UMass Dartmouth closed amid suspect search
DARTMOUTH, Mass. —
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth campus was ordered closed Friday after university officials learned that a suspect wanted in connection with Monday's Boston Marathon bombing is registered as a student.
Local police, state police and a bomb squad rushed to the campus.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was enrolled and living in Pine Dale dormitory.
"I looked it up to see what his picture was. I saw a close up picture of his face, and I said, 'Oh my god, that's the kid I know, Dzhokhar,'" said Chris Barry.
Barry contacted police.
"I went to the police station here and I told them that and within two minutes they said all classes are canceled and they drove me to the state police barracks, where the FBI came and asked me questions and I got messages from school saying that they were evacuating the school," Barry said.
The school canceled classes at 8:45 a.m. and started evacuating the campus at about 10 a.m.
Students who do not live in town were sent to Dartmouth High School. Officers blocked off the entrances to make sure students were safe.
Many said they hadn't talked to Tsarnaev in the last couple of weeks, but some students and faculty said he was on campus just a few days ago.
Sam Wat said he also knew Tsarnaev from high school and can't believe he would hurt so many people.
"He seemed like the quiet kid. However, he wasn't the one where you'd be like, he's going to grow up to be a maniac or something," Wat said.
Friends of the 19-year-old described him as a popular guy who wrestled in high school and played soccer for fun in college.
They're now trying to reconcile their memories of Tsarnaev with what police say he might have done.
The chancellor of UMass Dartmouth released this statement:
"Today we learned that a suspect is one of our students. We closed and evacuated the campus to assure the safety of our students, faculty and staff. The safety of our campus is always our top priority."
Law enforcement agents spent about eight hours on campus.