"Never in my wildest dreams did I think that this would result in a shootout in Watertown," said Sheamus McGovern, of neighboring Belmont.
Less than 24 hours after the shootout, police officers and firefighters stood grim-faced with guns and rifles, lining the street leading to the property about a mile away where the younger brother was believed to be holed up in the boat.
Reporters and spectators lined up on the other side. The mood was tense, with the few neighbors who ventured out hugging and crying as they heard bangs. Others merely looked on curiously.
Then, one officer slowly started clapping. Then it spread to the crowd. Then loud cheers broke out.
People in the crowd started asking, "Is he alive?" One of the officers nodded, yes. Any time a first responder emerged from the street, there was loud applause.
"They finally caught the jerk," said nurse Cindy Boyle, 41. "It was scary; it was tense." She said she knew when police started clapping that everything would be all right.
In Boston, celebratory bells rang from a church tower after the capture. Teenagers waved American flags in the center of town. Every car that drove by honked. Every time an emergency vehicle went by, people cheered loudly.
Liz Rogers, a 65-year-old attorney, took one of the pieces of yellow police tape and tied it around her neck like a necklace.
"When you see your town invaded like this, it's stunning," she said. "Everyone in Watertown is just so grateful that he's caught and that we're liberated."
The jubilation was widespread. The mayor of Boston tweeted, "We got him!" And at the home of the New York Mets, spectators leapt to their feet and cheered when the news spread during a game against the Washington Nationals.
Hundreds of people marched down Commonwealth Avenue, chanting "USA" and singing the Red Sox anthem "Sweet Caroline" as they headed toward Boston Common. Police blocked traffic along part of the street to allow for the impromptu parade.
"I can finally sleep tonight," said 27-year-old Lisa Mara, standing along Boylston Street, just a few blocks from her home.
Lindsay reported from Watertown, Mass. Associated Press writers Allen G. Breed, Bridget Murphy and Katie Zezima in Boston contributed to this report.