Jeff Bauman FBI: Double Amputee Helped ID Suspects; How?
The scene in downtown Boston after the bombing at the Boston Marathon. One of the victims, Jeff Bauman, helped investigators after giving them a description of one of the suspects this week. (Photo: Reuters)
Jeff Bauman, the man in the wheelchair from the tragic picture at Monday's Boston Marathon bombing, may have helped police find the men responsible for the tragedy.
On Monday, as Bauman waited at the finish line for his girlfriend to complete the Boston Marathon, he came eye to eye with the suspected culprit of the bombing that killed three and injured 170. A man wearing a cap, sunglasses and a black jacket looked at Bauman and dropped a bag at his feet according to Bauman's brother, Chris Bauman, in an interview with Bloomberg News.
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About three minutes later, the bag exploded near Jeff and chaos ensued in downtown Boston. Jeff lost both of his legs below the knee as a result of the bombing and has been in Boston Medical Center since Monday. As Chris sat at his brother's side on Tuesday, Jeff had something on his mind and needed to write it down. What he had to say might have led police in tracking down who committed the act of terror on Monday.
"He woke up under so much drugs, asked for a paper and pen and wrote, 'bag, saw the guy, looked right at me,'" Chris said.
Bauman gave the FBI the description of the man he saw at the finish line on Wednesday while he was in intensive care. With the description, investigators were able to narrow the scope of the search and they knew who to look for in hours of video around the city. In images released on Thursday, police showed a still of the two men they believed to be suspects in the case. Both men were wearing hooded sweatshirts and dark jackets and one was wearing a baseball cap turned backwards while the other man was wearing his baseball cap forward. Both were carrying large backpacks.
Many would believe that due to his injuries and the sedated condition Bauman was in, his description and memory would vary and his thoughts may not be completely clear.
"I've had many times alone with him, and yes, he told me every single detail," Chris Bauman reiterated.
One suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed by law enforcement early Friday morning after a firefight in Watertown, Massachusetts. A second suspect, Dzhokar Tsarnaev is still at large as a manhunt has begun in Boston and the surrounding suburbs of the city. The two were cornered by police after a crime spree overnight on Friday when they shot and killed an MIT police officer and robbed a local convenience store.
While FBI spokesman Paul Bresson declined to comment on the tips that Bauman gave to the investigation, there is no doubt that he helped officials with their investigation. As the website Barstool Sports proclaimed:
"Wow. No words. Just unreal. Hero city."