EL PASO, Texas -

An El Paso man was the first runner turned away from the finish line at the Boston Marathon.

Tom Furnival, 71, had nearly made it to the 26-mile marker when the blasts went off.

“I hear these two booms,” Furnival said. “It seemed like they were timed booms, then five seconds later another boom, and I’m thinking it’s a 21-gun salute.”

Police ran into the marathon route waving their hands in the air telling the runners to stop.  Furnival was perplexed because he was almost at the finish line.

“A few minutes later a girl came running toward me and she was crying,” Furnival said. “People were looking at her there and I said, ‘What’s going on?’ She said, ‘It’s a bomb.’”

ABC7’s Matt Dougherty met with Furnival as he arrived back in El Paso.

Watch the exclusive interview above.