Nerves heightened as thousands hunker down in Boston lockdown
By Amy Cherry

Updated Friday, April 19, 2013 - 3:33pm

SWAT teams storm Dan Weidel's Watertown neighborhood. (Photo/Dan Weidel)
The manhunt presses on for the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings in a search that's shutdown the entire city.

WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.

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22-year-old Dan Weidel of Concordville has been up all night along with thousands of others--listening to police scanner apps on their smart phones. Except he lives in Watertown--just a mile from last night's explosion.

"To see the amount of cars passing, then to see the bomb squad trucks, things dashing by my house, I felt so helpless, but at the same time, scared and shocked," he says.

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He says the streets are empty, and it's eerie. Weidel is under state and FBI orders to STAY inside along with everyone in the City of Boston and the surrounding suburbs. He says it's nerve wracking.

"I didn't know what to do. I didn't know if I should sit in my car and drive in the other direction or if I should stay where I was," Weidel says.

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"Do you feel safe right now?" I asked him.

"I think?" he laughs, "Last night, I certainly didn't. I think because of the day time, I feel a little bit better, but I don't think that safe would be the right word yet," he says.

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Jay Gates was asleep next to his wife when the explosion rocked his neighborhood. He lives just one block from there.

"Despite that the fact that we're just across the river from Boston, it's very quiet. I never would've imagined that I'd be seeing my street on CNN," he says.

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He tells WDEL his street looks like a cross between a war zone and a crime scene, but he feels safe.

"It's kind of comforting knowing that there's an army of police officers not too far from my house, so I'd say it's the safest place I can think of right now," Gates says.

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He's close enough to hear the sirens and police on bullhorns speaking in Russian and other foreign languages, presumably telling media to step back.

A Newark High School and University of Delaware graduate, now living outside Boston, says her normal routine has been turned upside down by the search for the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.

Emily Peterson hopes this all ends soon.

"We're all keeping our fingers crossed. Everybody wants to see this guy caught, and I want to see him caught alive so that we can get an explanation of why but you know, we're just waiting for information, but it's been a tough week for everybody here," says Peterson.

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Peterson says the volume of people she knows here in Delaware, who have reached out to her in recent days is simply overwhelming.

Lara Collins lives amid all the chaos as well in Somerville, a Boston suburb.

"Actually, where the suspect lives is like a 20 minute walk from my apartment, so just being in this area is kind of scary. It's just confusing and frustrating and just the lack of information is scary.

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Collins, like most of the world, says she's got her eyes and ears locked on the media.

"NBC, The Today Show, on my TV because they're doing continuing coverage. I'm watching WBZ on my laptop. I've got like Facebook updates on my phone. I've never been so glued to all of my electronic devices in my life," she says.

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She tells WDEL she feels safe inside her apartment and as soon as she gets the all-clear, she'll go for a run on what's otherwise a beautiful day in Boston.

Chris Citorik of Brighton tells WDEL he went outside for 30 seconds to let his dog out after being couped inside for 12 hours and even then he was looking over his shoulder the whole time.

"I mean this is unbelievable. This is out of some kind of movie. It's not real life, and it's not Boston. Surreal is a cliche, but I mean that's the only way to put it. This can't be happening, and yet it's happening," he says.

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He says he hasn't heard of any kind of fines or penalties for anyone who dares to go outside despite mandatory orders to stay inside.

"I've only seen the images because I haven't been outside, but the images make it look like a ghost town. It's pretty creepy," he says.

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Boston College freshman Meghan Lang of Claymont, who WDEL spoke to earlier this week immediately after the Boston Marathon bombings, says her Brighton campus is on complete lockdown.

But the strangest part is the suspect they're looking for is 19-years-old, just like her.

"It's weird to think that he's been on the loose for several days, and we're on a college campus, he could've been here or blended in with any of the campuses around Boston, and we would have had no idea. So that's a little freaky to think someone who's my age is doing all this," says Lang.

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She says helicopters were flying around earlier, but now her usually bustling campus, is still on a Friday afternoon with everyone ordered to stay indoors.




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