Boston Police Department says suspect in custody

National news media is reporting that the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings is in custody and is alive.

The news comes after he was found in a boat stored in Watertown, Mass. a law enforcement official said, and police in armored vehicles and tactical gear rushed into the neighborhood.

The burst of activity came after police announced that they were scaling back the hunt because they had come up empty-handed following an all-day search that sent thousands of SWAT team officers into the streets and paralyzed the metropolitan area.

A hail of gunfire was heard from the neighborhood, followed by a round of blasts about an hour later.

“We heard a series of shots, really staccato-like. Then 30 to 40 cops just rolled by and everything gets crazy,” said Kevin Leblanc, of Reading, who had come to Watertown to see what was happening.

The official who said 19-year-old college student Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was in the boat had been briefed on the situation and spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it publicly. The official said the suspect was covered in blood but didn’t know if Tsarnaev was dead or alive.