Posted at: 04/19/2013 11:44 AM
Updated at: 04/19/2013 5:26 PM
By: Brett Davidsen
News10NBC heard from a man who grew up in Greece and now lives and works in Watertown where all this is happening.
Alex Cerone says News10NBC he has been ordered to stay inside his home. He spoke with News10NBC's Brett Davidsen about what he saw and heard.
News10NBC spoke with Alex Cerone Friday morning by phone while his street was still being swarmed by police and SWAT teams. Alex is originally from Greece and moved to Watertown, Massachusetts to work about two years ago. He says that just after going to bed Thursday night, he could hear the suspects' violent confrontation with police unfolding, beginning with a few loud explosions just down the street.
Alex Cerone said, “And then I heard all the gunfire. That's what I heard live and it was just for almost a full minute straight, which doesn't sound like a long time, but when you're standing here witnessing it, it was just a lot of gunfire, something I never ever experienced before. And then the third explosion, it was huge. It was a big ball of glowing red and a big puff of smoke and I would say it was about six blocks away from where I was standing. It was really loud and it kind of shook me up a little bit. After that, the whole rest of the night was just police vehicles and law enforcement kind of swarming the area."
Alex lives on Melendy Avenue, just around the corner form where the shootout occurred. He says police then began going door to door.
Cerone said, “And you could tell the gravity of the situation because the officer that I spoke with had his flashlight in my face the entire time with his other hand on his weapon the entire time we spoke. They're not taking any chances with the folks they talk to and basically said make sure you stay inside. Do not answer your door unless it's a law enforcement officer identifying himself on the other side of that door."
He says at one point police seemed to be focused on a couple buildings nearby.
Cerone said, "They're all wearing their SWAT gear with helmets and automatic weapons and they're completely covered in black, the canines with them. They must have cleared that building. They got into their vehicles and moved to another building a little closer to me and got out and did the exact same thing."
By late morning, Alex was able to send us some video.
Cerone said, "The helicopter, that is circling, is now hovering in one location right above Oak Street, which is probably just over that red building that you see here. In this building, this brick building here is where they had the building completely surrounded before they cleared it. They were concentrated in the parking lot here and in most of these backyards that you see here. It's just too close for comfort. I guess you could say for me, I'd much rather see it in some other city. Not to wish this on anybody, but when it's something that you're seeing on TV and it's not right there in your neighborhood, it's a very different feeling.”
Alex says he has been in touch with his parents in the Rochester area to tell them he is fine. He says he has a great deal of faith in how law enforcement is working the scene and keeping people out of harm's way.