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Va. Supreme Court justice crossed finish line minutes before blast

Posted at 10:34 PM, Apr 24, 2013

(WTVR) -- A Virginia Supreme Court justice had a narrow escape running in the Boston Marathon.

Judge Bill Mimms said he has run in many marathons, but qualified for the Boston Marathon for the first time this year.

Mimms said he crossed finish line minutes before blast and ran just feet away from the explosions happened. He said it was reminiscent of a cannon going off at a football game and he at first thought nothing of it.

However, once the second bomb went off, Mimms said he realized it was a deliberate attack and was told to get out of the area.

Many runners left their bags near the finish line before the marathon started and Mimms said he worried more bombs were nearby.

"I think many runners realized that whatever that bomb was, another bomb could be placed in one of those bags -- and that you did not want to be in a very crowded situation," Mimms said.

From there, the justice said he began walking away from the area as fast as possible.

As the tragedy unfolded, Mimms said he was reminded of the mass shooting at Virginia Tech, especially since the sixth anniversary happened the day after the Boston bombings.