Neighbors watched Watertown shootout through windows - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Neighbors watched Watertown shootout through windows

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WATERTOWN, Mass. (WHDH) - It was a dramatic night last April when police officers and the alleged Boston Marathon bombing suspects exchanged gunfire in a residential area of Watertown.

Many people were inside their homes as the situation developed outside their windows.

“He did look in here and I saw his face,” Loretta Kahayias said.

Those windows were all that separated them from the flying bullets and shrapnel spray.

“I thought we were never going to leave here alive. I thought that was it for all of us,” Kahayias said.

Now, a year later, neighbors go back to that horrifying night.

The shootout in Watertown ended with one Boston Marathon bombing suspect dead and the other, in hiding until his dramatic capture hours later.

“There was just like nowhere to go. Nowhere to hide in the house and what do I do,” Kahayias said.

The gunfight happened on Watertown’s Laurel Street, right between the homes belonging to Loretta Kahayias and Lizzy Floyd.

“My husband came running up the stairs, put our son in the nursery and we just couldn't believe watching the whole thing out of our window,” Floyd said.

Kahayias couldn't believe it either; she and her husband had just returned home from vacation, her husband thought he had heard fireworks and went outside.

“He opened the door and told them not to. I made him come back in, he opened up the window upstairs and he told them to leave; he said ‘go back on your own street.’ Then he looked and said, ‘oh my God, I think that's the boy from the marathon that bombed everything,’” Kahayias said.

The neighbors remember seeing the brothers firing at officers and throwing three separate homemade bombs.

“When it landed the explosion was so much bigger, one of our pictures fell off the wall and we both jumped down on the floor at that point and we were like ‘what is going on,’” Floyd said.

Kahayias saw part of her home and two of her cars nearly shredded by bullets.

“I was watching them to see which way they were going,” she said.

She also remembers the way Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was acting.

“The younger brother that I saw seemed very calm,” Kahayias said.

She said Tamerlan Tsarnaev didn’t appear as comfortable.

“He seemed more nervous the way he would pass the gun,” Kahayias said.

They witnessed the moment Tamerlan was struck and dragged by the car his younger brother was driving.

“I saw the SUV U-turning backwards really fast and then gunning forward down the street and I was like, ‘oh my god James.’ I could tell there were cops in the middle of the road, and I could see the car go over something, I thought he had killed a cop then it turns out he had dragged his brothers body,” Floyd said.

It's a wonder, these ladies say, that neither they nor their neighbors were hit by bullets or bomb debris.

“I just can't believe my husband and I are still here and I thank god every day,” Kahayias said.

Now, a year later, they describe how the shootout changed their neighborhood and their lives.

“If I hear fireworks it makes me insane, it sounds like the noises that were going on that night. I couldn't cry for a long time, then one day I broke down. All this stuff coming back to me,” Kahayias said.

“I think it brought everybody closer. I actually feel safer here now. I always feel like we're being protected,” Floyd said.

The events of that April night are still very much a part of everyone in the neighborhood’s lives. The two women said they both think about it every day.
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