Watertown residents asked to OK filming of shootout scene

Police officers descended on the scene of the Watertown shootout after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev fled the scene in a SUV.
Police officers descended on the scene of the Watertown shootout after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev fled the scene in a SUV.

Location managers for a movie about the Boston Marathon bombings are asking Watertown residents to allow them to re-create the shootout between police officers and the Tsarnaev brothers.

Representatives from “Patriots Day,” starring Mark Wahlberg, sent fliers to residents in the Laurel Street area asking for cooperation in their quest to get permission to stage the scene.

According to the flier, the filming would require simulated gunshots late at night, and the crew would begin filming in late April — about three years after the bombings and shootout.


Representatives noted in the flier that they would work “with each of you individually to compensate you for any intrusion onto your property.”

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The flier also provided a link for residents to fill out a short survey, asking whether they approved of the filming, and to provide their contact information.

In an email to location managers forwarded to the Globe, Watertown district councilor Angeline Kounelis, who represents the neighborhood in question, noted the “subject matter may still be of a sensitive nature for the folks who lived through the experience.”

She noted that CBS production representatives met with residents on Feb. 12, but alluded to a low turnout.

“Personally, I still feel it would have been more advantageous to have more of the residents in attendance,” Kounelis wrote. “Every opportunity should be given to the residents to offer their input.”


She also wrote that David Henneberry, whose boat Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was eventually captured in, had weighed in on the filming, but did not specifically outline his opinion.

Kounelis also mentioned that accommodations for “people who do not want to partake and would prefer hotel lodging should be offered.”

In a separate, earlier email to town manager Michael Driscoll that was provided to the Globe, Kounelis wrote that she was left out of initial conversations about filming in the neighborhood.

“I am unaware of the conversations that have transpired,” she wrote.”I can only say, in the past, residents have specifically stated to me: ‘we want our neighborhood back’. Although, time does have a way of healing.”

She also noted: “Certainly, Watertown has been the backdrop of numerous productions filmed on location; ‘Patriots Day’ is of a sensitive nature. I will defer to the majority of the residents in the Laurel St. area to make the final decision. We must also be respectful of the residents who do not want to partake in the interactions, if the decision is to move forward.”


She also wrote that she was worried about traffic: “As we know, the area is quite congested.”

And she also acknowledged, “The logistics for almost two, plus weeks of neighborhood interruption will be challenging.”

Kounelis told the Globe that permitting for the filming would be overseen by various town departments.

The flier was first reported by the community blog site

The request comes as Wahlberg, a Boston native, was seen in town in late January to spend time with Danny Keeler, the real-life Boston police officer he’ll play in “Patriots Day.” Keeler is a veteran Boston police detective who was in command at the Marathon finish line and was instrumental in the subsequent hunt for the Tsarnaev brothers.

At a Watertown forum nearly two years ago, several people spoke of the fear they felt during the police operation during the shootout, which left Tamerlan Tsarnaev dead and sparked a large manhunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.