When Linda and Stephen Sweet left their downtown Boston home Friday morning to head to the airport for a flight to Charleston, they found their typically bustling city at a standstill.
“The city was totally locked down and dead. It’s so tragic,” Linda Sweet said. “Not a soul out.”
As dawn broke, the Sweets and the country awoke to news that one suspect in Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings was dead and the other was on the loose. “At first I was thrilled that one was down,” Linda Sweet said. As she spoke of what had transpired this week in her city, she paused. “You can’t talk about it without tears.”
The couple, who live four blocks from where the bombings happened, said they left their home around 8 a.m. and were shocked to see the deserted streets. Authorities had put the city on lockdown and asked residents to stay home while they conducted their manhunt, which concluded Friday night.
“It was eerie, people absent on the street,” Stephen Sweet said. “Usually you see tons of people in the morning.”
The Sweets arrived at Charleston International Airport at around 1 p.m. for a trip they had been planning for months. The JetBlue flight arrived just a few minutes later than expected. None of the Charleston flights in and out of Boston were canceled because of the lockdown.
Jessica Tanguay, 32, of Hooksett, N.H., arrived in Charleston with her husband and 6-year-old son, Blake. They took a bus into Boston to catch their flight to the Lowcountry, and said the ride was a little crazy.
“Some of the people were commuting to Boston, and they found out on the bus that they couldn’t take the train, or any traveling at all, and then when we got into Boston, South Station was completely closed,” Tanguay said. “So we had to turn around, and it was just weird on the streets. It was eerie, guns everywhere, you know with the police officers. It was a little scary. I’ve never seen it like that.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.