Local native safe in BostonApril 19, 2013
By CANDY NEAL
Herald Staff Writer
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Ben Braunecker, who graduated from Forest Park High School in 2012, was safe and locked down in his dorm room at Harvard University this morning.
The 19-year-old son of Kristine and Brian Braunecker of Ferdinand is a freshman studying molecular and cellular biology.
“A large amount of people from home have been contacting me,” he told The Herald this morning. “Many people are waking up and seeing this harrowing news report and fearing for all the people’s safety in this area, including mine.”
One of the people he talked to this morning was his mother.
“He’s behind three locked doors, the gates are locked and guards are posted,” she said.
She didn’t know about the overnight developments in Boston until she turned on the news around 7 a.m. this morning. That is when she learned that the police were pursuing an armed and dangerous suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings; another suspect had been killed. She also learned the suspects robbed a convenience store on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus and killed a campus officer Thursday night.
“That is literally 5, 10 minutes away from Harvard,” she said. “We’ve stayed there when we visited him.
“That’s when everything went into slow motion.”
Kristine knew that her son walks about a mile from his dorm to the school’s football complex every day for 6:30 a.m. football practice. “He’d be out in this, at practice,” she said.
She immediately called him, and was relieved to hear his voice.
“He said everything was canceled and that they’re on lockdown,” she said.
Ben said there were many reports asking residents to stay indoors this morning, but Harvard did not officially close until 8 or 9 a.m. He will use the unexpected break to take care of homework.
“I have quite a lot of work to complete this weekend,” he said. “It will be difficult to fully concentrate, but I will try.”
Ben said Cambridge, the Harvard campus and the area surrounding it are unnaturally quiet.
“Cambridge is dead. Harvard’s campus is dead,” he said. “What is usually a busy and active street, Massachusetts Avenue, is now only populated by security forces.”
Kristine was relieved that her son is safe, but she still had concerns, especially since the second suspect was still at large.
“How many weapons and explosives does this guy have? What else could he do? I’m just being a worried mom,” she said. “I’m concerned about the unknowns, more than anything.”
Herald Staff Writer Alexandra Sondeen contributed to this report.
Contact Candy Neal at email@example.com.
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