Special Agent J.S.

Special Agent J.S. was a member of an organized crime squad in New York City and responded to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers.


Video Transcript

You know, I knew she'd see it on the news. "And, can you just get my boots for me? Make sure they're out and ready because I might swing by and pick them up some time today."

You know, that's it. I didn't say I love you. I didn't say anything because I didn't know what was going on.

I just planned on going down there and being outside on the perimeter and not really thinking I was going to be in any danger.

Now I'm standing sort of underneath--at 5 World Trade Center there's a, like an overhead, basically, a little ceiling that comes over the entrance. And I was standing just outside that.

So, as I hear this rumbling I'm looking around because I can't tell where it's coming from. And I see people starting to run.

And so I turn away from the World Trade Center at first to watch all these people and know what they're doing.

And then I realize what's happening. I turn around. I see the South Tower beginning to collapse.

Instantly, it went from beautiful, nice sunny day, even standing there watching the towers burn, to complete darkness and silence.

It was so dark and so quiet that I didn't know if I was surrounded by building and maybe trapped in a little place there.

And when I turned on the flashlight I turned around calling for people, because, like I said, people were coming out that door just seconds before that.

People saw the light. I heard some voices. So I basically said to people, "Hey, come over here towards the light, come towards me, come towards me."

And they did. We basically held hands and walked towards Church Street and across Church Street, which didn't look like a street anymore. There was debris everywhere.

We're trying to decide, you know, should we stay there because of all the debris falling or should we make a break for it towards Church Street. 

And we're basically standing there and we hear the rumbling now of the North Tower falling. So I'm even closer now to the North Tower than I was to the South Tower the first time. And I remember how that went.

And now the thought that's going through my mind now is, you know, my wife's going to kill me. She's going to know that I got out the first time and I went back in.

So I got up and I ran across the west, I'm sorry, the east-bound lane of Vesey Steet and I jumped in between two parked cars, like up by the engine thinking that was the safest spot at the moment.

The building came down. And it was, I was just waiting for that one big piece to come down and kill me, basically.

I knew I was going to die and I was very calm about it. And I just realized that was probably going to be it.

And so it was just amazing to see that I was in a spot that kind of really wasn't damaged all that much.

And, you know, fifty yards one way or the other and it could have been a real big difference for me personally.

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