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CNN NEWSROOM

Press Conference from Boston Regarding the Recent Bombings

Aired April 16, 2013 - 09:30   ET

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


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: One family that suffered such tremendous loss. So many others dealing with loss as well, 154 wounded, and remember, just because you don't lose a life doesn't mean you get away for free. People have very serious injuries, dismemberment, amputations later at the hospital. Grave internal injuries. So much that was done here at the scene, prevented further loss of life.

We are dealing with that this morning. Finding out what's going on in the hospital. Telling the stories of those who were affected. Trying to get the latest on what they get released. Good news where we can find it, also the investigation. What's going on here on the ground? Latest searches. This is a massive, coordinated effort run by the FBI. The Joint Terrorism task force. Our team coverage, focusing on this as well. National correspondent Sandy -- Susan Candiotti, excuse me. She's following this part. Susan, you've been with us all morning, I know you've been working it all night. When you look at this, we're waiting for new information, but when look at this in terms of how many assets, the intensity, how does this investigation rate to others like it?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it ranks right up there, Chris, going back to the 9/11 bombings, going back to the Oklahoma City bombing and coming up on that anniversary, this week, as a matter of fact. All of the terrorist investigations bringing in assets as you said from different agencies, working with in this case, come great people from the city of Boston PD, Massachusetts state police, and of course all the federal agencies that are involved as well.

And right now all we are hearing is that they are not settling on whether this is a domestic attack yet, or has a foreign link to it. They just don't know, because they are at the beginning stages. As our CNN national security analyst , Fran Townsend, just told us, mainly they're concentrating on all the evidence they picked up so far. The task force, called the Federal Emergency Response Team, is done collecting all it's going to collect at the crime scene itself. Now, of course others may be doing other work at the crime scene as well.

But they are now concentrating mainly on these devices to try to learn more about them, because if they learn more about them, Chris, of course, they may be able to determine and trace who built these things. So they are looking at, for example, certain signatures on these bombs, as Fran told us, there are no longer saying they found ball bearings. A better explanation seems to be they found a lot of shrapnel. Those are the wounds we have seen in many victims.

The bomb may have been placed in something next to another item that created all kinds of shavings that would have been metal, for example, possibly glass, that kind of thing, that created so many wounds in so many people. And that goes -- then they are looking of course at surveillance videos from the hotels and commercial buildings and stores around the site of the blast.

We want to also mention that at first we were told there were at least one, possibly two unexploded devices, now Fran is telling us, that's not the case. When, in fact, while they did find other devices, none of them -- other suspicious packages they were blown out just on the side of being precautions. Cautious about these things. But in fact those were not bomb devices after all.

Let's catch you up again on what happened in Revere. We know of no other place that they conducted a search on, officials tell me this is the only location that has been searched so far, and it was done without a search warrant. In other words, the auto apartment whom it belonged said it was okay for them to look. And it belonged to a young Saudi student about 20 years old. Here on a student visa, that person is not being regarded as a suspect, but of course they wanted to check everything out.

This young man had been injured in the blast. Had a leg injury, and he remains in the hospital. I'm told still under guard, yet for now, he is not considered a suspect. Nor is one other Saudi national, a woman, a doctor, who was also injured, again not considered a suspect. So, they have a lot of different areas they are looking into, Chris. And hopefully we'll be getting more on these devices. That would really help, because it could help trace where these devices came from. Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Susan. Thank you. We know you're following up on this. We'll be checking in back with you. A bomb tech told me it's good news we found devices that turn out not to be bombs. The problem is when we're not finding the devices, that are out there that could be dangerous. Also, what a bomb is made of and how it's made, literally tell a story that show what kind of materials there were, what it would take to access them. Limiting the pool of people who could have done it. Narrowing, focusing in on what they are looking for. As well as techniques -- who learns those types of techniques, how. All very important. Every bomb tells a story.

What we're waiting for right now is the beginning of this press conference that will have state authorities here, federal authorities, the FBI, and the governor showing how they're coordinating, moving forward and what they've learned so far. That' what we're expecting to hear.

At the same time, Boston is learning to recover as the investigation moves on. The rest of the world is reacting to this. One of the major places we see reaction is in the markets.

Let's go to the New York stock exchange. Investors are just beginning a new day of trading. Question is, how are they going to see this? Are they going to bounce back? Are they going to look at this as a continuation of some of the worst losses of the year after yesterday's trading in Boston? Alison Kosik joins us from there. Allison, they have North Korea, they have gold, the bombings. There's a lot of negative energy if they want to feed off of it. What do you think?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: At this point, since the bell rang about six minutes ago, Chris, stocks are rebounding, the Dow up about 98 points. Now, what happened before the opening bell, around 9:20, the New York stock exchange and the NASDAQ, they both a moment of silence to honor the victims and the families of the bombing in Boston. A sign of solidarity and support.

And the New York stock exchange did this after Newtown. It always happens before 9:30, because the idea is to not disrupt trading, especially when an event like what happened in Boston happens, you really want to see the markets function normally. You do see a rebound happening right now in stocks after that triple digit sell-off yesterday.

There was some upbeat economic news that come out this morning that's giving the markets a boost. Housing markets continues to show it's recovering. An inflation report came out showing inflation is tame. And we're seeing markets overseas recovering too. That's good news as well.

Wall Street at this point, the way it sees it, the bombings really didn't grow into a much worse situation. Part of the reason you saw that sell-off yesterday, is because there was that uncertainty. Is this going to grow? Is this the only city where this will happen? Investors certainly had that knee jerk reaction, sold off, now they are buying back into the market today. Once again, Dow up now 118 points. The focus today, Chris, is going to return to the economy and to company news. Company earnings continue to come out. I think their hearts, Chris will, remain in Boston. Chris.

CUOMO: Yes, we hope so. That's the focus today. Alison, thank you so much. It's good to see Wall Street taking a positive outlook on events. Moving things forward. They are reacting, remotely to what people lived through here in Boston. I'm joined by Cassidy. Thank you for being with us. Good to meet you. Glad you are safe. You were there yesterday, watching, when the explosions go off, where are you? What does it mean?

CASSIDY QUINN BRETTLER, WITNESSED ATTACK: About 30 feet from the finish line when explosions went off. I didn't know how to react. The first explosion, I felt it first and heard it at the same time. My legs were shaking for about two hours after the fact. And then before I even had time to internalize, and react to the first explosion, the second one happened and then everyone started running inside. I tried to hide in the ATM machine area nearby. Try to figure out what to do next, figure out what was going on. It was terrifying.

CUOMO: You had a camera on me.

BRETTLER: I did. I had a DSLR, and I also had my -- just my phone camera, there's an HD camera, and I'm a video blogger. So I figured if I'm alive, there's other people that are a lot less fortunate or not alive, or injured, or are heading to the hospital right now. So, if I'm here, I might as well at least try to show people in other places what's going on, and post video as quickly as I can. You can't understand it unless are you actually there.

CUOMO: What is the look through your lens? What kinds of things did you see?

BRETTLER: As I was walking and taking video, I walked past a restaurant on Newbury Street that I thought was giving out pitchers to water to people. So I looked down and there was actually a person bleeding on the street there, right off the sidewalk, just laying down and luckily the restaurant was helping them. It was great to actually see people teaming up together to help people in need. Everyone around me, no one knew what to do. That's basically what I captured on video was this utter chaos.

CUOMO: Did you see the triage going on? That people who'd been there to help the runners with what usually have happen after a race, turning into a trauma team?

BRETTLER: I did. I saw, I mean some people were running away, some people were actually -- even people who were volunteers, police, just regular passerbys and people who were standing there to watch the race, teaming up and working together to help take down the finish line, and tear down fences, get rid of everything to that the cars and ambulances could come through. Everyone was working together.

CUOMO: Seeing such an unnatural things, people hurt that way, how did you keep it together?

BRETTLER: I don't know. Honestly, I got home last night at about 11:00, and started to break down. I had been holding it in all day, trying to remain composed and you know on social media and on video, and try to just portray what was happening, and tell people what is going on, tell my story, by the time I was trying to fall asleep, it was all hitting me, this is really real. Waking this up morning and realizing it's not a nightmare, it actually happened and what is going to be the case today.

CUOMO: Good news it's over, now we figure out how to move forward. Cassidy, thank you so much for being with us. We will turn our attention now to the press conference that going on here in Boston. Authorities are expected to update the investigation, we are expecting to hear from the FBI special agent in charge, and possibly Boston police commissioner and the governor. Let's tune in to the press conference.

(BEGIN LIVE FEED)

GOV. DEVAL PATRICK, MASSCHUSETTS: -- organize a briefing for you with the information we have. The mayor is here, the members of our congressional delegation, all of the law enforcement leadership, several people who want to present to you this morning and take your questions. A couple points I want to mention at the outset. I told you yesterday that the FBI has taken charge of the investigation, special agent in charge Rick Delorie will speak shortly.

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. There were no unexploded explosive devices found.

Over 150 people were injured yesterday. In the -- in the blast. Some gravely. Our thoughts go out to all of those injured and killed. And to their families and friends.

I personally want to thank the extraordinary first responders for their just extraordinary work yesterday. Every single one of them, those who were on site and those who got to the site promptly thereafter performed dutifully as have area hospitals. I have been calling around to the heads of the hospitals personally to thank them as well.

It's our hope that tomorrow, we will organize an interfaith prayer service to help our community heal. We don't have details on that yet, but we will provide those details when we have them. There is a support center that was opened yesterday in what we call the castle, opposite the Park Plaza Hotel on Arlington and Stewart Street I think it is. The mayor and his -- has provided staff to help people cope with -- with this extraordinary event and it will be open from 9:00 I think until 5:00 or beyond this evening.

Finally, everyone should expect continued heightened police presence and everyone should continue personally to be vigilant. The investigation continues and until it is done, all of those in law enforcement represented by the leaders here will be present in force in the area around the blast and throughout the city.

And with that, let me turn it over to Mayor Menino.

MAYOR THOMAS MENINO, (D) BOSTON: Thank you, governor. Yesterday, terror was brought to the city of Boston. Tragedy was brought to one of our neighborhoods also. This is a close-knit place, the city of Boston. Here, we know our neighbors, we grieve for them. We grieve for a little boy who we knew from Dorchester.

But also today, I want to say we know our heroes also. They are the men and women who wear helmets, who wear the badges, the runners who helped us yesterday during this time of need. As we go together on this issue with all of the law enforcement officials, we'll make sure the city pulls together.

Now, we got it under control. Let's continue to work together. Let's keep offering a helping hand to individuals who may need it during this very difficult time in our city's history. I just say to all of you, I've been mayor for 20 years now, I have never seen law enforcement pull together, working together to solve our crime and our city as they have, but also to how people pull together. The business community, the neighbors, everyone. This is a tragedy, but Boston is a strong city. We're a city that will get through this, and like the governor said, we set up a resource center, over at the castle, and near the Park Plaza Hotel. Staff will be there available to give information to individuals who are involved in the marathon. Open from 9:00 to 5:00, and a phone number is we think our phone number 635-5040 I believe, and our hotline -- wrong number. 617-534-5050.

And also the 24-hour hotline you need information also. That number 617-635-4500. The last several hours, we received calls from all over the world, asking information about the tragedy. How they can help us.

This is a bad day for Boston, but I think if we pull together, we'll get through it. We're a strong city, and a lot of people willing to work together to make this better for all of our people. As we gather here today with all of our officials, let's say Boston will overcome.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Mr. Mayor, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Thank you, Governor, thank you, Mr. Mayor. The President of the United States has pledged his full support in all efforts to keep the city safe and to find the person who did this and bring them to justice.

We did not have to reach out to the President. The President reached out to us. He called the Governor, he called the Mayor, he called the members of the delegation, because the President is actively involved here and responding.

On behalf of our congressional delegation, Senator Cowen is here with me and Congressman Lynch and all of the members of our delegation. We want to extend our thanks to the first responders, to the fire fighters, to the police officers, to the EMS, to everyone on the scene, including the volunteers who came and helped those in trouble and helped save lives.

We also want to thank those from all around the country and all around the world whose prayers and thoughts and offers of help have poured in. We are deeply grateful. As the Mayor says, Boston will survive.

RICK DESLAURIERS, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: Thank you Governor. Good morning. My name is Rick Deslauriers; I'm special agent in charge of the FBI's Washington Division. I would like to start this morning by thanking the first responders from Boston EMS and Boston Fire Department and the volunteer physicians, nurses and medical staff from the community who volunteered at the marathon. Their services and heroic actions saved lives yesterday afternoon.

We continue to work shoulder to shoulder with our JTTF partners at Boston Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police as well as all other JTTF agencies.

Our mission is clear: to bring to justice those responsible for the marathon bombing. The American public wants answers, the citizens of the city of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts wants and deserve answers. This group of dedicated men and women standing before you today pledge to do everything possible to get those answers. This remains a very active investigation. Our ongoing investigation in various locations throughout the area goes on.

However, there are no known additional threats. We continue to interview various witnesses and process the crime scene which could take some time. The citizens of Massachusetts and the city of Boston should expect to see the FBI and its JTTF partners conducting investigative activity in the greater eastern Massachusetts and Boston area.

Assistance from the public remains critical in establishing a timeline of events which leads to swift conclusion through due diligence and strong investigative activity. We commend the public, we comment the citizens of Boston and the citizens of Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the information that has been provided to law enforcement so far and we strongly encourage that assistance to continue.

It is paramount to explain the FBI and our JTTF role to a greater extent. The volume of tips we have received in reiterating the resources we provide. We have received voluminous tips over the last 18 hours since -- since the incident. We have staffed our 1-800-call- FBI tip line and we continue to encourage individuals to contact that line with any additional tips. We are bringing additional victim assistance and evidence response team resources from our headquarters components and other field offices to Boston and they are on site, working as we speak, processing evidence at the crime scene.

To the extent that the crime scene still plays in Copley perimeter and it continues to be a crime scene -- it may be that for several days. The FBI-JTTF is logically following up on a variety of leads. You will see us and our law enforcement partners interviewing maybe your neighbor or co-worker, or even yourself in coming days. We encourage you to please cooperate with law enforcement authorities.

The resources of the FBI and the JTTF allow for swift action which will hopefully yield quick results but that does not diminish our diligence and persistence in combing through the high volume of evidence and leads that we are processing right now. We are just beginning upon that path. Thank you very much.

GENE MARQUEZ, ACTING SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE ATF BOSTON FIELD DIVISION: I'm Gene Marquez, acting special agent in charge, ATF, Boston Field Division.

At this time, ATF has done a partial NRT, National Response Team activation. We are bringing our explosive specialists here to the scene and we will be working jointly with the FBI and its partners on the JTTF.

We have certified explosives specialists, we have explosives enforcement officers, we have special agent bomb techs and we have canines that are trained to detect any explosive devices or any residue. At this time, we have approximately 30 forensics specialists en route are on the scene. And to dispel any rumors, there were -- there were rumors floating around that there were seven devices, up to seven devices at one point -- that is not true. I think that that happened as a result of some suspect packages that were disrupted.

But we only have two devices that we're aware of and both of those devices were the ones that are involved in the -- and did the damage and involved in the explosives incident. At this time, we are looking for the public's cooperation. We're looking if there's any video, any photographic evidence, if you can please contact the FBI hotline or the city's hotline, we'd like to review any kind of media that you have out there portending that might give us additional investigative leads. And we are pursuing those investigative leads at this time. The scene is going to take several days to process. We just ask for your patience as we're working in that area and for your cooperation.

CARMEN ORTIZ, U.S. ATTORNEY, DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS: Good morning. I'm United States attorney Carmen Ortiz. First I want to extend my condolences to the families of the loved ones who were lost in yesterday's attack on the city of Boston as well as those that were hurt and may still be fighting for their lives. Our thoughts and our prayers all go out to them.

What happened yesterday was a terrible tragedy, yet it was amazing to see as you have heard from my colleagues here, how people just helped one another, ran toward the blast just to assist another person in greater need; people who were just there for those that were hurt and in a dire situation. It was amazing to see how the city of Boston and people from around the world that were part of yesterday's Boston Marathon help one another, console each other.

There are so many moving parts to an investigation such as this. And I can't begin to thank everyone who has been involved: law enforcement, medical professionals, emergency responders and really just regular citizens who became heroes yesterday.

I want to repeat, as I did state yesterday, that this is an active and it's an ongoing investigation. But rest assured that we are bringing all of the necessary resources to assist in this matter and that we will conduct all that we can with all of our law enforcement partners. I've been in touch with the Attorney General several times, Eric Holder, and he has pledged all the resources from the department and others on behalf of the federal government to help Boston recover from yesterday.

I ask for your patience and your understanding as we continue to pursue leads, to gather evidence, and to get to the bottom of who did this and why. Thank you.

ED DAVIS, BOSTON POLICE COMMISSIONER: Good morning, my name is Ed Davis. I'm the police commissioner for the city of Boston. We are in the process of securing and processing the most complex crime scene that we've dealt with in the history of our department. We are doing that under the direction of the FBI and in partnership with the ATF. We've secured the perimeter with members of the National Guard under General (inaudible). I'd like to thank the people who are working closely with us. We received offers of assistance from Chicago, Los Angeles -- units have responded here from New York City and Baltimore and we are working very closely with all of our partners on this complex investigation.

I -- I want to stress that the area around the crime scene, which yesterday was 15 blocks, has been reduced to about 12 blocks at this point in time. And we will continue to collapse that crime scene as the facts and circumstances make that available. We want to open up as many streets and get people into their buildings as quickly as we can. We're working diligently on that.

But please be patient with us in the time that we need to process the crime scene. We expect that that scene will go for another two days anyway and people should make appropriate plans.

Again, I want to stress that any information that you have, any videos or photographs that happened, not just at that scene but anywhere in the immediate vicinity, could be helpful to this investigation. Our focus is on processing that evidence right now, and we're looking forward to working with our partners to bring the individuals who are responsible for this heinous crime to justice. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, commissioner. Colonel?

(inaudible)

COL. TIMOTHY ALBEN, SUPERINTENDENT, MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE: Good morning, I'm the superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police. As I said earlier in one of our briefings there's really two or three parts to this investigation. There's the investigative part, which clearly the FBI has taken the lead on, but there's also a logistical and presence component to this.

So I'm speaking to the public you are going to see an enhanced presence from the Boston police, from the state police, from the national guard and from our law enforcement partners through the metropolitan Boston area over the next days and probably longer. That's not for any particular reason other than to provide some comfort to the public who are using transportation centers or going about their business.

So we are engaged with the MBTA police in the "T" you will see more troopers, you'll see national guardsmen there. You'll MBTA police like you do every day, but that presence will be significantly enhanced. We're doing that for the comfort of the public. We're looking for cooperation from the public. It's not to inconvenience anyone, and we don't think that it will be.

You might also see an enhanced presence at Logan Airport, as well. That's not for any particular reason again, other than to solicit cooperation from the public and seek out tips or information.

The last thing I want to say is there has to be hundreds if not thousands of photographs or videos or observations that were made down at that finish line yesterday, and they're sitting out there amongst everyone that's watching this event this morning. And I would encourage you to bring forward anything. You might not think it's significant, but it might have some value to this investigation.

The mayor has given you tip lines, there are plenty of those, the FBI has them as well. If you call in, I assure you that someone will follow up on your photographs or videos that you want to submit for consideration. Thank you very much.

DANIEL CONLEY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, BOSTON: Good morning. My name is Daniel Conley. I'm the district attorney here in Boston. What occurred yesterday in Boston was an act of cowardice. While there will be an opportunity in the future at the conclusion of this investigation to officially define this act, make no mistake, an act of cowardice and of this severity cannot be justified or explained. It can only be answered.

To that end, some of the finest investigators at the local, state and federal levels have been working through the night to not only conduct interviews and process the scene but to ensure that those interviews are legally sound and that the evidence is recovered with the greatest care.

At the same time, police and other law enforcement agencies have been actively working to ensure the safety of our city. At this point, the loss that we have suffered is enormous, but, thanks to the efforts of EMTs, police officers, firefighters, volunteers, ordinary citizens and, of course doctors, nurses and the medical staff at Boston's world-class hospitals, we can say with absolute certainty that more lives were saved. For this we can all give thanks.

In the days and the weeks to come, we will do our very best to keep the public and the media apprised and advised of the progress of this investigation and our work. It is important, however, for the sake of the victims and of this city that our investigators be given the room to do their jobs so that the truth can be found and so that justice can be served.

Moments like this and our response to them define who we are. In the past 24 hours, this city of Boston has shown its strength, its compassion, and its determination to see justice done.

PATRICK: Thank you, Dan.

We're happy to take questions. We're going to try to take as many questions as you have so maybe we'll just go from side to side if that's -- yes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What helps to reassure that there will not be more --

(inaudible)

PATRICK: Well, more than the evidence is the extraordinary cooperation among these law enforcement agencies as the mayor and others have said. At the federal, state and local levels and indeed from the region, we have an unprecedented level of law enforcement support and engagement here and they're working very, very well and very seamlessly with each other under the leadership of the FBI. And that gives me a lot of comfort and it should give the public comfort as well.

Over here, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- process so far that helps you understand (inaudible), that helps you understand the level of complexity of the device itself, the level of sophistication or the origin --