(List in Formation)
I saw a few fighter jets fly by. I could hear explosions and heard ammunition going off.
Pfeifer: I have no idea, but it started to lift a little bit. We stood up, but couldn't see anything
and then we hear pop, pop, pop. We hear gunshots and somebody yelling get down, get down. Now we figured we were being shot at. We tried to hide behind another car. We found out later a police officer was taking out a window. Then we got up again and we noticed some law enforcement having a guy in handcuffs, so we figured that was the guy that was shooting. In reality, it wasn't. Then, at that point, the cameraman went one way and I went back to the scene.
Then after a while it started to clear. Actually, I was with a civilian. Actually, I was laying over him because he had no helmet or anything. Then we got up and we couldn't see, but it started to clear to like a brown, cloudy smoke, and I hear pop, pop, pop, which sounded like gunfire to me. Then right after that I hear people screaming get down, get down. It's not normal. I worked in the ghetto long enough that you get down.
Q. Of course.
A. Because it sounded like gunfire and I've heard gunfire before. It could have been something totally different. I have no idea. I grabbed the guy I was with and told him, hey, we have to get down, we have to get some cover. Then it started to clear again a little better and we got up and I looked down the block and I saw some law enforcement taking a guy away in handcuffs and he was very agitated.
Q. Would that be on the other side of west?
A. On the west side of West Street.
Q. Towards the river?
A. Towards the river.
Q. Did you ever find out what he was --
A. No. But the cops were real agitated and it was early on. I couldn't imagine what they would arrest somebody for. Again, it could have been almost anything creating that sound. I have no idea. But I figured that was three strikes at that point. And then I came back to the scene and tried to figure out what took place here and what we had.
Delendick, Father John, Priest Fire Department
"A. Also I ran into a bunch of guys from the Secret Service, about 25 or 30 of them, all in their suits. I don't know the name of the street that's behind the World Financial Center.
Q. It might be North End or --
A. It must be North Avenue. They were walking along North, crossing Vesey, and they were going down further. I stopped one of them and I said where are you going? He said one of our members is in the building and we have to go find him. I remember saying to him I don't think it's a good idea going down there right now. He said no, we've got to find him. I said fine, go right ahead, do what you have to do."
D'angelo, Michael EMT "Division 1
"I made my way down towards the water, where they were -- where those New York Waterway ferries were bringing over water and such...I saw that the US Secret Service were bringing somebody, an Arab man in a suit, covered in soot, walking away in handcuffs. I remember that distinctly, because the guy looked right in my eyes."
Becker, Brian Engine 28 Lieutenant (F.D.N.Y.) 10/9/01
We got to the lobby, and we saw things. We saw an arrest being made of some Arab-looking type guy. I think he had a blue uniform type World Trade Center type maintenance type person. It was my impression. It didn't seem important to me. It seemed like he was being arrested by a Port Authority type policeman. That's my impression. I remember them putting cuffs on him, and I remember one of the firemen saying, "Look, they're arresting the guy," and I said, "Never mind that. Never mind that." You know, it was not our concern. There was chaos in the lobby. It was random people running around. There was no structure. There were no crowds. There was no -- no operation of any kind going on, nothing. There was no evacuation. It was just people running around, a few Port Authority police, and I think Engine 4 made it down."
Bendick, Thomas Division 1 E.M.T. (E.M.S.) 10/15/01
I was letting the water go through my mouth and the cop is saying the water is dirty, what are you doing opening your mouth. I said at this point it doesn't really make a difference clearing what's in my mouth."
"At the same point, a plain clothes, which I assume was a police officer, fired three rounds of his revolver into the door of the Manhattan Community College, the glass doors, which caused a panic. Everybody was screaming shots fired, get down. I actually visually saw the guy fire the 3 shots. He wasn't in a uniform. He was in plain clothes. I was actually screaming, no, calm down, he is shooting the door out because like I say, he just caused a huge panic, because now, obviously everybody knows it's a terrorist attack, and this guy is shooting his gun off. So he blew the doors out to the college, because they were glass doors. He climbed in, called people, try to get to safety.
Cacciola, Grace Lieutenant Division 1
Then there was gunshot across the street and supposedly this is just what we were hearing over the PD radio. Somebody had shot out one of the windows and think it was Manhattan Borough Community is that what is directly across the street. I’m so bad. Another school across, directly across the street. They had shot out one of the windows to open the door to put people into there so when the kids heard the 3 gun shots everybody started stampeding back towards us so we had to calm them down and get them to start going north again.
Broderick, Richard EMT Battalion 10
When we were there some kids---we didn’t know they were kids at the time---started throwing something from the roof of the building, off of and it was hitting the ground hard. Everybody started running, started panicking. The police went running in with their guns out. The next thing you know they had tons I’m exaggerating but we had like dozens cops in riot gear standing in front of us. I remember passing the Federal Reserve Bank.
Q: Maiden Lane is the Federal Reserve.
A: Because I happened to see the Marshals and everybody out with the shot guns and machine guns.
Police Office D. Vasquez
In the vicinity of the trade center: "All of a sudden we saw the top of the W.T.C. cave in and start to collapse. I heard five to six bangs, gunshots. I knew they were gunshots and they were coming from the direction of the West Side Highway. Half the crowd was running east and the other half was running west away from the gunfire. I was pinned against a fence and people were getting stepped on. I pushed through the people. I didn't see any fellow officers. People looked at me with panic faces, saying, `Which way should we go?' I thought we were under attack on land now. I thought I was going to die. I didn't know what was happening at the W.T.C. site, but I couldn't direct the people in that direction. Gunshots or a collapsing building. What a choice. I figured, well, they can't shoot all of us. So I directed, more like screamed, for everyone to head to the West Side highway."
On the 23rd floor: "So the Port Authority ESU cops came up. They gave us some oxygen. There was an FBI guy I think on that floor or one of the floors just below it as we were walking up. He told us the Pentagon got hit and the other tower got hit. He misinformed us by telling us that NYU Hospital got hit. I remember him saying that to me. And he said, "We still have four planes in the air, and we don't know where they are."
9/11 ABC News report: 557kB WMV download
9/11 in Firefighters' Words: Surreal Chaos and Hazy Heroics By KEVIN FLYNN and JIM DWYER January 31, 2002 www.nytimes.com/2002/01/31/nyregion/9-11-in-fir...