S.W.A.T. teams conduct a house to house search near where Watertown, Mass. shootout took place.
Photo courtesy of: Boston Globe via Getty Images
By Barb Darrow
February 23, 2016

The town that witnessed the chaotic shootout between law enforcement agencies and the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects is now girding to re-live that traumatic event.

CBS Films has contacted residents who live in the Watertown, Mass. neighborhoods near where this unfolded about plans to film a movie in the area this April ahead of the third anniversary of the bombings, subsequent manhunt, and shootout, according to Watertownmanews.com. (Full disclosure, I live approximately one mile from where the shootout took place.)

Fliers distributed to locals outline plans to re-create the shootout for Patriots Day, a movie directed by Peter Berg of Friday Night Lights fame and co-starring Boston-born actor Mark Wahlberg, playing Boston Police officer Danny Keeler.

To back up a bit: brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev set off two backpack bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, killing three people and injuring more than 250 more.

Exhibit commemorates victims of Boston Marathon bombings.
Photo: Anadolu Agency Getty Images

Authorities launched a massive investigation, eventually identifying the brothers as persons of interest. The two subsequently shot and killed an MIT campus policeman in his car and hijacked another car, whose owner escaped and alerted the police.

Americans need to stop overreacting to terrorism.

By tracking the cell phone that the carjack victim left in the car, law enforcement found the brothers in Watertown where the faceoff, which also included the lobbing of several bombs at police, took place. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was fatally injured but his brother escaped, prompting the lockdown of Watertown and then Boston, Cambridge, Newton, and other areas. Metro-Boston was closed for more than a day.

The second brother was located in the early evening of April 19 hiding in a boat and arrested.

A state report issued two years later found that the law enforcement response, which included hundreds of officers as off-duty volunteers, was chaotic and undisciplined. More than 200 rounds of ammunition were fired by police, often at each other.

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Some houses and trees in the neighborhood around the shootout still bear pockmarks from the gunfire. It is no wonder some people in the neighborhood are not eager to relive this mess.

Dzhokar Tsarnaev, now 21 years old, was found guilty on 30 counts in April. He is now at a federal supermax prison in Colorado, awaiting an expected appeal to the death penalty handed down in May.

This story was updated at 3:53 p.m. to reflect that Mark Wahlberg, who had reportedly considered taking the role of Boston Police commissioner Ed Davis, will instead play police officer Danny Keeler. Wahlberg is also a producer on the project.

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