Spencer Buxton, a mechanical engineering junior and member of the Texas Running Club, had already finished the race and was in his hotel room when he heard about the explosion.
“For me it all happened once I was done, I was already in my hotel room. My mom and aunt had gotten through four minutes before everything started happening, so they were trying to get their bags and said they turned around and saw a lot of people running and smoke everywhere. I didn’t even know anything was going down before they got to the hotel room and told me about it.”
Austin resident Scott Case, 25, says he had finished running the Boston Marathon and was back at his friend's apartment by the time two explosives were detonated near the finish line.
"I was back at my friend's apartment and saw on TV that the bombs had gone off," Case said by cell phone Monday afternoon from Logan International Airport. "The apartment is about a mile away from the finish line, so we went up to the rooftop. We saw four helicopters in the air, could see the scene."
Case, who finished the marathon in 3:08:02 called his family to let them know he was safe immediately.
"I've been on the phone all day — it's incredible how many phone calls I've gotten," Case said. "The race seems so trivial right now."
UTPD will continue to investigate the source of Wednesday's non-specific bomb threat but will decrease law enforcement presence on campus.
In a campus-wide statement, UT spokeswoman Cindy Posey said UTPD feels “comfortable ... returning to normal operations at this time.”
On Wednesday April 10 at approximately 6 p.m., a non-specific bomb threat was made to the University by an anonymous individual. UTPD boosted its presence on campus, monitoring buildings for 24 hours and responded to suspicious activity and object reports. No buildings were evacuated.
In the statement, Posey asks the public to be wary of unusual practices and objects and said any suspicious activity should be reported to UTPD at 512-471-4441.
After a day's worth of increased security presence on campus, UTPD chief of police Robert Dahlstrom said investigations into Wednesday's non-specific bomb threat will continue for the next several days.
“The increase in officers that you will see is standard protocol,” Dahlstrom said. “We will be monitoring buildings more closely than normally, 24 hours a day really. All that means is if you're studying at two in the morning, don't be shocked if an officer checking that building out.”
The threat prompted a campus-wide safety alert urging the campus community to report suspicious activity. Dahlstrom said several reports were made, all of which were cleared by police.
“An hour ago we had a report of a suspicious package and it turned out to be someone's gym bag,” Dahlstrom said. “That's exactly what we want people to call in-- something out of the ordinary, something that wasn't there yesterday or has been sitting there for a while or looks abandoned... use your common sense.”
Dahlstrom said the anonymous individual who made the threat has not been apprehended.
"We're certainly still trying to find out who did it," Dahlstrom said. "We're still working that end of it."
Authorities are asking the campus community to remain vigilant. Suspicious activity or unusual objects should be reported to UTPD at 512-471-4771.
The Texas Senate approved a bill Thursday to limit the powers university boards of regents have over individual institutions within university systems.
State Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, and Senate Higher Education Committee chairman, filed the bill in response to the UT System Board of Regents’ alleged micromanagement of UT, specifically of UT President William Powers Jr.
The House of Representatives must now vote on the bill, which would limit regents from “interfering” in the daily operations of universities under their purview. It would also prohibit regents who were appointed when the Legislature is not in session from voting until regents have appeared before the Senate Nominations Committee.
The bill’s passage comes hours after the UT System Board of Regents voted to disclose information requested by lawmakers and to allow the Texas Attorney General’s Office to conduct an investigation into the UT Law School Foundation’s relationship with UT.
At their March 20 meeting, regents voted 4-3 to conduct an external investigation into the foundation, which awarded a $500,000 forgivable loan to Larry Sager, then-dean of the School of Law. In 2011, Powers asked Sager to resign as dean, and Sager still holds a faculty position at the University. An internal review of the foundation conducted by UT System general counsel Barry Burgdorf, who submitted his resignation last month, found the loan was awarded inappropriately. The Texas Attorney General’s office largely concurred with the findings of the report.
Lawmakers, including Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, showed disdain for the regents’ decision and interpreted it as part of an effort to criticize or oust Powers. In a March 27 letter signed by 18 senators sent to Board Chairman Gene Powell, legislators suggested that regents use the Texas Attorney General’s Office to conduct the “unnecessary probe.”