The city of Boston woke up this morning to news that its transportation system, universities, and nearby neighborhoods were in total lockdown as police search for the marathon bombing suspect.
An overnight battle erupted late on Thursday night between authorities and the two brothers — Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev — who are accused of carrying out the bombings, after a cop was shot dead and another one was left injured on the Massachusettes Institude of Technology (MIT) campus.
The older brother, Tamerlan, was killed after a car chase that led to fire fight with police officers. Dzhokhar was able to escape.
Starting at midnight, Boston University and MIT students received a series of text messages from campus police, urging them to “stay inside and avoid windows.”
“A lot of us don’t know what to do,” says Diana Rosales, a mechanical engineering sophomore at MIT, who is on lockdown inside her dorm in Cambridge. “Some people are just getting sleep now and we keep getting updated messages through texts.”
Rosales was walking back home from her friend’s dorm when she heard one of the suspects was still on the loose.
“I just didn’t realize how jumpy and scared I was. At the time, I thought this guy could have been anywhere and anything could have happened to me,” says Rosales.
Other individuals say it wasn’t until they woke up Friday morning that they heard the orders from authorities to stay indoors.
“You wake up and the governor of Massachusetts says you have to stay in your home,” says Julio Ricardo Varela, an NBC Latino contributor, from his home in South Boston, 15 miles away from the scene in Watertown.
Luckily, he said, schools didn’t need to be evacuated. “It’s Spring Break this week in schools so children aren’t in school either,” he adds.
Brian Latimer, a sophomore at Boston University, says the manhunt has made him and his friends feel like this situation will never end.
“I woke up expecting this to be all over, but it’s constant,” Latimer says. “The fact that Dzhokhar Tzarnaev is almost a full year younger than me is terrifying.”