homeland security

UMass Dartmouth campus in ‘controlled evacuation,’ bombing suspect a student

THE UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS Dartmouth made the decision to close the campus Friday after the suspect wanted for the Boston Marathon bombing, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was found to be a registered student.
Posted 4/19/13

(Updated, 10:50 a.m.)

DARTMOUTH – Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old suspect wanted in conjunction with the Boston Marathon, is a registered student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, which is currently undergoing a “controlled evacuation.”

After learning that the suspect was a registered student, UMass Dartmouth officials made the decision to close the campus and have since decided to evacuate.

As of 10 a.m., this message was posted on the university’s website:

UMass Dartmouth has learned that a person being sought in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing has been identified as a student registered at UMass Dartmouth.

The campus is closed.

Individuals on campus should shelter in place unless instructed otherwise.

Return to this page for details as they become available.

Just before 10:30 a.m., the school updated its alert message to say:

UMass Dartmouth is closed and is in the process of a controlled evacuation of the campus. Students, staff and faculty have been asked to leave campus in a calm and orderly fashion. This action is in response to information that the person being sought in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing is a registered student. State, local, and campus police are on campus to assist with the evacuation and to conduct a full investigation. Go to umassd.edu for updates.

Police locked down the Boston area and searched house-to-house for a suspect in the marathon bombing after a second suspect was killed in an overnight gun battle.

Tsarnaev, a foreign national who has been in the country for more than a year, escaped during a confrontation with police in the Boston suburb of Watertown in which at least one person hurled explosive devices at police, according to a federal law enforcement official.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick asked all residents of Boston and several surrounding suburbs to “shelter in place” and stay inside with their doors locked and allow in only police. Public transit was shut down for the area.

“There is a massive manhunt underway,” Patrick said in a news conference.

Tsarnaev ran over the other suspect, his older brother Tamerlan, during the shoot-out in Watertown, according to the official. The brother was first identified as 20 and officials later corrected that to 26. One law enforcement officer also was killed and another was seriously wounded in mayhem that began at 10:30 pm last night.

Images released by the FBI yesterday showed one suspect wearing a black hat, and the other a white hat. Police are searching for the man they referred to as the “white hat” suspect, Massachusetts State Police Colonel Timothy Alben told reporters.

Colleges closed

Harvard University and MIT closed this morning, as did other Boston-area colleges including Boston University, Boston College, Simmons College, the Berklee College of Music, University of Massachusetts Boston and Suffolk University. The Boston area includes at least 85 colleges and universities that employ more than 70,000, according to a 2009 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment in higher education and health services was 34 percent greater in Boston than the rest of the country, according to the report.

Boston is still coming to grips with the April 15 attack on the city’s annual marathon that killed three people and injured more than 170. The violence overnight erupted with a convenience store robbery, then escalated to the fatal shooting of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus police officer and the carjacking of a Mercedes SUV.

This report was written with assistance from Bloomberg News.

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