7's Steve Cooper describes terror at finish line
BOSTON (WHDH) -- 7News’ Steve Cooper ran the Boston Marathon and was stopped before the finish line -- but his wife, a critical care nurse, was very close to where the bombs went off.
In an instant, back to back blasts stopped time for runners suddenly racing toward disaster.
“Literally we started to make a turn and everybody just stopped. We were going sixty to zero in a split second,” Steve Cooper said.
While loved ones waited at the marathon's finish line, a pair of ear-splitting explosions stopped hearts.
“Everyone ran, and I didn’t run. I just stood there. I stood for a moment and said a prayer,” Joann Cooper said.
As the chaos unfolded, Joann Cooper was frantically searching for a face in the crowd; 7News reporter Steve Cooper, an eighth time Boston Marathoner.
“My first thought was, ‘Where’s my wife?’ I knew exactly where she was. We were 30 seconds apart. I knew there was an explosion. And I knew exactly where she stands every year and I had no way to find out how she was,” Steve Cooper said.
“I saw the Channel 7 truck and I went there and I said, ‘Have you heard from Steve? Did Steve call in yet?’” Joann Cooper said.
Cellphones weren't working, so the Coopers, both desperate to find each other, got to work.
“I’m a nurse, so I saw runners who were upset so I started comforting them. But I was also thinking, ‘Where’s my husband?’” said Joann Cooper.
“I’m a news reporter so I have a lot of contacts. I’m calling people, I’m asking people, ‘Is it runners that were injured?’” said Steve Cooper.
For the first time in eight years, Steve Cooper didn't finish the race. But after hours of combing through the crowd, he took a few final steps and found the prize that doesn't compare to any medal.
“I knew he was okay when he ran up to me crying,” Joann Cooper said.
“I can’t even put in words what it meant to see her at that moment,” Steve Cooper said.
Steve Cooper has been part of the 7News team since 1999. He has covered some of the largest stories in the region and beyond. He describes what he saw Monday as some of the most horrifying scenes he has seen.