MV Tactical Response Team returns to Boston

Steve Myrick

Members of the Martha’s Vineyard Tactical Response Team returned to the Boston area, to help support tactical police units who responded to the bomb attack on the Boston Marathon Monday, according to Oak Bluffs police Lt. Tim Williamson. He said seven local police officers have been called back to the area.

According to widespread news reports, an MIT police officer was killed last night in an incident believed related to the marathon bombing suspects. After a carjacking, one of the suspects was later killed in a shootout with police in Watertown, and an MBTA police officer critically injured. A massive law enforcement effort is underway in pursuit of the second suspect, believed to be still at large.

It is the second time in 48 hours the Tactical Response Team has deployed as part of the response to the Boston Marathon bombing.

The team of Island police officers went to Boston on Wednesday afternoon, worked a 12-hour overnight shift, and returned to the Island Thursday morning.

The Martha’s Vineyard Tactical Response Team was not involved in the events that unfolded in Cambridge and Watertown Thursday evening, according to Lt. Williamson. He wanted to reassure Island residents that all members of the team were back home and fine.

The local officers were called to the Boston area Wednesday to relieve law enforcement teams that have been working around the clock to investigate the bombings and provide security at the crime scene.

The Tactical Response Team was formed in 2009 to respond to crimes that endanger the public, deal with hostage situations, and assist in serving warrants on people with violent criminal records.

All public transportation in Boston is shut down, and police have sealed off the Watertown neighborhood where the shootings took place early Friday morning, as well as areas in surrounding communities.

Governor Deval Patrick has asked residents of Watertown and surrounding communities, including Waltham, Newton, Belmont, Cambridge, and all of Boston, to stay in their houses with doors locked and not to answer the door for anyone other than a properly identified police officer. Police have also asked businesses in those communities to stay closed today.