BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Brandi Jenkins was a spectator for this year's Boston Marathon. Her boyfriend, Eric Alexander is a former LSU football player who graduated in 2003. He ran in this year's race. WAFB's Jacques Doucet interviewed Jenkins via phone conversation.
Here is the transcribed interview.
JACQUES DOUCET: First off just tell me, where you were when the explosions went off and kind of what took place from that point?
BRANDI JENKINS: I was roughly in front of the Mandarin Hotel because I saw the explosion within two blocks from me the first one, wasn't really sure what happened saw the smoke go up in the air and I thought it was a cannon because it was so loud it shook my body, and then within another 10 seconds or so the other explosion went off and it was closer, even you know closer to me down the street so I immediately panicked thinking that it was working its way down towards me. I was with one of Eric's friend, Leo and we rushed into the Mandarin Hotel and stayed in there trying to figure out what was going on along with everyone inside.
DOUCET: When did you make contact with him (Eric)?
JENKINS: Not until... probably at least 20 - 30 minutes later we got in contact with one of Leo's friends who saw him on the marathon route and had seen him at that point and I guess he had stopped and they were together and so we heard through his friend James that he was fine.
DOUCET: So you didn't have to worry for too long then?
JENKINS: No, there are automatic text updates as far as through the bib cause there's a chip on their race bib, and so when they meet certain points in the race I knew where he was and unless he was literally sprinting after that point he wasn't going to be near the finish line, so I was pretty assured that he was fine.
DOUCET: As I'm talking to you right now we're not sure what exactly caused it so we don't want to leap to conclusions but the way you describe it, to me it kind of sounds like 9/11, when the first plane went in the building they said well this might be an accident and then when the second one went in we knew it wasn't, and kind of the same thing you talk about one explosion thinking it may be something and then when the second one goes off maybe your alarm goes off that hey something's not right.
JENKINS: Absolutely. Because the first one was basically right at the finish line and it seemed like it was just making its way down. It was on the opposite side of the street from me, but it definitely gave me the sense of even rushing into the building was I going to be safe.
DOUCET: Did you have time to be scared? What were your thoughts after it, because I think another ones gone off, are there three explosions so far?
JENKINS: From what I've heard the third explosion was a controlled explosion because they found more devices that had not been activated. If I believe correctly that they were trying to set it off so that they didn't have to worry about it going off itself. There were two solid explosions that I know off, there's been big talk about a third.
DOUCET: What has been the reaction to the people up there? Your friends and the people you've talked to in the Boston Area, what's the scene like up there right now?
JENKINS: Honestly it seemed like it cleared up rather quickly, obviously people were chaotic right at first, people rushing into the buildings, people talking about people being injured and describing what they saw outside. Looking out the windows of the hotel I was able to see EMS people tending to individuals. The first reaction is everyone trying to contact each other to make sure everyone's ok that they know that was down there.
DOUCET: So the local law enforcement, the hospitals the ambulances they all did a pretty good job of containing it and doing the best to deal with it?
JENKINS: I totally think they did because looking at the scene they were able to clear everybody out of there without... I mean obviously there's going to be some level of panic, but they were able to get everybody away from the scene and the buildings as quickly as possible.
DOUCET: Alright Brandi before I let you go is there anything else you want to share or add about what's going on up there right now?
JENKINS: No, just keeping everybody in our thoughts and prayers. It definitely is a scary thing to have happen on such a great day and a great event.