WASHINGTON -- "Boston is on lockdown, but everyone's just being good neighbors and welcoming people into their homes," said Joshua Dawson, a Democratic candidate for state representative from the section of Boston where the marathon was hit by at least two bombs Monday.
Dawson said he was headed out to knock on doors at about 3 p.m. Monday, and when he turned toward his Boylston Street office, "It felt like somebody punched me in the chest, even though it was technically behind me.
"It was the loudest explosion I've ever heard in my life, and I felt it rip through my fingers and my feet," Dawson told HuffPost. "My ears are still ringing right now, six hours later. It smelled like burning chemicals, and I grew up in Ohio, so I know what industrial burns smell like. This was different. It was as though someone threw a bunch of batteries in a fire."
Dawson, 30, a Back Bay resident who resigned as head of state Treasurer Steve Grossman's campaign committee this year to campaign for state House, said the neighborhood has a lot of security and surveillance. "One thing about this neighborhood, is that there are banks all over Boylston Street, and they all have cameras in their windows," he said.
When he returned to his house, Dawson noticed three young people milling around outside on the stoop and invited them inside. One was Kelsey Hoar, a senior at the University of New Hampshire. "We were volunteering at the race," said Hoar, an exercise science student.
As they tried to find their car, she said "people stopped us and said, 'Turn around, you don't want to go to the finish,'" Hoar said. "We saw injured people and emergency vehicles, but all of our phones had died. Even now, we're using Wi-Fi to reach our loved ones."
Hoar and her two classmates, Lauren Milligan and Colleen Murphy, spent hours at Dawson's house and were optimistic about getting home on a late-night train.
"At first, I was in disbelief, thinking that couldn't happen" at the Boston Marathon, "where everyone's together and happy. But this makes Northern New England feel less safe."
See other politicians' reactions to the marathon explosion below, and scroll down for a blog with latest updates on the incident:
ALSO ON HUFFPOST
04/19/2013 2:30 AM EDT
GLOBE: Bombing Suspect In Custody, Another Remains On The Loose
One marathon suspect has been captured, according to an official with knowledge of the investigation.
Another remains on the loose in Watertown after a firefight with police. Authorities have established a 20-block perimeter as they search for him.
Read more here.
04/19/2013 12:44 AM EDT
Unconfirmed Photo Of Suspect 2 In Boston Marathon Bombing Emerges On Facebook
Just hours after the FBI released the first photos of suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, a new photo of Suspect 2 may have emerged.
David Green, 49, of Jacksonville, Fla., had just completed his first Boston Marathon, when he snapped a picture with his iPhone 4S, taken at 2:50, just after the two blasts ripped through the finish line area, killing three people and injuring more than 180 others.
The FBI has not publicly confirmed this photo as Suspect 2, but Green told the Huffington Post that an agent told him, "this is probably the best we have right now."
The man who appears to be Suspect 2 is wearing a white hat with a "3" on the side as seen in the publicly-released photos.
Read more here.
04/18/2013 10:19 PM EDT
Boston Bombing Victim in Iconic Photo Helped Identify Attackers: Bloomberg
Minutes before the bombs blew up in Boston, Jeff Bauman looked into the eyes of the man who tried to kill him.
Just before 3 p.m. on April 15, Bauman was waiting among the crowd for his girlfriend to cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon. A man wearing a cap, sunglasses and a black jacket over a hooded sweatshirt looked at Jeff, 27, and dropped a bag at his feet, his brother, Chris Bauman, said in an interview.
Read more here.
04/18/2013 9:04 PM EDT
Federal Law Enforcement Says Suspects Stayed To Watch Carnage: CNN Reports
04/18/2013 7:26 PM EDT
Right Wing Journalist Goes Ballistic During Press Conference
BOSTON -- Moments after the FBI revealed images of two baseball cap-wearing men wanted for questioning about the Boston bombings, the press conference descended into a sideshow.
A journalist from a far-right wing website called Info Wars shouted out a question accusing the government of carrying out the attack that killed three, and maimed or injured 170 others.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard Deslauriers ignored the allegation of a government conspiracy from reporter Daniel Bidondi, but the Alex Jones protege did not stop hollering.
"The FBI lies," Bidondi said. "We've got the proof," he said accusing the government of a "false flag" attack in which it staged the blasts and made them appear like the work of terrorists.
Bidondi found himself at the center of an media scrum with cameras and microphones pointed at his face after law enforcement officials left the podium in the Sheraton hotel.
Another reporter ridiculed Bidondi from across the room, telling him to shut up and calling him an asshole.
The excitement quickly dissipated as reporters returned to delivering the news about the official images of the suspects.
Bidondi has been a presence at other press conferences this week related to the bombing investigation.
--Michael McLaughlin / HuffPost Crime
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misspelled Bidondi's last name. We regret the error.
04/18/2013 7:00 PM EDT
Is The Suspect's Hat A Clue?
04/18/2013 6:46 PM EDT
Facial Recognition Expert Reacts To FBI Photos
Dr. Ralph Gross, a facial recognition expert at Carnegie Mellon University, said the FBI photos of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing are likely too grainy to be matched against a driver's license database or Facebook. But he thinks they may be just good enough for someone who knows the individuals to identify them.
"The resolution isn't particularly good. The one that's kind of best is unfortunately a side view -- and in general the face recognition software works best with frontal view," he said.
Research has consistently found, however, that people can spot people they know even in grainy, off-center photographs.
"Humans are actually very good at recognizing people that they are familiar with," Gross said. "Somebody that might know these guys, or might know the way they dress, might certainly be able to recognize them."
The FBI said the men should be considered armed and dangerous, and urged tipsters to call 1-800-CALL-FBI if they believe they have information that could lead to an arrest.
04/18/2013 6:21 PM EDT
Daily News Doctored Photo
The New York Daily News reportedly doctored its front page photograph of the Boston bombings (see update below).
WARNING: LINK GOES TO GRAPHIC PHOTO
04/18/2013 5:37 PM EDT
Hi-Res Image Of People Of Interest
04/18/2013 5:30 PM EDT
FBI Website Down
CNN reports that, because of a flood of traffic, the FBI's site is temporarily down.