Local students attending MIT talk about Boston chaos - KCTV5

Local students attending MIT talk about Boston chaos

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OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -

Several students from the Kansas City metro found themselves in the middle of the chaos in Boston this week.

Students at MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, were pretty much doing the same thing that most students do around this time of year - studying hard for final exams. They didn't know much was going on until they got word that 26-year-old MIT police Officer Sean Collier was shot and killed. It was a tense time for those in and around the school, including for two students from Overland Park, KS.

Katie Spies was about a mile away in Brookline, MA, when she heard the Boston bombing suspects were on the MIT campus and had killed a campus police officer.

"MIT emailed out and texted everybody to say there is an active shooter at the Stata Center," Spies said.

Text messages the school sent out continued well into the night as the crimes escalated and spread across two other nearby towns.

"He had all of these weapons and he was going from Cambridge to Watertown to Mount Auburn and everything. I was just hoping he didn't come anywhere near here and I was hoping he didn't already plant anything," Spies said.

Another student from Overland Park, Henry Zhu, said his phone started to fill up as well with similar messages warning him to stay away and he did.

"Everybody here on the Boston or off-campus site kind of just stayed put where they were, basically," he said.

Police and investigators fanned out across the Boston area as the scene and suspects became more fluid. Authorities said the suspects tossed explosives from a car during the pursuit and exchanged gunfire with police in Watertown near the front lawn of Stephen McAlpin, of Liberty, MO. McAlpin moved his family to the area to attend seminary.

"We were, at that point, already hunkered down under the table, praying to God to just help us and save us," he said.

Despite the news late Friday that the second suspect had been captured, neighbors said they are still on edge about the week's events.

"Everyone is still in hiding and in lockdown and you can't go outside and everything's closed, but I feel a lot safer than I did last night," Spies said Friday afternoon.

Throughout the day, some of the areas in and around Boston were warning people to remain vigilant even though the suspect was in custody. It's likely that those warnings will now be lifted.

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