South Florida college students describe scene amid Boston chaos

Ricardo De Armas studied in his dorm room when he received an emergency call from MIT’s alert system around 10 p.m. Thursday night.

The 20-year-old sophomore chemical engineering major from Kendall heard reports of a gunman on campus near MIT’s Stata Center. What culminated was a wild chase that left one MIT police officer, Sean A. Collier, dead, Boston Marathon suspect Tamerian Tsarnaev gunned down by police and a citywide man hunt for his younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, also a suspect.

“A lot of my friends from Miami starting texting and calling me to see if I was OK,” he said.

For Aaron Epstein, it was much of the same.

The 21-year-old computer science major from North Miami Beach was playing video games in his dorm’s lounge when he found out from a friend about the gunman.

Despite his distance from the Stata Center, the noise was unbearable.

“I could hear sirens all night, which is a little scary,” Epstein said.

De Armas, who has taken classes previously at the Stata Center, was also shocked. The building is about a 10-minute walk from his dorm.

“Everyday I go eat lunch there, you would never think that would happen there,” De Armas said.

On campus today, he said the mood is “dead.”

“Everyone is in doors,” he said.

Meanwhile, Boston University student Sanah Faroke, 21, said she feels safer in the city. In addition to MIT, classes at BU are also canceled Friday.

Faroke, from Kendall, does not see much activity from her dorm.

“I’m looking through my window, there is about two to three cars from where I am standing,” she said.

Read more Afternoon Update stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category