I live on Dexter Ave. in Watertown, Mass. where we just experienced what I can only describe as war.
It started as what sounded like firecrackers. But the pattern was somehow strange and quickly didn't feel like firecrackers. And then, the first of the explosions. Deep thunder, just down the street. Sirens followed, the sound of cars screaming down the street, squealing around corners. A friend texts us to turn on the scanner online. "Officer down" two short blocks down. My sense of the time that elapsed between the first pops to the last is non-existent. Throughout that time, we were terrified that someone was going to come running up our stairs and bust into our apartment. I had to tell my wife that we might have to run or defend ourselves.
The gunfire stopped. Afterwards, police cars, local and state, litter our street. Some police running around, others walking. Down the street, someone was loaded into a stretcher. A helicopter just flew overhead.
Meanwhile, my wife and I stayed in our bedroom, checking social media and boston.com.
I wrote the above about an hour ago... or what feels like an hour... maybe it was more... helicopters have been going non-stop, and a mass of police have gathered one block south of me.
2:37 AM PT: We're okay. We're right on Dexter Ave., and so our yards have been swept though by police. Our neighbors across the street (whom I haven't met) were brought out in handcuffs, with one of them, who bears a vague resemblance to the white-hat suspect, interrogated as he sat on the hood of a car.
My wife has fortunately been able to sleep through all this. I'm too much of a news junkie to not be eating up reddit and the scanner.
There are hints that we might get evacuated, but in the meantime, I'm letting my wife sleep. As the sun comes up, and the information stream slows to a trickle, I may just join her for a bit.