By Riley Manning/NEMS Daily Journal
Two Amory natives have found themselves on lockdown in Boston while authorities track down a suspect in Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings.
Jamie Randle and Sarah Trautman graduated from Amory High School in 2008, then attended Mississippi State before moving to Boston to pursue studies in music and nutrition, respectively. While Trautman first heard of the incident during her Monday morning internship at a nearby hospital, Randle actually attended the race.
“I stayed long enough to see the division winners, then I left because I got cold,” he said.
Randle said he lives in the Back Bay area, under two miles from where the explosion happened.
“Once the explosions went off, people started running, but because of the barricades set up for the race, it was really crammed and hard to get away,” he said. “Right after it happened, the cops had the surrounding 15 blocks closed off.”
He described the scene as mass confusion, but as evidence came to light, residents of Boston were kept well-informed by the Boston Police Department and other news outlets.
“Before we knew anything about the suspects, people were confused. They had no clue what had happened. Of course people are scared, but now that one of the guys is dead and they are pinning down the other one, people are confident,” he said.
Despite receiving instructions to stay indoors at around 6 A.M., Randle walked to his 8 A.M. shift at Starbucks, just around the corner from his apartment. The Boston streets – empty for once – were disconcerting.
“Even if you had never been here, you would know something was going on. Police and patrol cars are everywhere, so I didn’t feel in danger,” he said.
With no television in the cafe, Randle said he is receiving updates on his cell phone.
“The police send information to the news channels, and they send them to us through apps and text messages,” he said.
Trautman was working her internship in the nutritional clinic of Tufts University Medical Center in Boston on Monday when the hospital went on lockdown. An attack on the Boston Marathon shocked the city for many reasons.
“The Boston Marathon is a really happy day for the whole city. It’s such a positive experience and people were very angry and distraught someone would ruin it,” she said.
A resident of the city since September, Trautman described Boston as a big but safe city, easy to navigate, and friendly. Though she is not a native, the event struck home.
“We’ve seen so many tragedies since 9/11, but I’ve never been affected so closely. It really gives you some perspective, especially for someone like my roommate, who is from here. For a lot of people, it’s their hometown where they feel safe,” she said.
Trautman said she also received word of the lockdown around 6 A.M. this morning, through an automated message sent from her university.
The message instructed her to stay indoors, and notified her that all public transportation had been suspended.
“People are very nervous, this all happened very fast, practically overnight,” she said. “But the police have kept the public very well informed. The news, police, and public services have cooperated very well, and those things have kept people more at ease.”
In the hours after the incident, Trautman said no one really jumped conclusions about a possible suspect, whether they be domestic or foreign terrorists, or something else. Mostly, people were shocked or numb.
“The runners who weren’t to the finish line yet were just stopped in their tracks,” she said. “No one could get in contact with relatives or friends they had at the race. We still don’t have enough information to know what to make of all this.”
Former New Albany resident staying in contact from Boston.
By Leslie Criss
NEMS Daily Journal
Erica Crawford moved to Boston about five months ago to work as a clinical placement specialist for Boston College. From New Albany, she now lives in the suburb of Andover and has not experienced the lockdown as those living closer to the city of Boston are. However, Boston College is closed, so she is home from work today.
The former recruiter for North Mississippi Health Services, said she attended Monday’s marathon, but even then was in Newton, at mile marker 20 or 21.
“Like everyone else here, I am ready for this to be over,” she said in a phone interview Friday. “I’m ready for those behind it to be caught. It’s horrible it happened. And frightening, but even more, I have been blown away by the amazing acts of kindness to come out of it.”
Crawford said she has kept in close contact with friends and her parents from New Albany who have been worried about her.
“I’ve gotten many texts, calls and Facebook messages,” she said. “I have been well concerned over.”