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Dave Olson, Published April 19 2013

Moorhead graduate, now at MIT, was moments away from shooting

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – At the end of a crazy week in the Boston metro area, Brad Holschuh and his wife, Anna, were heading back to their dormitory apartment on the campus of MIT on Thursday night when popping sounds erupted.

“We weren’t really paying attention. And then, about a minute later, you hear just a fleet of sirens,” said Brad Holschuh, a 2003 Moorhead High School graduate and now an aerospace graduate student at MIT.

“My wife turned white and she’s like, ‘I hope that isn’t from whatever those noises were,’ ” he said.

Sadly, the sirens proved to be connected with the shooting of a campus police officer who was killed near a courtyard Holschuh and his wife had crossed moments before.

And the night only got stranger, said Holschuh, who with his wife is a resident attendant in the dorm for about 60 undergraduates at MIT, most of them freshmen.

After the shooting, Holschuh said he and others in the dorm listened to Boston police scanner transmissions over the Internet, which Holschuh said provided better information than anything media outlets were reporting regarding Thursday’s murder of a police officer by suspects tied to the fatal bombings at the Boston Marathon earlier in the week.

“I didn’t go to sleep last night. We were sort of hooked on listening to the police scanner,” Holschuh said Friday by phone from his MIT apartment.

“It was just constant,” he added. “Car chases and then explosions and then gunfights and then chaos.

“We were glued to it (the scanner), because we wanted to see how it was all going to play out.”

The explosions and gunplay eventually gave way to long stretches of confusion and speculation over where the remaining shooting suspect was hiding.

Because of the chaos, Massachusetts’ governor asked residents in the metro area to stay indoors until the suspect is found.

Holschuh, for one, said he was inclined to follow that advice. He’s operating under the assumption he won’t be going outside until he can reasonably believe the suspect is no longer in the Boston area, or has been apprehended.

Holschuh, the son of Lee and Karin Holschuh, Moorhead, spent part of Friday watching a deserted-looking campus from a window of his fourth-floor apartment.

“I’m looking out the window right now and I see no activity,” he said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555