After the tragic bombing in Boston, the chaos in this historic town unfortunately did not immediately subside. With the entire city in lockdown on Friday morning, the scare only escalated from there. Although the FBI had identified two Chechen brothers, 19 year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and 26 year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, to be connected to the bombing, the crisis only intensified as the manhunt continued.
Late Thursday night, a shooting occurred involving the death of a MIT officer, 26 year-old Sean Collier, on the MIT campus. Later that night, however, another series of gunshots between the brothers and the police were exchanged in Watertown, MA, where Tamerlan Tsarnaev was later pronounced dead. Police believe that Dzhokar Tsarnaev was responsible for running his brother over with a car during the exchange of gunshots. Despite the death of his brother, Tsarnaev escaped on foot.
Following this incident, it was announced that the city of Boston and surrounding areas, including Watertown, would be in lockdown to ensure the safety of civilians and to locate Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. “I actually wasn’t able to go [to Boston]. I was supposed to be there [Friday] through Monday but because of the lockdown, Harvard’s visiting program (Visitas) was canceled,” stated senior Julie Park.
Andrew Rosen, a Hills West Class of 2011 graduate who is currently enrolled at Tufts University, recounts his experience of the lockdown, “It was pretty nerve-wracking to be honest. I had heard a bit of the details of the carjacking before I went to bed, but I expected it to be over when I woke up. Instead, I was woken up by a call from the university police to stay indoors. Nobody really knew the finer details, and the streets were completely empty. It was definitely a stressful scenario with everyone waiting anxiously for news updates. Officials at Tufts though were great about it. They had the dining halls open and had special shuttles to go from each dorm to the dining hall if need be.”
In addition to the lockdown, the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was enrolled, was evacuated to ensure the safety of students. Around 7 p.m. Friday night, the suspect was found hiding in a boat in the backyard of a home in Watertown, and he was believed to be armed. At approximately 8:30 pm, Tsarnaev was captured alive and taken into custody at the Beth Israel Medical Center, where his brother was pronounced the night before.
Although Tsarnaev has been captured, the memory of those who were killed this past week, and the fear and trepidation of Boston will not fade anytime soon. However, there is still hope for a recovery in Boston. “I know Boston is a really safe city and this has been just a really bad week,” commented Park. “It could have happened anywhere and you can’t let something like that scare you from doing what you want in life,” agrees Caitlin Caulfield.
“I’d actually say it enhances my perspective of the safety of Boston. Unfortunately, terrorist activity can happen anywhere! This time it just so happened to be Boston. The fact that the entire city – on a Friday no less – could be put on lock-down with moment’s notice and the streets perfectly cleared was really something. Boston police and law enforcement were really on top of the scene. As a community, Boston really pulled through, and the coordination between the police, mass transit, news outlets, and the universities was truly reassuring,” added Rosen.
Despite the calamity and devastation this past week, the feeling of unity and strength was evident throughout the country as individuals hoped and prayed for the best for Boston.