Return to Transcripts main page


Boy Killed in Bombing; Wounded in Bombing; World Reacts to Boston Bombing; Investigators: Bomb Likely Placed Inside Pressure Cooker, Hidden in Backpack

Aired April 16, 2013 - 12:00   ET



MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Michale Holmes. We'd like to welcome our viewers not just here in the United States but indeed all around the world.

MALVEAUX: It was just less than 24 hours ago that runners were crossing the finish line at theBoston Marathon when back to back explosions turned an end zone into what really looked like a war zone.

HOLMES: It really did. President Obama just called the bombings "an act of terror."


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This was a heinous and cowardly act, and given what we now know about what took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism. Anytime bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror.


HOLMES: And we are getting new details about this horrific attack. And CNN's continuing live coverage of the bombings at the world's oldest annual marathon.

Here's what we know at the moment. The number of people killed stands at three. That includes an eight-year-old boy.

MALVEAUX: Police have just raised the number of people wounded. They now say 176 people were hurt in the blast. At least 17 of them are now in critical condition. But, still, no arrests and no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

HOLMES: The FBI leading the investigation. Authorities say they are following several leads. You're looking here at live pictures. Well, I think we've got some live pictures -- there they are -- of the crime scene. Our cameras overlooking Copley Square in Boston.

MALVEAUX: A twelve block section of the area is closed off while investigators are combing through every inch. They are simply searching for clues. Anything to bring attention to this. We've got an update on the investigation. This news conference, it happened just a short time ago. You see Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick dispelling early reports about what was a worry for many people, and that was unexploded devices.


GOV. DEVAL PATRICK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: It's important to clarify that two and only two explosive devices were found yesterday. Other parcels -- all other parcels in the area of the blast have been examined but there are no unexploded bombs.


HOLMES: We also heard from the special agent in charge of the FBI's field office about the wide reach of this investigation. Have a listen.


RICHARD DESLAURIERS, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: Our investigation certainly will not be confined very likely to the city limits of Boston. It would extend out to the eastern Massachusetts area. This will be a worldwide investigation. We will take -- go where the evidence and the leads take us. We will go to the ends of the earth to identify the subject or subjects who are responsible for this despicable crime and we will do everything we can do bring them to justice.


MALVEAUX: It's heartbreaking here among many tragedies in the story, we're talking about a family that was impacted here. You have this eight-year-old, one of three people who was killed in the explosions. Martin Richard attended the marathon to simply watch his dad run, right. And his mom and his six-year-old sister were also seriously hurt in the blast. His sister lost a leg. The more had surgery for a brain injury.

HOLMES: Yes, both still very ill. One witness says he think his saw that little boy just after the explosion.


MIKE MURPHY, WITNESS: When you're in such shock, you don't know really what you're seeing. And I thought I saw a child laying to the left. And my wife didn't see that as she later told me. And I thought perhaps it was clothing or perhaps it was someone's limb because there was a man there missing a limb. But it -- it was surreal. And it was -- whoever did it was just the embodiment of evil. It's unbelievable.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And you said the bombs were on the ground rather than being --

MURPHY: There's no question those bombs were in knapsacks or something on the ground because the woman whose clothing were melting into her skin, it was on her legs, the man lost a leg. Now that -- if that was the child, the child was small, we would have been hit 50 feet away across the street if the bombs were higher. The bomb to the right, 75 yards away, nobody really knew what it was. It was -- everybody kind of kept going on for a few seconds. But the one in front of us at Starbucks, when that happened, there was no doubt that in a second everybody was running and screaming.

BROWN: What was going through your mind at that moment?

MURPHY: We didn't know how many bomb there's were. I thought that perhaps there were more because there were had been two and I was afraid there might be some on our side and I wanted to get my wife out of there. She wanted to get down into the street because Timothy, our son, was due, as we thought, to cross at that time and we didn't know if there were other bombs up the street. We couldn't - we finally got hold of him two hours later. But, you know, we were so excited to be here for the marathon to see our son run and it -- it's -- it's a war zone.

BROWN: Is there anything that sort of surprised you? You said your -- such shock. You kind of had a different reaction than you might suspect you would in a situation like this.

MURPHY: I didn't think that I would be calm. And I wasn't calm. I was just in complete shock. When you see bodies around you, limbs, you think, in advance, that you're going to be just, you know, you'll melt down. But you - you really -- you're thinking, trying to move people out of there. And I tried to get my wife out of there. But I suppose, to her credit, she immediately wanted to go down into the street. But you're caught in a dilemma because your -- you know it's terrorism, you're wondering if there's a third bomb to take out first responders and people that are helping, but it's -- you know, this was -- this was designed to maim and kill and it did.


HOLMES: And Gary Tuchman joins us now from Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, home to the little boy who died in the blast.

And, Gary, I understand the boy's father is something of a community leader. Do we know much about that and how he's coping with all of this?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's unimaginable how a man copes with this, who loses his son, whose wife and whose daughter are in the hospital seriously hurt, and he's home with his other son. I don't know how you cope. Also, when we cover these stories, emotionally very difficult to cover from Oklahoma City to 9/11. It never gets easier. But when we deal with the deaths of children, it's very difficult. And that's what we're facing here today.

This house right behind me, you can see it, the gray house, that's where eight-year-old Martin Richard lived. Undoubtedly he was a proud son when he went with his mother, his brother and his sister about six miles to the north to see their father run in the Boston Marathon. It's a wonderful day. I remember doing that myself rollerblading in a marathon and my eight-year-old daughter, years ago, met me there and she was proud and I was proud. And it was just a wonderful day for everybody.

Now you're facing a situation where this father, understandably, hasn't talked publicly, but we're trying to learn more about this family. Something amazingly poignant. "The Boston Globe" last year printed a picture. There was a peace walk taking place with local grade school students. Back then, little Martin, who's in third grade now, was in second grade back then. Want to show you this picture. During this peak walk in Boston to promote peace in the neighborhood, he's holding a sign. It says "no more hurting people, peace" And there are two hearts and a peace sign. That is a little boy who perished from this terrorist attack.

We talked to, a short time ago, the neighbor who lives in the house right next to the gray house. A very nice lady whose known all three of the children since they were babies. And she told us last night she saw the father.


JANE SHERMAN, NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR: I saw him get out of the passenger seat and he looked like he was in a state of shock. And I said, "Bill." He didn't answer me. He just walked very slowly into the house. So I -- his friend came over and I said, is everything OK? He said, no. Martin was the little boy that was killed. And I was - I was speechless. And I didn't - I think he probably said something about Denise and the little girl, but I was really --

TUCHMAN: His wife and daughter?

SHERMAN: Right. And I was in such a state of shock, I didn't even hear what he said. I started to cry. And I said, if there's anything I can do, please just let him know I am here and please send him my deepest sympathy.


TUCHMAN: Neighbors here want to do something for this family and they just don't know what they could do yet. This is not something you ever expect will happen in your neighborhood. Neighbors, friend, family, classmates have been coming to the house today laying flowers in front. And also, on the sidewalk right in front of his house, somebody wrote the word "peace," the same word that this little boy put in his picture that he held up a year ago for the newspaper.

Michael. Suzanne.

HOLMES: Just inconceivable. Gary, thanks so much. Gary Tuchman there.

MALVEAUX: You know, Gary is there in the neighborhood. I used to cover Boston, the Dorchester area. And people are -- it's such a close community, a close-knit community.

HOLMES: It is, yes.

MALVEAUX: I mean, I can only imagine outside of that home what the neighbors are also feeling as well. Really such a tragic situation. HOLMES: Yes, hard to know what to do. What the right thing to do is to comfort somebody in that situation. It just defies belief.

MALVEAUX: And, of course, you know, we're talking about the chaos and the carnage, but we're also recognizing the people who came to the aid of victims, really the heroes in all of this. We're talking about those first responders. Here's how one of the runners put it.


TOM BEUSSE, BOSTON MARATHON RUNNER: The first responders were great. I know you see on the video now all these guys jumping over - jumping over fences trying to help out. People activated immediately, whether they were volunteers or the Boston Police.


MALVEAUX: Dozens of people are fighting for their lives right now. Among the 176 people treated for injuries, 17 are now in critical condition.

HOLMES: Yes, that number just grew and grew. Forty-one are in serious condition. Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us now from Boston.

Sanjay, one of the most horrible aspects of this story is the number of people who lost limbs in this explosion. Two brothers, in fact, each lost a leg. You know, obviously, this is a top-rate hospital, a trauma hospital and the like, but these were like battlefield injuries, weren't they?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think that's the probably best way to describe it, Michael. And, you know, you and I have both seen these types of injuries. I was talking the head of surgery here at Brigham and Women's and he said that that's - that's exactly how he described it. In fact, he used the description IED to sort of explain what these were like.

A couple of points. You know, there's been a lot of question whether or not there was, in fact, things within the bomb, such as bb-like things or nails. And the doctors now confirm that they were. The question before was, was it something that was just blown in from the surrounding area or was it within the explosive device itself? It was within the explosive device.

This is a big level one trauma center, as you mentioned. Within 15 minutes, the first wave of patients started to come here to give you an idea of the speed. And by 60 minutes, that preverbal golden hour, all the patients that they were going to take here did arrive.

They performed lots of operations. These amputations, like you mentioned. But also a patient with a severe head injury. Someone had a piece of shrapnel, one of these pierced of shrapnel that we're describing, that actually pierced one of the arteries in the neck, the carotid artery, which is obviously a very severe injury as well. Five patients remain in critical condition here.

So they moved fast. They're still working very hard.

Michael and Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: And, Sanjay, tell us a little about - I mean just the extent of the injuries here. There were so many people who were impacted by this and the numbers just kept going up dramatically hour by hour. Why is that? Why did it unfold that way? Were people able to finally get to the hospitals or was there something that delayed the process in getting them there?

GUPTA: Yes, you know, you have a sort of first wave of patients usually within the first hour or two. And as you might imagine, those are the patients who have the worst injuries. These are patients who may have been seen at the scene of the race and then immediately taken by ambulance and brought here.

But, you know, remember, when you have an explosion like this, there can be delayed injuries as well. It's almost a concussive blast between these two buildings. So people may have actually had concussive-type symptoms. They may have come to the hospital later on. Ruptured eardrums. You can rupture some of the intestines inside your abdominal cavity without having any lacerations. You may not know it and come later on to the hospital.

Also, some patients who were serious, they became more unstable overnight, became critical. And some who were critical became more stable. So these are - this is going to be a very fluctuating and fluid situation for some time.

MALVEAUX: And, Sanjay, is it your opinion as well that it could have been worse? That you could have had more people who lost their lives because of this?

GUPTA: Yes. You know, I think there's no question. And if you watched some of the tape again, you know, you see people who are pretty close to the blast, to what seems to be the origin of the blast, who were able to run out of there, and there are people who are a little further away who seemed to be injured. So it seemed like this blast, as the doctors described it to me, really did stay along the ground for a period of time and then started to come up. So it was those leg injuries initially, awful injuries, Suzanne, to be clear, but those patients are most likely to survive. But then the pressure wave started to go up and that's why you had the neck injury that I was describing, the head injury that I was describing. Those patients were a little further away.

MALVEAUX: All right. Sanjay, thank you so much. We really appreciate it. We know that the tragedy in Boston really being felt throughout the world.

HOLMES: Oh, it is. All around the world. Runners from 100 countries were represented in this race. It's one of the most international marathons in the world. And news organizations around the world, well, they're covering the attacks extensively.

MALVEAUX: Our international correspondents have a quick look at some of the reactions from around the globe.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here in Hong Kong and across China, the Boston Marathon blasts have been widely reported. They were reported almost in real-time, but the Chinese real estate tycoon Wang Chur (ph), who was there among the spectators in Boston. Now Wang, with more than 9 million followers on the popular microblog Senowabura (ph), describes the smoke and the sound of the blast. And his (INAUDIBLE) post and photo were shared more than 5,000 times.

Now, Chinese media is also circulating a photo of a Chinese student injured in the bomb attack. As seen here, the top story in the south China morning post. Now the state run Xinhua (ph) news agency reports that a female overseas student from China was injured and in a coma. She is a student at Boston University.

Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.


And while many ex-patriots in Lebanese were watching the images from Boston with great horror, this is, of course, a city with a deep empathy for that kind of violence, having been struck in its very center just months ago by a very similar type of blast. Of course it is a region where such violence is a daily regularity. A rocket self (ph) hit by dozens of blasts and dead on Monday alone. So many here will be concerned at any possible claim of responsibility for the Boston attack and the repercussions that could have across the region.

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Fred Pleitgen in Berlin, Germany.

Two hundred and fifty runners from Germany participated in the Boston Marathon and so, therefore, of course the bombings are a topic in this country as well. The German government has come out with a statement condemning the attacks and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he hopes the investigation will lead to those behind it. A famous German marathon runner posted on her Twitter account after finishing the race, "why must innocent people bleed?"


MALVEAUX: To find out how you can actually help the victims of the Boston tragedy, you can go to A lot of people just want to know what can you do at this point.

HOLMES: Yes, that's a great website too.


HOLMES: It's got all sorts of places you can go to help out.

And, meanwhile, here's more of what we're working on this hour for AROUND THE WORLD.

MALVEAUX: Bodies flying through the air. That is what one marathon runner saw as he crossed the finish line. His story up next.

HOLMES: And pray for Boston. That's the Twitter hashtag people around the world are using to weigh in on this tragedy. We're going to share some emotional tweets with you when we come back.


HOLMES: Continuing to cover the bombings in Boston, and we're just getting some new developments, some information about the device or one of the devices we understand.

Susan Candiotti in New York is on the line. What have you been hearing, Susan?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Hi, Michael. A federal law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation is telling us that investigators now believe that one of the bombs appears to have been placed inside a metal pressure cooker that was hidden inside a backpack.

So, inside a metal, pressure cooker, hidden inside a backpack. Now, this, again, has to do with what at least one of the bombs that was found.

You'll remember that we have been reporting that law enforcement authorities had issued a bulletin to other investigators to be on the lookout for someone who might have been carrying a black backpack in the area of the explosions right before they occurred, so this might go hand-in-hand with that.

We also heard Governor Daniel -- Deval Patrick of Massachusetts announce not long ago that there were two bombs and two bombs only. He went on to say that another device that had been found or a suspicious package, rather, that had been found, was blown up as a precautionary measure. So he said they're working with two bombs.

We don't have information at this time any or details about the second bomb that was found, Michael.

MALVEAUX: And, Candy, this is Suzanne. I'm wondering, did the law enforcement official -- did they tell you significance of this information, if it -- this pressure cooker, if it might have created more shrapnel or if this was a crude device and how this would have impacted the injuries, kinds of injuries we saw in the blast?

CANDIOTTI (via telephone): Because it was made of metal, Suzanne, you're right. That very well could have hidden shrapnel placed that was inside there.

Remember, we don't have specific information about the makeup of these bombs. We have heard from some of our law enforcement sources that they're looking at -- that they have some indication that some of them were constructed with a low-velocity powder and another chemical device that would have been -- could have been put together help create this blast along with other ingredients that would amount to shrapnel. We've also heard from doctors who have been telling us about finding nails and other pieces of metal that they believe were part of the device and not just injuries as well. But we've been hearing from other doctors who said that they found shrapnel as well from the surroundings after the explosion occurred. So, certainly, this would tend to make it more understandable, if you had a metal, pressure cooker, what you could put inside of that, how much you could place inside of that.

We still don't know what kind of triggering device was used, whether it was detonated, for example, set off by a timer or possibly a cell phone. A lot of details yet to come.

HOLMES: Yeah. Yeah, Susan, thanks so much. Susan Candiotti there.

Of course, the thing about a pressure cooker and this makes, in many ways, a lot of sense, you can have a much smaller device inside that sealed container, if you like, and when the device goes off, not only nails and ball bearings that are inside the pressure cooker, but the pressure cooker itself becomes shrapnel and the magnitude of the blast is magnified by being enclosed.

It's reminiscent in many ways of how EFPs were built in Iraq when that technology came in from Iran and the insurgents started using EFPs where they would shape the charge in such a way that the blast was directed very effectively, so a very significant piece of information from Susan.

MALVEAUX: In a way, Michael, it sounds like it becomes a bigger bomb, that you can have a rather small device, but if it is a metal device ...

HOLMES: And enclosed.

MALVEAUX: ... and break apart, so that it has a much greater impact.

HOLMES: When it goes off inside this sealed thing, it creates that much more pressure and then, when the whole thing explodes, it all becomes shrapnel.

If there's shrapnel in there as well, that would explain a lot. It would not have had to been, perhaps, per se, an enormous explosive device.

MALVEAUX: Sure. And, you know, of course, it's one thing to watch these kinds of pictures. And it's very dramatic and chaotic on television, or, you know, you're using -- you know, it's on the Web or the Internet here, but then it's another thing when you are really just steps away from where this explosion happened. I mean, that is another experience.

Pete Crawford, he knows what it's like. He was actually mile 26 when the first bomb went off, and Pete is joining us now.

Pete, we're so glad, first of all that you're safe, that you're OK. And, I know, as a marathon runner myself, you get to that point, 26 miles, you're almost delusional and delirious here. You're not even sure what you are seeing and what you are hearing at that point.

Did you even believe that this was real? What did you think it was?

PETE CRAWFORD, MARATHONER WHO WITNESSED EXPLOSION: Oh, at the moment, I was just trying to get to the finish line. My legs were cramping and I was hurting so bad and I had the finish line zeroed in.

And the first explosion went off, and I thought that's an odd way to be celebrating. I said, that's -- you know, just the next second, I thought, that's not celebrating. That's an explosion. I wonder what's going on.

And then a few seconds, and the second explosion goes off. And this one was not very far in front of me, you know, probably, it was on the left-hand side, of course, and the side right in the middle of a group of spectators on the sidewalk and explosion was huge, fireball and things flying in the air. And I just -- it was just awful.

The second explosion stopped -- pretty much stopped me in my tracks. I -- at that point, I knew somebody was bombing the Boston marathon finish line and ...

HOLMES: And how do you even protest that, Pete? How do you even process that realization? Here we are at this famous peaceful event and there are bombs going off?

CRAWFORD: Yeah, it was surreal. I couldn't believe it.

You know, I was so focused on finishing and getting rid of the pain that I had in my legs and the exhilaration of finishing a marathon, and then to have it just brought to an abrupt halt with an explosion like that, I was in a daze.

You know, for a while, I kind of wandered around in the street with some other runners, not knowing quite what to.

MALVEAUX: How have the last 24 hours been for you? Were you able to sleep last night?

CRAWFORD: Probably not well. You know, my legs are understandably sore but just after, you know, sleeping overnight, I've come to a better realization of what happened yesterday.

And, you know, it's kind of now have a feeling of a little bit of anger and sorrow, sorrow for those that were injured and certainly for their families and my heart goes out to them, and anger that, you know, such a wonderful experience was disrupted by such an event. And, you know, I wasn't even able to finish.

HOLMES: I don't know if you can hear us now as the emergency services go by, but there was one sort of bit of trivia, if you like.

This was your sixth Boston marathon, your 20th overall, I think, and I'm told that you told your wife this would be your last. Will it?

CRAWFORD: I'll probably live up to that, you know? Yesterday, when I was doing the final couple of miles, I would have -- if you would have asked me I would have said for sure. But, yeah, it probably will be my last.

MALVEAUX: And, Pete, if you would, I don't know if a lot of people really understand what it's like to be a part of a marathon, but there really is a sense of community. There's a sense of optimism and hope.

You have volunteers, you have strangers cheering for you, and people who are going through tremendous -- getting over tremendous odds when they cross that finish line.

Describe the culture, the spirit of what it is about to be a part of a marathon and the city of Boston?

CRAWFORD: Well, the Boston marathon, of course, is the epitome. I've been a runner for a long time, probably over 30 years, and that was always my goal, to someday get here.

And I was able to do that in the '90s, five times. And then the last 14 years, every year went by, I said to myself, I want to get back to Boston.

And I think that's every runner's goal. I really think every runner's goal is to someday run Boston at least one time.

And you know, if you're a runner, I think you feel that. Of course, many get to experience of that.

MALVEAUX: Pete, we appreciate your time. We appreciate that you were able to experience it the six times that you were.

We're so sorry the last time was in tragic circumstance, but, Pete, thanks for sharing your personal thoughts with us.

And he's absolutely right, as a marathon runner, it's one of those beautiful experiences. And I don't know if people even understand the sense of community that is around this.

HOLMES: Yeah, you were saying before the show. You were telling me that it's like a family thing.

MALVEAUX: Yeah, there really is. It's almost like a spiritual experience. For something like that to happen is even more traumatic.

HOLMES: The running world will pull together as well, as a result of all of this, yeah?

MALVEAUX: Yeah, absolutely.

And you see the people in Boston, of course, are rallying around everybody.

And the next question, what is next here, of course? Investigating a crime like this, we're actually going to talk with a former Massachusetts Homeland Security official about any kind of possible leads they might have at this point.