Pittsburgh natives living, visiting in Boston wait out manhunt after bombing
Holed up at home under government orders, Bostonians and suburban neighbors conceded they felt uneasy, tense, even somewhat fearful on Friday.
But they showed little outright panic as police helicopters circled above and officers rushed quiet neighborhoods to hunt a second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings on Monday.
“It's a lot like Pittsburgh in that this is a city that prides itself on its toughness. People will bounce back. They'll help their neighbors out,” said Pittsburgh native Constantine Davides, 39, of downtown Boston. “There's a very strong sense of community here.”
Transplanted Western Pennsylvanians living in and near the city described surreal scenes Thursday night and Friday after police killed bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and searched for, and later captured, his brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19.
“I do fear for the Boston area what could come next,” said Jay Snyder, 32, a Carnegie Mellon University alumnus living in suburban Newton, Mass. “It seems at this point like it could be anything.”
Authorities said the Tsarnaev brothers killed an MIT police officer overnight Thursday, threw explosives during a car chase and engaged in a gunbattle with police. The MIT shooting happened just about a 10-minute walk from the Cambridge, Mass., home of Selena Schmidt, 43, a Pittsburgh native who moved to the Boston suburb about 18 months ago.
She has avoided public transportation since the bombing that killed three people and injured more than 180, she said.
“Today's almost scarier because it's right there in our neighborhoods,” she said Friday afternoon, taking a break from Twitter and other news reports. “It's not some giant public event.”
Schmidt heard sirens overnight Thursday. Minutes away in another suburb, Watertown, Tom Evans awoke to a more unusual sound.
“I'm pretty sure it was the (explosive) device that went off” during a police confrontation, said Evans, 40, who grew up in Kennedy. “It was just a strange, thud sound that was out of place.”
For the rest of the night, he said, he heard a helicopter hovering over his home on the east end of Watertown and the sirens of police cars as they zoomed past.
About 1 a.m., he received an automated call from Watertown police ordering him to stay inside and not answer the door. People in his neighborhood obeyed orders to stay home as a helicopter lingered overhead.
“Police have been patrolling and checking all the side streets,” said Evans, who acknowledged feeling unnerved. “I look out my window, and I can see all sorts of (law enforcement) people.”
TribLIVE Radio host Ken Laird, 34, of Irwin has been visiting all week in the Boston suburb of Brookline. Glued to TV news coverage of the manhunt Friday, he said only occasional pedestrians and cars passed down neighborhood streets.
It was eerie as National Guard equipment rumbled through town, Laird said.
“I haven't felt unsafe. It's just on edge,” he said. “When you go out, you're thinking about things a lot more. You're looking around. Obviously, today it's been more cabin fever — trying to watch the news footage.”
Back in Cambridge, Schmidt said the Tsarnaev brothers from a Russian region near Chechnya would not have stood out in her neighborhood, a working-class area of diverse ethnic backgrounds.
“It's one of the best parts about being here: Literally people from all over the world are right next to you. They're your neighbors,” said Schmidt, who lamented “a hurt in the soul of the city.”
“I don't think this is a Boston-particular problem,” she said of the attacks. “This is a time-in-history problem.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Adam Smeltz and Amanda Dolasinski are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Reach Smeltz at 412-380-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Reach Dolasinski at 724-836-6220 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers notebook: Spaeth on baby watch
- Elsie Hillman, philanthropist and one-time GOP powerhouse, dies at 89
- Delphi buys CMU spinoff that makes self-driving car software
- Steelers defensive end Tuitt shifts into high gear
- Groups appeal Shell air permit for Beaver County project
- Russia stakes claim to energy-rich Arctic
- Baldwin Borough man pleads guilty in white supremacist bombs case
- Pittsburgh officials unveil major changes to police response to violent crime
- Uniontown man sentenced to 30 months for threatening Obama and his family
- Rossi: Pirates foolish to bet on Burnett return
- Man accused in crash that killed Export driver rejects plea offer