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Trooper Releases Gripping Tsarnaev Capture Photos; State Police Say Release Unauthorized

Alleged marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev emerges from a boat in Watertown as he is captured. (Courtesy Sgt. Sean Murphy, via Boston Magazine)

Alleged marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev emerges from a boat in Watertown as he is captured. (Courtesy Sgt. Sean Murphy, via Boston Magazine)

BOSTON — Citing his anger at the controversial Rolling Stone magazine cover image of alleged marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Sean Murphy, a tactical photographer, on Thursday released gripping, never-before-seen images of Tsarnaev’s capture, to Boston Magazine.

One of the photographs — which can all be seen on Boston Magazine’s website — shows a bloodied Tsarnaev emerging from a boat in a Watertown backyard, while a sniper’s red bead is visible on his forehead.

Another shows Tsarnaev lifting his sweatshirt for authorities, while another shows the clearly wounded suspected bomber slumped over the boat’s edge.

In this magazine cover released by Wenner Media, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appears on the cover of the August issue of Rolling Stone. (Wenner Media/AP)

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appears on the cover of the August issue of Rolling Stone. (Wenner Media/AP)

Other images show police and tactical units strategizing and searching Watertown before Tsarnaev’s nighttime capture.

Murphy, Boston Magazine reports, “is so angered by the cover,” which includes a soft-lit Tsarnaev selfie, “that he feels the need to counter the message that it conveys.”

Here’s more from Boston Magazine:

Murphy wants the world to know that the Tsarnaev in the photos he took that night—defeated and barely alive, with the red dots of sniper rifles lighting up his forehead—is the real face of terrorism, not the handsome, confident young man shown on the magazine cover.

State Police, in a statement to WBUR, said the release of the images was “not authorized.” (We’ve included the photo above with Boston Magazine’s permission.)

Here’s the full State Police statement:

Today’s dissemination to Boston Magazine of photographs of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev and police activity related to his capture was not authorized by the Massachusetts State Police. The department will not release the photographs to media outlets. The State Police will have no further comment on this matter tonight.

Update at 10 p.m.: Boston Magazine editor John Wolfson tweeted that Murphy has been “relieved of duty” and “ordered not to talk to media” about events in Watertown.

Update at midnight: In a statement, State Police only revealed that it “will conduct an internal investigation of the department photographer’s release of the photos.”

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