SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - As the bomb threat situation unfolded on main street Thursday night, dozens of businesses were forced into lock-down. Many of them, including the Off Broadway Theater, were full of people who had no idea what was happening. The art director at the theater sat down with anchor Kim Fischer to describe what he saw.
Friday was opening night for the cast of "Ylight" at the Off Broadway theater. Thursday night's final dress rehearsal got an unexpected distraction that could have turned out deadly.
"We had young kids in our performance, we had mothers and parents just so upset, so worried," said art director Eric Jensen.
The group was doing their final dress rehearsal when they got a shock at the front window.
"We saw a guy, in full swat gear and he's knocking on the window saying come here and of course we run right over there and he says you all need to get to the main part of your building and you need to do it now," Jensen said.
The group was forced to stay inside. Not knowing what was going on, curiosity got the best of them, so they sneaked to the front to get a peek at Anthony Mayhew.
"We saw the man and it looked really quite calm he was right across the street from our business right up the street and he even had his legs crossed," Jensen said.
After a few glances, the group decided to head back into the building. They waited and tried to read through their scripts, then, a blast.
"We heard the bang right then so we bee-lined over and saw him rolling on the ground and writhing in pain and we thought, oh boy," Jensen said.
Hew knew right away Anthony Mayhew had been shot.
"He was wearing white and now he's wearing red,” Jensen said.
Eric and crew thought Mayhew's threat was empty. They thought there was no way he had an explosive in his bag. They were wrong. And Eric said they were also lucky.
"Yeah, really lucky, quite lucky in fact," he said.
Mayhew was only about 100 feet from the front of the building. Eric says he has no idea why he didn't take the threat seriously, but he's glad police did.