Emergency personnel respond to the scene after two explosions went off near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. Credit: Getty Images
Officials briefed the media at The Westin Copley Place three times in the aftermath of today's bloody blasts, calling the attack "horrific," and asking the public to be vigilant as investigators try to unravel the circumstances behind the bombings.
Mayor Thomas Menino, who is wheelchair-bound due to a recent leg injury, briefed reporters at the hotel, calling the attack a tragedy, and offering condolences and prayers to the victims and their families.
"We're going to work together on this. Boston police, state police, the FBI, all agencies are committed to working together," Menino said at a 6 p.m. press conference.
Governor Deval Patrick expressed gratitude to the emergency respondents, and also pointed to the sense of unity that quickly enveloped the Boston-area following the attack.
“There have been a number of stories of residents in Boston and along (the marathon) route showing extraordinary kindness to runners and others shaken by this experience,” Patrick said. “We’re going to get through this... We are all coming together to do everything we can to get to the bottom of this.”
[embedgallery id=134983] Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said the blast was "very powerful" and that there were three casualties and several "serious injuries." Officials, he said, would not have final figures until this morning.
"This kind of event won't be taken in stride. We will turn every rock over to find out who’s responsible for this," Davis said.
Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, who was near the finish lines during the blast, commended civilians who ran to help victims alongside first responders.
[videoembed id=134930] “Moments like this, terrible as they are, don’t show our weakness, they show our strength," Conley said.
Obama addressed the nation around 6:10 p.m., calling the deaths a “senseless loss.”
"We still do not know who did this or why. And people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. But make no mistake - we will get to the bottom of this,” Obama said. “And we will find out who did this; we'll find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.”
Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS