Brown Deer High School students return from Boston

BROWN DEER (WITI) -- A group of students from Brown Deer High School were in Boston as two explosions rang out last Monday afternoon, April 15th during the Boston Marathon. The group was in Boston on Friday, April 19th, as authorities essentially shut down Watertown, Massachusetts following a gunfight with two suspects on Thursday night -- and were finally able to take Dzhokhar Tsarnaev into custody.

On Tuesday, April 23rd, the group was back in Brown Deer -- and speaking about their experience in Boston last week.

Three Brown Deer High School students, along with nine others -- members of the school's SMART Team had flown there to present their research to nearly two dozen other teams from across the country.

"We studied a specific protein called ExoU," one student told FOX6 News.

However, with what was happening just miles away, the team's focus quickly changed. Law enforcement officials essentially shut down the city of Watertown and went door-to-door on Friday, searching for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev -- one of two Boston Marathon bombings suspects. His brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during a reported shootout with police in Watertown on Friday night.

"One of my friends said 'Did you know there was a shooting?' I was really surprised and then I just immediately turned on the TV and told my roommates 'Hey, something just happened!'" Gina Wade said.

"We talked tot he people at the front desk and they told us basically the same thing we heard on the news -- 'Boston's in lockdown, and you're not supposed to leave,'" another student told FOX6 News.

The team's advisor, Dave Sampe says one colleague thought the team should have stayed home.

"It was like 'should we be here?' Maybe we shouldn't have even come," Sara Olk said.

"We went, you know -- just with the idea we would be kinda vigilant and look out for ourselves," Sampe said.

The team spent much of Friday watching the coverage on TV and playing cards while waiting for word of the next development.

"It was just the TVs that were blaring news. Otherwise everything was normal and no one was freaking out," Wade said.

The group says they are happy the ordeal is seemingly over -- and they are back home in Wisconsin.

"Just experiencing Boston -- it's such a different place from Brown Deer and there's so much history there. Even in danger, it's such a beautiful place," Wade said.