging gunfire with him.

Upon taking positions, I found myself on an over-watch position with a State Police SWAT operator, trying to get a view of the suspect. We were in the closest window to him, on the back of the second floor of the house. The boat was approximately 30 yards from us, looking down. The State Police Air Wing had run far past their recommended fuel limits and eventually had to return to refuel.

Several operators from my team and others were using their weapon-mounted lights to try to light up the boat and get a view. Several lights were running low on batteries, and some were just not up to the task. I had recently purchased a SureFire G2X, so I gave my light a shot. As soon as I activated my light, it flooded the boat with light. It did such a good job that it surprised myself and several of us in the room.

A short time later, I caught a view of the suspect’s hand as he kept reaching up and touching a wound on his face. From that point forward, I relayed the subject’s position and actions to command. We had to watch every movement he made. We had intel that he possibly had a bomb vest of some type on, and we were concerned that, at any moment, he might grab a detonator and activate the bomb we thought he might have with him. But my SureFire G2X gave us a clear and perfect view of him and all of his movements.

The situation played out to the point where we could get him to stand up. Eventually he did so, at which point we got a view of his sweatshirt—the same sweatshirt we had seen on him from security video footage following the ambush and murder of MIT police officer Sean Collier by him and his brother. At that point, we confirmed that it was, in fact, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

A negotiator came up to our position and was talking to the suspect, trying to convince him to come out of the boat. Upon the subject refusing to leave the boat, my team, along with officers from a transit SWAT team and a sister cities team used the cover of shields, with the rest of us on over-watch, to make their way to the suspect and remove him from the boat. He was then placed into custody.

I swear by your product and literally do trust my life with it. I preach the benefits of your products from the standpoint of a police officer, SWAT operator, and an instructor. I have used SureFire products for almost a decade and can honestly say that I’ve never had one break or fail on me.

Thank you from myself, my team, and all the teams that played a role that night. Thank you from Boston.

Joseph T.
Dorchester, MA

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