BOSTON, April 19, 2013 -- The University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth erupted in chaos this morning as members of the campus community dashed to leave the scene as armed law enforcement officials rushed in.
Around 10 a.m. Friday, the university, which sits about an hour south of Boston, announced it had closed for the day and that students, staff and faculty had been asked to evacuate. The cautionary measures came in response to the news that one of the young men accused of killing three and injuring at least 170 at the Boston Marathon Monday was enrolled there as a student.
"The Boston Marathon tragedy has touched our university in many ways. On Tuesday, we drew strength from a campus vigil that attracted hundreds of people in remembrance of the victims, and today we learned that a suspect is one of our students," UMass-Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman said in a statement. "We closed and evacuated the campus to assure the safety of our students, faculty and staff."
The second suspect in the bombing, identified by officials as 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, took classes with those fleeing campus today. His older brother, Tamerlan, 26, was killed in an exchange of gunfire with police officers early today, police said.
One female student, still in her pajamas, told ABC News she had left her wallet and computer behind in her haste to get away.
With Boston police lined up at the front of campus to ensure no one returned, what looked like a military helicopter landed on the grounds and a group of Boston Police SWAT team members mixed with what appeared to be members of the National Guard walking toward campus. A police officer told ABC News the authorities were continuing their investigation there.
One of Tsarnaev's soccer buddies paused as he left UMass-Dartmouth today to say he had a hard time believing the younger Tsarnaev would commit the attack of his own accord and called the suspect "a little bit of a druggie."
"He was just a quiet guy. Never really spoke much about his family, never really spoke much about politics, but he didn't seem like a bad guy. He was a fun guy to hang out with. He was a funny guy," Ahmad, who preferred not to give his last name, told ABC News. "If it actually was him or his brother, I would definitely say the only scenario would be if it was his brother's doing mainly or he was extremely high on drugs, because he's not the guy."
Ahmad said that Tsarnaev smoked marijuana, but he did not know if he had used other drugs. He said he couldn't reach Tsarnaev when he called to ask about their weekly soccer game this Monday.
Bassel Nasri, another soccer player, said he was astounded to hear his friend was the one police were chasing.
"I woke up and I saw on Facebook, somebody had a picture of them together, saying, he's the guy who did it, and I, at this point, did not know it was confirmed it was him, and I commented, 'Ha, ha that's a funny joke. I know he looks a lot like him,'" Nasri, 20, told ABC News. "But, then he tells me that it actually is him and then my roommate told me that it is actually him, and I saw the news."
Nasri said he played soccer with Tsarnaev every Monday, but not this week.
"I never would expect him to do something like this," he said.
Later, he told ABC's George Stephanopoulos and Diane Sawyer, "I just don't think that he would be capable of such a thing."