BOSTON — Seven days after the Boston Marathon bombings, the city planned to mark the traumatic week with mournful silence and a return to its bustling commute.
Authorities on Friday made the unprecedented request that residents stay at home during the manhunt for suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He was discovered that evening hiding in a boat covered by a tarp in suburban Watertown.
In another sign of progress, city officials said they are beginning the process of reopening to the public the six-block site around the bombing. The announcement came Sunday, a day when people could still watch investigators at the crime scene work in white jumpsuits.
“It’s surreal,” said Barbara Alton, as she walked her dog along Newbury Street. “But I feel like things are starting to get back to normal.”
Tsarnaev remained hospitalized and unable to speak with a gunshot wound to the throat. He was expected to be charged by federal authorities. The 19-year-old suspect also is likely to face state charges in connection with the fatal shooting of MIT police officer Sean Collier in Cambridge, said Stephanie Guyotte, a spokeswoman for the Middlesex District Attorney’s office.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has asked residents to observe a moment of silence at 2:50 p.m. today, the time the first of the two bombs exploded near the finish line. Bells will ring across the city and state after the minute-long tribute to the victims.
A private funeral was scheduled today for Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant worker killed in the blasts. A memorial service will be held that night at Boston University for 23-year-old Lu Lingzi, a graduate student from China.
City churches on Sunday paused to mourn the dead as the city’s police commissioner said the two suspects had such a large cache of weapons that they were probably planning other attacks.
After the two brothers engaged in a gun battle with police early Friday, authorities found many unexploded homemade bombs at the scene, along with more than 250 rounds of ammunition.
Police Commissioner Ed Davis said the stockpile was “as dangerous as it gets in urban policing.”
“We have reason to believe, based upon the evidence that was found at that scene — the explosions, the explosive ordnance that was unexploded and the firepower that they had — that they were going to attack other individuals. That’s my belief at this point.” Davis told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
On “Fox News Sunday,” he said authorities cannot be positive there are not more explosives somewhere that have not been found. But the people of Boston are safe, he insisted.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, the suspects in the twin bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 180, are ethnic Chechens from southern Russia. The motive for the bombings remained unclear.
The older brother was killed during a getaway attempt.
Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the surviving brother’s throat wound raised questions about when he will be able to talk again, if ever.
The wound “doesn’t mean he can’t communicate, but right now I think he’s in a condition where we can’t get any information from him at all,” Coats told ABC’s “This Week.”
It was not clear whether Tsarnaev was shot by police or inflicted the wound himself.
In the final standoff with police, shots were fired from the boat, but investigators have not determined where the gunfire was aimed, Davis said.
The younger Tsarnaev could be charged any day. The most serious charge available to federal prosecutors would be the use of a weapon of mass destruction to kill people, which carries a possible death sentence. Massachusetts does not have the death penalty.
Across the rattled streets of Boston, churches opened their doors to remember the dead and ease the grief of the living.
A six-block segment of Boylston Street, where the bombs were detonated, remained closed Sunday. But Mayor Thomas Menino said Sunday that once the scene is released by the FBI, the city will follow a five-step process, including environmental testing and a safety assessment of buildings. The exact timetable was uncertain.
Boston’s historic Trinity Church could not host services Sunday because it was within the crime scene, but the congregation was invited to worship at the Temple Israel synagogue instead. The FBI allowed church officials a half-hour Saturday to go inside to gather the priests’ robes, the wine and bread for Sunday’s service.
Trinity’s Rev. Samuel T. Lloyd III offered a prayer for those who were slain “and for those who must rebuild their lives without the legs that they ran and walked on last week.”
“So where is God when the terrorists do their work?” Lloyd asked. “God is there, holding us and sustaining us. God is in the pain the victims are suffering, and the healing that will go on. God is with us as we try still to build a just world, a world where there will not be terrorists doing their terrible damage.”