“This one was taken looking back along the route,” said Charles Lee, from Charlotte, as he showed Eyewitness News a picture.
Lee said he took the picture right after he crossed the Boston Marathon finish line just minutes before the explosions. He was still in the shoot at the time and, like so many others, he initially thought the noise was a cannon.
"When the second one went off, then you realized this is different," Lee said.
"I figured I was about five or six minutes to the finish -- that's when all the runners in front of me started stopping," said Hubert Lambert, from Lincolnton.
"We knew it was something bad, but didn't know what it was. We didn't really find out until eyewitnesses made their way toward our position," said Ben Zachary, from Taylorsville.
Zachary and his friend, Gary Walker, had finished the race and were about a quarter-mile away from the finish line when they heard the bombs go off.
"It was a trip of incredible highs, followed by incredible lows," said Zachary. "I plan to go back. This is not going to be my final memory of Boston."
Lee agrees. He plans to go back if he has the chance. Now, he is thinking about the amazing city he left behind, those who were hurt and his own family that was originally supposed to be with him in Boston.
"I'm just so glad that didn't happen. They would have been right very close to the finish line as I was crossing," Lee said.
Lee said when he showed up at the airport Tuesday to leave Boston, the TSA asked him to send the picture he showed Eyewitness News to the FBI as it works to collect as much information and evidence as it can.