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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER

Boston Bombing Investigation Continues; Interview With Congressman Bill Keating; Boston Community Grieves for 8-Year-Old; "Everyone was My Patient"

Aired April 16, 2013 - 16:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: An act of terror on our soil, this city, this country on alert. I'm Jake Tapper and this is THE LEAD.

There is only one lead today. It is, of course, CNN's continuing coverage of the terrorist bombings here in Boston. We are devoting our entire hour to the newest developments in the investigation, to the victims, to the heroes, and to the manhunt.

There are as of now no arrests. No suspects have been named, no responsibility has been claimed. No reason has been given for these senseless attacks. And now we have learned the name of a second victim who died in the attack. Her name was Krystle Campbell of Medford, Massachusetts. Boston is in mourning.

Boston is also holding its breath as authorities chase down the person or people who did this. Any shred of evidence from the public could make the difference. Memories here are still fresh from the scariest terror incident in our borders since 9/11.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a multi-casualty incident here.

TAPPER (voice-over): Just over 25 hours and 10 minutes ago, three from the Boston Marathon's cheerful crowd were forever silenced, including 8-year-old Richard Martin and 29-year-old Krystle Campbell.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Be very careful of secondary devices. We have very serious injuries.

TAPPER: We now know more than 170 others from ages 2 to 71 are recovering from the physical wounds of these horrifying blasts.

DR. GEORGE VELMAHOS, MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL: Severe trauma in their lower extremity that was beyond salvation, so I would consider them almost automatic amputees. We just completed what the bomb had done.

TAPPER: And the bombs we now know were loaded with shrapnel for maximum destruction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no question some of these devices were -- some of these objects were implanted in the device for the purposes of being exploded forward when the bomb went off. So, these are small. They are about two to three millimeters in diameter. And we have also removed over a dozen small carpenter-type nails from one patient.

TAPPER: The world is struggling to cope with the emotional aftermath.

DR. RON WALLS, BRIGHAM AND WOMEN'S HOSPITAL: It's obviously an extremely sad day for all of us, but even more so for the patients and for the relatives. I had the pleasure of interacting with many of the relatives and obviously they are shattered by the events.

TAPPER: Within these 24 short hours since the Boston Marathon bombings, we can determine this.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This was a heinous and cowardly act. And given what we now know about took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: It was a terrorist attack of some sort.

TAPPER: No group, domestic or international, has claimed responsibility for these attacks, but officials pledged to find out who is to blame as quickly as possible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will find this person, trust me, or persons, or whoever is involved, and we will bring them to justice the American way, not the uncivilized way that they reaped the carnage on us.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER: I'm on the ground here in Boston to bring you the latest today in that investigation as new information continues to pour out from this resilient city.

I am also right now going to join Lillian Campbell. As we mentioned at the top of the show, within just the last few hours, we found the name of a second victim who died in the terrorist attack here, Krystle Campbell of Medford, Massachusetts. She just 29 years old.

And right now joining us on the phone is her grandmother Lillian.

First of all, Mrs. Campbell, our deepest condolences to you on what must be a horrible, horrible time. Tell us about your granddaughter Krystle.

LILLIAN CAMPBELL, GRANDMOTHER OF KRYSTLE CAMPBELL: She was a beautiful girl. She was very happy, outgoing, a hard worker, and she was great with me. She loved her gran -- she loved her nana, as I loved her. She lived with me for about a year-and-a-half.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: When was the last time you saw her?

CAMPBELL: Thursday.

TAPPER: How did you get the news? Did the police tell the family? Was there another way? Did the media tell you? CAMPBELL: It was my grandson. He was over at the hospital. He got a call that Krystle was hurt, so he went over, but he couldn't get in to see her or anything.

And then his father and mother went over. And they wouldn't let them in either until about 15, 20 minutes after. And then when they went in, and my son looked at her and there was a girl in a bed, and then he yelled, it wasn't his daughter. It was my granddaughter's friend Karen (ph) was in the bed, not Krystle.

So my son didn't know anything about Krystle until this afternoon. The FBI told him to go over to Mass General Hospital to identify her, but they wouldn't let her -- let them see her, only by a picture.

So I haven't heard from them yet. So, I don't know what else is going on.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: Mrs. Campbell, once again, our deepest condolences.

CAMPBELL: Pardon me?

TAPPER: Once again, our deepest condolences.

Before I let you go, I just want to give you the opportunity to tell our viewers around the world, how do you want the world to remember your granddaughter, your beloved granddaughter?

CAMPBELL: That she was a fun, outgoing person. She was always there to help somebody. And she was just beautiful. She was just a fun- loving girl and out there to help anybody and everybody.

And she was very close to all of her friends. They loved her, all her friends did. And the family, they're beside themselves right now, because something happened to her. She was a special person in the family and her friends.

TAPPER: Lillian Campbell, our deepest condolences to you. Thank you so much for joining us.

CAMPBELL: All right. Thank you. Bye-bye.

TAPPER: Now to the investigation into this heinous crime.

CNN chief national correspondent and Boston native John King joins me from nearby Dorchester.

John, what is the latest on the investigation?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Twenty-five hours later, still many, many more questions than answers as we talk (AUDIO GAP)

TAPPER: Can't hear John.

So we're having technical issues with John King. We will get back to him in a moment as soon as we can get that line fixed.

I want to now bring in CNN national security analyst Fran Townsend. She has some new developments on the possible construction of this bomb.

Fran, what have you learned?

FRANCES TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: Jake, federal law enforcement officials confirmed to CNN now that this was these were, in fact, pressure cooker explosive devices.

It was explained to me that these pressure cooker devices necessarily include a circuit board, a timer, but they would not confirm that they had found pieces of those -- component pieces of the bombs, the circuit board or the timer.

This is sort of unfortunate in a way. You remember we have been talking about the actual construction would help them understand who was likely behind the explosion the explosive devices. The problem is, these -- I'm told component pieces are commonly available. They're easily obtained.

The construction, the design of such an explosive device using a pressure cooker is widely disseminated and known. So this won't be the kind of help that the feds were hoping to get from looking at the signature of the bomb. They thought this might help them discern whether it was a foreign or domestic group, whether it was a lone wolf, or it was a group behind it.

Also, they are talking about trying to quickly release a photo of the device. Why? They tell me that so they can get that to other law enforcement officials to be on the lookout when they're looking at suspicious packages to see if any -- there are any devices, other devices out there that would be a threat to public safety.

This was the same protocol they used when they had that computer printer cartridge bombs. They did get those photos out and widely disseminate them to the media and law enforcement officials. That is their intention here.

And then finally, Jake, DHS officials, Homeland Security officials confirmed to us that they did participate in a joint intelligence assessment that prior to the marathon and that there were no threats that they were aware of to the marathon beforehand.

TAPPER: All right. Fran Townsend, thank you so much. We will check in with you later.

Congressman Bill Keating of Massachusetts now joins us. He serves on the Homeland Security Committee in the House. He joins me now from the House of Representatives.

Congressman, you spoke to the secretary of homeland security, Janet Napolitano, just a few minutes ago. What more have you learned about this attack? REP. BILL KEATING (D), MASSACHUSETTS: It was actually a few hours ago.

But what we have learned is that they haven't been able to distinguish whether it is an international terrorist or a domestic terrorist, only that there is a treasure trove of potential evidence in videos and witness statements.

And a large part of our focus at the federal level working with state and local officials is then to try and provide the assets necessary to accelerate the viewing of those videos to bring in experts that might be able to determine information from those videos.

The videos remain one of the centerpoints of the investigation. There are still videos flooding in from individuals, because of iPhones and other video equipment. And that's all welcome. But there is a mountain of this information to go through and it does present a very encouraging avenue, given the magnitude of the video and the camera work that was done there in terms of what happened at that scene. So that remains one of the priorities right now.

TAPPER: Congressman, you used to be a district attorney here in Massachusetts in Norfolk County. I wonder if it surprises you at all that there seem to be so few specific leads. I understand there is this potential treasure trove of evidence with all the video surveillance, all the video cameras, and smartphone cameras at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

But it doesn't seem like from law enforcement officials we have any real leads, unless I'm under the wrong impression here.

KEATING: As a district attorney, I can tell you this. If they are approaching anything that is promising, the last thing they want to do is get that out into the public.

There are occasions when you have to make disclosures because the public safety is jeopardized, and at that time you have to compromise those leads. But I'm sure they're following different potential leads right now. Some of them will be dead ends. Some of them are continuing I'm sure to investigate.

That is not going to be shared. One of the greatest advantages you have as an investigator is when you have information and the perpetrators that you're trying to find don't realize you have that information. So I wouldn't take that as the fact that they don't have leads. I suspect strongly they're approaching different leads and will determine which ones make sense and will keep going until they find out that's not what happened or continue on with that. So don't assume that they aren't -- they're not pursuing leads.

TAPPER: All right, thank you very much, Congressman.

Coming up, a family grieves while it recovers. A little boy cheering from the sidelines, he's gone. His mother and his sister are seriously injured. We will remember the life of Martin Richard. Plus, so many people became heroes yesterday as lives were saved in the streets and in emergency rooms across the city as well. I will talk to one doctor who faced the toughest day of her life.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Some of the horrific images from yesterday's day of carnage at the finish line of the Boston marathon.

Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper live in Boston with continuing coverage of the terrorist attacks at the Boston marathon.

One family literally changed in a flash yesterday suffering an unthinkable horror when a little boy cheering on people crossing the finish line was killed. His mother also suffered a massive brain injury, and his 6-year-old sister, she lost her leg.

That boy, 8-year-old Martin Richard, is the youngest known fatality of this attack. Yet even at his young age he was able to deliver a simple and powerful and now haunting message that has been shared tens of thousands of times today on Facebook and across the Internet. Almost a year ago, he was photographed at school holding a sign. On it was written five simple words: "No more hurting people," it said. Peace.

This as so many adults also struggle to comprehend the violence that took young Martin's life.

CNN's chief national correspondent John King joins me now from Dorchester, the Boston neighborhood that Martin grew up in, also where John King grew up in.

John, how is your community reacting to this horrible, horrible news?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Jake, I can tell you, there are waves of sadness. People are still stunned. We stopped by the community charter school where Martin Richard went to school. His younger sister was in the first grade. His mother was the librarian there. The students, we are told, were in shock. They were bringing counselors in. The faculty was in shock and it is an eerie sight.

The flag was at half staff. Literally, it's on the intersection of the street I grew up on. I grew up on King Street. The school is on Queen Street, which comes on Queen Street. And, Jake, it's up on a hill. When you look over the hill, you can see the Prudential Tower, the Hancock Building. Those are the Copley Square landmarks.

You can see the very spot where this young man was killed, this young child was killed. His mother was wounded and his sister was wounded. They were there near the finish line watching the end of the Boston marathon.

You see me now standing, if you're from Boston especially from Dorchester when people ask you where you're from, you identify it by your parish. This is St. Anne Parish where the Richard family went to church. And there is a vigil that was supposed to be in this church tonight. They've moved it to a local park because we believe the crowd of locals will be larger than can fit in to St. Anne Parish here.

Martin Richard was described as an avid little league player. He has an older brother who goes to a different charter school, excuse me, in the neighborhood as well.

And you mentioned the young victim. That's what most horrifies the people of Boston, that such senseless violence to begin with has taken a young life here and there is mourning in this town.

You mentioned his mother Denise. She was a state employee for 10 years. She left when she became pregnant with her young daughter. Then she took a job as a librarian at the school. I'm told she is in better condition today. But a family friend told me it's still dicey for her.

And, sadly, the young girl, the first grader, she is also still hospitalized recovering from her injuries. I am told she has lost all or part of one leg and the big fear today is that she may have to lose all or part of a second leg to keep her in stable condition. The young girl, Jane, was an Irish step dancer.

So, you get the shock at the loss of that young boy. You have the shock in his family. People here waiting, waiting to hear progress on the investigation.

So, a mix of mourning and a mix of anger I would say in Dorchester, is a very blue collar, gritty community. As I'm standing in front of this church, I used to come on my bike and turn up Ashmont Street when I had a paper route a long time ago. I can tell you there is a lot of resilience but it's mostly sadness today.

TAPPER: All right, John King. Thank you so much.

Just yards away from the site of the explosion was a medical tent with a full complement of doctors and nurses who were there at the Boston marathon volunteering to help with runners. As the bombs went off, they rushed out into danger to tend to the wounded.

I sat down with Dr. Christina Hernon, an emergency room physician from UMass Memorial Health Care. She's just one of the heroic doctors and nurses who ran out to help.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. CHRISTINA HERNON, UMASS MEMORIAL HEALTH CARE: We heard and felt the first noise and then the second noise. The room became very quiet.

TAPPER: Did you have any idea what it was?

HERNON: I didn't. I knew I had never heard or felt anything like that before. And I definitely felt it throughout my whole body. And after the first one, my mind was racing with, did something backfire, did something fall? Was there some kind of a gas explosion? What happened?

And after the second one, I found myself thinking of a colleague of mine that was in the Baghdad E.R. and his description of being in a place providing medical care and hearing loud noises outside and wondering how close they were. And I found myself actually having that thought.

TAPPER: People just yelling we need doctors outside. We need nurses outside.

HERNON: Yes. We need people. We need doctors. We need nurses. Any available person, please come to the finish line to help.

And people did. Not knowing what they were walking into which --

TAPPER: They ran right into it. Did you go or stay?

HERNON: I went.

TAPPER: What did you see?

HERNON: People being brought in wheelchairs or being carried or being assisted and walking with lots of blood on the face.

TAPPER: Who was the first patient?

HERNON: It was everybody. It felt like everybody was my patient.

TAPPER: Were there children?

HERNON: I only saw one child in a wheelchair living the same (ph), had signs of heat scorching the hair on his head. I think an arm injury. I'm not sure. I think it was an arm injury.

But mostly, I remember just the look on his face. His eyes were very empty and more of a stare. I didn't really see fear or sadness. I just saw empty and confused.

TAPPER: You're an emergency room physician so you're used to seeing people in desperate times. But I imagine this must have been the worst thing you've ever seen. The number of people, really a mass casualty incident that this. I've never been involved in anything like that there is nothing lucky about this incident but I suppose it could have been a lot worse if there hadn't been a whole bunch of physicians and nurses and residents just yards away from the incident.

HERNON: That's amazing. That part is amazing. Every single patient there was vulnerable and as injured as they were had at their side a doctor or a nurse or a medical student and all of these volunteers who wanted to be nowhere else other than at the side of that injured, vulnerable patient.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER: Dr. Christina Hernon has volunteered at seven Boston marathons. She told us this year they were staffed with even more doctors and nurses and other medical personnel than usual because last year's race was so hot -- a move that may have saved many lives at this year's race.

So many questions still left unanswered. How did the people or person responsible for this attack get the bombs in place after police had combed the area for explosives? We'll have the latest on the investigation, straight ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: By the time I was trying to fall asleep, it was all hitting me this was really real app waking up this morning and realizing it's not a nightmare but actually happened.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was surreal and it was -- whoever did it, it was just the embodiment of evil. It's unbelievable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Some of the photographs of Boston's security forces from yesterday.

Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. We're coming to you live from Boston just blocks from the site of the deadly terrorist attack during the city celebrated marathon.

At this hour, we know the names of two of the three victims who were killed in the bombings. The second victim has been identified as 29- year-old Krystle Campbell.

Earlier, we learned 8-year-old Martin Richard also died in the attack. "The Boston Globe" reports that Martin's mom and sister also suffered grievous injuries. They are still in the hospital, along with most of the 183 people who were injured in the explosion. Some of them are still fighting for their lives at this hour.

Meanwhile, a senior U.S. official tells our Barbara Starr at the Pentagon that no foreign connection or link to al Qaeda had been found in this attack, at least not yet. They have not named any suspect yet, the federal government, and no one has claimed responsibility. But the manhunt is on, one assumes, one of the most intense in our country's history.

The news of the attack sent a shock wave through Wall Street yesterday. The Dow suffered its biggest drop of the year. Today the markets bounced back. Optimism about housing and a pickup in hiring are credited for the surge. The traders began the day with a moment of silence for the victims in Boston just before the opening bell.

We'll have more on the marathon bombings in just a moment, but, first, we want to bring you some of today's other headlines.

Thousands of American Airlines passengers are stuck at their gates, thanks to a computer outage. The airline grounded flights across the country until 5:00 p.m. Eastern while the system is being repaired. American Airlines said the ground stop did not impact arrivals. Passengers who want to change their reservations will not be charged the airline says.

With very little fanfare, lawmakers took the first step on a long road toward immigration reform. A bipartisan group of senators unveiled a bill which links to the pathway to citizenship with border security.