Watertown: There were reports of gunfire and explosions as a manhunt was on for the killer of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer in the Watertown area near Boston in the United States early on Friday morning. A massive police operation was on in the area following the reports of shooting at MIT campus.
The chaos in Watertown, about 10 miles west of Boston, occurred just hours after a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer was shot and killed on campus. It was unclear if the outbursts of violence were related. No arrests had been made in the officer's fatal shooting, and a manhunt was on for the shooter.
The officer had been responding to report of a disturbance on Thursday night when he was shot multiple times, according to a statement from the Middlesex district attorney's office and Cambridge police. It said there were no other victims. In Watertown, witnesses reported hearing multiple gunshots and explosions at about 1 am on Friday. Dozens of police officers and FBI agents were in the neighborhood and a helicopter circled overhead.
State police spokesman David Procopio said, "The incident in Watertown did involve what we believe to be explosive devices possibly, potentially, being used against the police officers." Boston cab driver Imran Sais said he was standing on a street corner at a police barricade across from a diner when he heard an explosion. "I heard a loud boom and then a rapid succession of pop, pop, pop," he said. "It sounded like automatic weapons. And then I heard the second explosion." He said he could smell something burning and advanced to check it out but area residents at their windows yelled at him, "Hey, it's gunfire! Don't go that way!"
MIT said right after the 10.30 pm shooting that police were sweeping the campus in Cambridge and urged people to remain indoors. They urged people urged to stay away from the Stata Building, a mixed-use building with faculty offices, classrooms and a common area. Hours later, MIT, which has about 11,000 students, said the campus was clear but the shooter was still on the loose.
Reports said one suspect was apprehended and dozens of officers and National Guard members were in Watertown. There were also reports of car jacking at the MIT campus. Police have converged on a neighborhood outside Boston where there were reports of explosives being detonated and police are telling reporters to turn off their cell phones. The MIT campus though has now been declared secure now.
The police action came after a police officer for the MIT was shot and killed at the campus outside of Boston, authorities said. The officer was responding to report of a disturbance Thursday night when he was shot multiple times, according to a statement from the Middlesex District Attorney's office and Cambridge police. It said there were no other victims.
MIT said on its website that police were sweeping the campus in Cambridge and urged people to remain indoors until further notice. People were urged to stay away from the Stata Building, a mixed use building with faculty offices, classrooms and a common area. The shooting came little more than three days after the twin bombings on the Boston Marathon that killed three people, wounded more than 180 others and led to an increase in security across the city. The shooting took place about 10.30 pm outside an MIT building, according to state police spokesman Dave Procopio. The officer, who was not immediately identified, was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead from his wounds. About 11,000 people attend the prestigious university.
(With additional information from the Associated Press)