Watertown resident Kayla Dipaolo, 25, was waiting for a bus that was to evacuate her and others from their neighborhood.
She said she was woken up overnight by gunfire and a large explosion that sounded "like it was right next to my head ... and shook the whole house." She was looking at the front door when a bullet came through the side paneling. SWAT team officers were running all over her yard, she said.
"It was very scary," she said. "There are two bullet holes in the side of my house and by the front door there is another."
Christine Yajko said she heard two loud explosions and gunfire. She said a police officer later knocked on her door and told her there was an undetonated improvised explosive device in the street and warned her to stay away from the windows.
"It was on the street, right near our kitchen window," she said.
The brothers also started out the night in a Honda CRV and used it to carjack the SUV. The CRV was later found abandoned in the morning in Boston.
In the past, insurgents from Chechnya and neighboring restive provinces in the Caucasus have been involved in terror attacks in Moscow and other places in Russia.
Those raids included one in Moscow in 2002 in which a group of Chechen militants took 800 people hostage and held them for two days before special forces stormed the building, killing all 41 captors. Also killed were 129 hostages, mostly from the effects of the gas Russian forces used to subdue the attackers.
Chechen insurgents also launched a 2004 hostage-taking raid in the southern Russian town of Beslan, where they took hundreds of hostages. The siege ended in a bloodbath two days later, with more than 330 people, about half of them children, killed.
Insurgents from Chechnya and other regions also have launched a long series of bombings in Moscow and other cities in Russia.