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One Family, Three Victims; Reward for Info On Bombings; No Indication of al Qaeda; Removing Limbs and Extracting Shrapnel
Aired April 16, 2013 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good afternoon, everyone. I'm Anderson Cooper, live in Boston. This is our continuing live coverage of the terror attack here in Boston. I'm standing about four blocks from the scene of the center of a massive investigation right now.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Brooke Baldwin, also live here in Boston.
And what a past 24 hours it has been for doctors and nurses and these families here, right here where I'm standing at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. They are treating more than two dozen victims from the bombings at the marathon. We're going to talk to chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta about what we're hearing, why so many amputations, and we're learning more about the shrapnel that's been embedded in some of these young people and older people's lower extremities.
COOPER: Yes, and we're getting new information really by the minute here. There are brand-new developments in the investigation and the hunt for the person or people responsible for this attack. We are learning more about the bombs themselves, including the likelihood that a timer was used. There had been a lot of questions whether this was something that would have been detonated by a cell phone. It seems likely, though not certain, according to law enforcement, that a timer was used. We'll get to all of that in a moment.
But I do want to begin with the reality for many families that they are dealing with right now. For some, it will be intense therapy, adjusting to a life with fewer limbs. We're seeing a lot of lower limb amputations. Today, doctors spoke of being forced to finish the job of the bombs, amputating people's legs in order to save their lives.
The latest, at this hour, three people known dead, at least 174 injured, including 23 people who are critically injured. The stories of loss and pain, we keep learning new details. One runner's camera was rolling as she approached the finish line. Take a look.
As loud as that blast was, it was into silence that another witness felt the full impact of what she survived.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CASSIDY QUINN BRETTLER, BOMBING EYEWITNESS: I got home last night at about 11:00 and started to have - to break down because I had been holding it in all day. I had been trying to remain composed. But by the time I was trying to fall asleep, it was all hitting me, this is really real. And then waking up this morning and realizing it's not a nightmare, it actually happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: There's also this mother of five, "The Boston Globe" spoke with, Liz Norden (ph). Her two sons were in the stands at the finish line when the blasts, 12 seconds apart, went off. Each son ultimately lost a part of his leg from the knee down, "The Globe" reports. Norden told the paper, quote, "I feel sick."
One family from the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston may be bearing the worst of what happened nearly 24 hours ago. They had gathered to celebrate their father finishing the race. Instead, they suffered the loss of their child, eight-year-old Richard Martin, seen here in a FaceBook photograph. He's one of the three people that we know have died. "The Boston Globe" tells Richard's story. Quote, "one of the dead was an eight-year-old boy from Dorchester who had gone out to hug his dad after he crossed the finish line. The dad walked on, the boy went back to the sidewalk to join his mom and his little sister and then the bomb went off." That little sister also injured and the mother as well. That's what Richard's family is dealing with, obviously that devastating loss.
CNN's Gary Tuchman now is live in Dorchester with their story.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson.
This house behind me, this gray house, is where the Richard family lives. A very happy family. A very popular. The block neighbors speak very highly of them. And yesterday Bill Richard, the husband of the house, left early in the morning to go to Hopkinton, which is 26.2 miles from the finish line of the Boston Marathon to run the race, and the other four members of the family, his wife, his two sons, and his daughter went to the Prudential Center, John Hancock building area of Boylston Street, that's where the finish line has been for dozens and dozens of years of the Boston Marathon, to wait for the dad to cross. And that's when disaster struck for this family.
Little Martin Richard, eight years old, killed when he went to greet his father after his father finished the Boston Marathon. It should have been an absolutely wonderful, unforgettable moment for this family. Instead, it's unforgettable in a very different way.
The family has released a picture of their little boy. And this picture shows him like lots of other little kids here in New England, he was a big Boston Bruins fan. The Bruins won the Stanley Cup two years ago, created a whole new legion of fans, and here he is smiling at the Bruins game. That picture released by his father who is in mourning right now, whose wife and his daughter are also in the hospital seriously wounded. Their other son wasn't hurt.
Here's what the father, Bill Richard, has to say. He has released a statement. And this is what it reads. "My dear son Martin has died from injuries sustained in the attack on Boston. My wife and daughter are both recovering from serious injuries. We thank our family and friends, those we know and those we have never met, for their thoughts and prayers. I ask that you continue to pray for my family as we remember Martin. We also ask for your patience and for privacy as we work to simultaneously grieve and recover. Thank you."
There's also another picture that's been released. And this picture is very, very hard to look at. Not because it's grotesque, but because it's so beautiful. This is what happened last year. This little boy was in second grade. And he was going on a peace walk to promote peace in the city of Boston. And this is what he was holding in his hand. Martin Richard, holding a sign that said, "no more hurting people, peace." And there were two hearts and a peace sign on that little sign that this little boy who has now passed away was holding last year when he was just in the second grade.
Right next door to this gray house, a neighbor who has known this family as long as they've lived here, we talked to her a short time ago. She saw the father when he came home last night. And at that point she wasn't clear, Jane Sherman is her name, she wasn't clear exactly what had happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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 sympathies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I want to bring us a news conference that's happening right now, first responders, public safety officials. Let's listen in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seek out and bring to justice those terrorists who sought to destroy our city. We therefore ask anyone who has information that may be helpful in this investigation to please contact the Boston Police Homicide Unit at 617-343-4470 . Thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Jerry.
Our next speaker today is the president of the Boston Firefighters Local 718, Rich Paris.
RICHARD PARIS, PRESIDENT, BOSTON FIREFIGHTERS LOCAL 718: Thank you, Eddie (ph).
To the families of this tragedy, our hearts are with them during this trying time. We took care of the victims yesterday and we want to take care of them moving forward. We hope that this fund will give us just a little bit of comfort in the days moving forward. The Boston First Responders Fund for the victims of the Boston Marathon terrorism attack will be administrated through the Boston Firefighter Credit Union. One hundred percent of these proceeds will go to the victims.
Anyone who would like to make a donation, please send all donations to the Boston Firefighters Credit Union, 60 Hallet Street, Dorchester, Mass, 02124. I say it again, Boston Firefighters Credit Union, 60 Hallet Street, Dorchester, Mass, 02124. People can make donations by check or online through the credit union's website. That's at www.bosfirecu.com. There's also a credit union phone number. It is 1-857-220-0133.
As the president of the Boston Firefighters Local 718, I am proud to stand together with my brothers from the Boston Police Unions and Boston EMS Union to take care of the victims of this tragedy. At this time, I would like to say God bless the victims and God bless America. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Richey.
Before we take any questions, I'd just like you to join us in a moment of silence for the victims of yesterday's terrorist attack.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you talk a little bit about how (INAUDIBLE) -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Such a mass casualty situation?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously it's very difficult for us. We're human beings like anybody else. And we're not immune to dealing with grief and the tragedy that we had to deal with yesterday. But we do have our critical incident stress management teams working with those who last night responded and worked yesterday. And I can tell you that, unfortunately, in our profession, we do deal with this quite a bit, although yesterday's scene was particularly horrific. But I have all the faith in the world and confidence that our brothers and sisters will do well.
If anyone -- anyone else have any questions? No. All right, thank you very much. Thank you for coming. And God bless America.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You've been listening - you've been listening to the --
COOPER: Press conference from the first responders, public safety officials offering a $50,000 reward for information on the bombings. Obviously there is a massive investigation going on right now. They were able to secure the crime scene relatively quickly. And that is certainly something that's going to aid law enforcement in their investigation.
Want to get the latest, though, on where the investigation stands right now, the search for who might have done this, the person or persons or group responsible, foreign or domestic. A federal law enforcement official telling CNN's Susan Candiotti that the bombs in yesterday's attack appear to have been placed inside metal pressure cookers and hidden inside backpacks. Another source tells our CNN's Joe Johns that it's likely, but not certain, likely that a timing device was used to activate the bombs. Not a cellular device, but a timing device. Dozens of forensic specialists and dogs trained to detect explosive residue are at the blast scene today where the two bombs exploded just seconds apart. President Obama calling it an act of terror, but he noted that no person or group, foreign or domestic, has claimed responsibility for the attacks at this point.
Joining me now is Jeffrey Beatty. He's a security consultant. He's also trained with the Boston Police SWAT team.
Thank you very much for being with us.
JEFFREY BEATTY, SECURITY CONSULTANT: Sure. Good to see you, Anderson.
COOPER: What we know now about the bomb, apparently in a pressure cooker device, both devices hidden in a backpack, low to the ground, perhaps placed on the street. What do you make of what you're hearing about the devices?
BEATTY: Well, I'm alarmed by what I'm hearing about the devices because I spent -- got back last year after nine months in Afghanistan, and these pressure cookers are a tactic, technique that is used by the Taliban and by al Qaeda in Afghanistan. They're very effective weapons. They try to pick these pressure cookers up wherever they can. And they use them to make their IEDs. And I'm quite concerned that this is a TTP as we would call it in the military, that --
BEATTY: TTP, tactic, technique and - I'm at a loss for what the "p" is. But the TTPs are -procedures.
BEATTY: Are things of the Taliban that we're now seeing here. Now, that doesn't mean it was the Taliban. Other people can read about this.
COOPER: Right. We've also heard these are, I mean, relatively crude devices that are available on the Internet. People can kind of learn how to make them.
BEATTY: You can learn how to make them, which is -- which doesn't rule out an international terrorist.
BEATTY: You certainly don't need to bring the materials to make this weapon into the country. They're here.
BEATTY: And you can make it right here. They are crude. That's what the Taliban makes, crude IEDs. But, again, you know, in the past, people have rushed to judgment as to who was behind attacks like this. So I think we'll let the evidence play out.
BEATTY: But it certainly is an indicator of a potential - either someone whose read about how the Taliban makes these weapons or perhaps a stronger link.
COOPER: It would have been an aid to law enforcement had they actually found unexploded devices, as was reported and even some officials were saying had been found yesterday. Well, they're now confirming just the two devices that exploded, the only devices. There were not any others unexploded. So it becomes all the more harder to figure out the signature of these devices, kind of the manufacture of them.
BEATTY: Sure. That's absolutely right. But they will get it. I mean we have great forensic capability. I'm also a former special agent in the FBI. And they will determine where the signatures come from. Maybe it's a new signature. They may not have seen this before. You know -
COOPER: Bombmakers have an actual kind of signature into how they make --
BEATTY: It's where they were trained. That the signature is basically the way they maybe do their wiring. They may not narrow it down to one individual, but it may narrow it down to a specific bomb trainer who has trained these people to do it, or it may narrow it down to a website that gives specific instructions on how to do it. So whoever may have accessed that website, and that will be a thread that law enforcement will be pulling on to look back at who may have accessed these websites that shows specifically how this type of bomb may have been made.
COOPER: We're also now hearing that it's likely, not certain, but likely, from a law enforcement source, that it was a timing device, not a cellular device.
COOPER: They are going to be checking all cell phones, any calls that were made from the region.
COOPER: But that, again, is a relatively crude way to do a bomb.
BEATTY: It's crude, but it's effective. And one of the things I suspected yesterday was that it was on a timer. And I think that we probably were lucky that the casualties were as few as they were. I think that that's an indication of mitigating factors, the active presence of the Boston Police Department. No doubt the individual who placed these bombs was getting anxious about, my God, this is - this event is almost over. When am I going to get these bombs placed. And so, therefore, they placed the bombs. They didn't have the opportunity to aim them properly because the casualties really, Anderson, with this type of attack, should have been in order of magnitude greater. There should have been 20 or 30 people killed.
COOPER: The fact that so many of the injuries are low to the ground, the lower limbs -
COOPER: Tells you that the bombs were placed probably on the ground or low down.
BEATTY: Right. Right.
COOPER: Had they been placed higher, it's very possible the casualties would have been higher because there would have been a larger blast radius, is that correct?
BEATTY: Well, not only that, but the shrapnel and all that's placed higher is going to hit a lot more vital organs. It's going to hit heads. It's going to hit your vital organs, your extremities. Many people yesterday, and many people in Afghanistan, have survived IED hits where they lose their limbs. But if that same explosive force had been delivered to the head or to your vital organs in your chest, survival is not as certain in that type of situation.
COOPER: Also certainly the fact that there were triage tents set up at the end of the race. I mean that's a huge blessing.
BEATTY: Tremendous. A tremendous benefit. And one thing that, you know, people talk about, I think it's -- in due time there will be a good after action what happened, what didn't happen. But what your viewers need to understand is that America has kind of gone to a system of risk-based security. It's based upon threats, it's based upon this that you know you're running a certain amount of risk.
Well, one thing you can count on in intelligence is that it will fail you from time to time. So when you adopt a risk-based security posture, rather than a capabilities based security posture, is someone -- could someone make a bomb and bring it here, you are exposing yourself to that potential. And you can contrast, you know, there was no threat information, but you can contrast this to a Times Square event that you and Kathy cover - COOPER: Right.
BEATTY: You know where all these bag checks take place and all because that is a capability-based security approach to that event.
COOPER: Right. Listen, I appreciate your expertise and joining us. We're going to be talking, obviously, a lot in the hours and the days ahead. Thank you so much. (INAUDIBLE).
BEATTY: Thank you so much, Anderson. Nice to see you.
COOPER: And, again, we are just learning more really by the minute, by the hour.
I'm, in fact, just getting the name of the second victim who died in yesterday's attack. Her name is Krystle Campbell. A 2001 graduate of Medford High School. That's all the information that we have. Three confirmed fatalities. We now know the identity of the second -- of the second victim.
We are back in a moment.
COOPER: Welcome back to our continuing coverage of the bombs that hit Boston.
I think it bears mentioning that Boston is an extraordinarily strong city. And this is a city that was bruised yesterday, but it is by no means broken. It's a city which today is standing tall. People are out jogging. The life of the city continues, even amidst the tragedy, even amidst the mourning for the victims lost, those people who were maimed and injured. Those people who are now still suffering in hospitals. This city is standing tall and moving forward. And while this is a very active investigation, we don't want to give you the sense that this is a city under siege, because it's not. It's a city where the life of the city continues to move forward.
We do have some breaking news out of the Pentagon on the status of the investigation. For that, let's go to our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr.
Barbara, what are you hearing?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, a senior U.S. official is now telling me that, quote, "there is no reporting indicating a foreign connection to -- or any reaction from al Qaeda." Now, that is based on information that's circulated through the highest levels of the administration about six hours ago. No reporting indicating a foreign connection or any reaction from al Qaeda.
But what we should emphasize is this is just one thread. The investigation, of course, continues by federal law enforcement on all fronts, looking at all possibilities of foreign groups or some sort of homegrown, if you will, violent extremist. This official also telling me, again, this could all change. That's what they're looking at right now. He said, quote, "there were no known terrorist threats to Boston or the marathon." But, yes, they are going back through all of the intelligence they have, because I think if we've all learned anything over the last several years, you have to go back through everything and see if there is anything you missed.
They are looking at this whole issue of the bomb devices being placed in pressure cookers with clocks or timing devices. This, as we have said, is something that al Qaeda groups, al Qaeda affiliates, have published on their websites. But again, that's accessible to everyone. That is, those who want to engage in that sort of evil and look for ways to build bombs, you can find the information out there on a variety of websites. So the fact that al Qaeda has published this type of information may not be a direct link at this stage to any kind of al Qaeda or terrorist involvement. Right now they don't think it is, but they are looking at everything.
COOPER: Right. And it bears repeating, Barbara, that it doesn't mean that they have ruled out really anything. They're still looking at - they have no information at this point that it is.
STARR: Absolutely. That is absolutely right. They simply don't have any information that indicates that it's a group.
COOPER: It also does not rule out the possibility of a -- somebody inspired by an al Qaeda-like group. Somebody living here who sees it on the Internet and takes it upon themselves. Again, all options are still on the table.
Barbara, in terms of just -- let people know about kind of the huge amount of intelligence that the U.S. collects and often it's not information that they can go through in real time, so there's sort of a backlog of information that they now have to go back and look at, that's correct, a background of -- a backlog of signals, intelligence and the like.
STARR: Absolutely. And that is always a very crucial problem. The U.S., frankly, eavesdrops around the world on known terrorist groups in foreign countries, scoops up massive amounts of communications data, cell phone intercepts, Internet postings, e-mails, Internet communications, all over the world. They cannot possibly go through all of it. It's been a continuing issue and problem. They are getting better at it. But they will now go back by all accounts and still look at everything.
We talked just a moment ago about some of this being posted on al Qaeda websites or al Qaeda-inspired websites. They will likely go back, look at who logged on to those websites, try and determine, if they can, the addresses, the so called IP addresses. A very tough business to do that. As we know, communications flow around the world through many channels. Trying to trace these communications may be very, very tough. So that, I think, Anderson, is why you're seeing this move on so many fronts from talking to the folks of Boston who were on the street when it happened, asking for their cell phone video, that might give them the lucky break, the very minimal lucky break that they need, all the way to the most high tech intelligence exploitation that the government can possibly do. They got to look at it all.
COOPER: Right. So while the FBI is in charge of this investigation, it is a multi-pronged investigation involving CIA, involving NSA, involving all the different intelligence agencies, intelligence members of the intelligence community, both in the United States and overseas, trying to basically use all the resources of the U.S. government, try to talk to as many sources, agents as possible, to get any kind of intelligence that might bear fruit. And, again, this could take an awful lot of time.
Barbara Starr, appreciate that update. We'll continue to check in with you throughout these - throughout these many hours.
Brooke Baldwin is standing by nearby at a local hospital.
BALDWIN: Yes, Anderson, I want to talk about the injuries here in just a moment. But I thought your point was interesting, just quickly, on how this is not a city under siege. You know, I just got into town. I flew into Boston Logan Airport two hours ago. Two things I noticed just quickly. One, a lot of blue lights. A lot of police presence at Logan Airport for obvious reasons. I had to show my license three times just to get on the plane from Manhattan to here. But, secondly, a lot of turquoise. A lot of turquoise and yellow marathon jackets. I talked to a couple who obviously is still very shaken up, but they say they're still proud and they're showing their solidarity with their fellow runners.
Again, we're live at Brigham and Women's Hospital here in Boston. And it's been a tough 24 hours for the staff here and for the families of the victims from the bombings, from the Boston Marathon. They're gruesome. Some of the people who even ran the marathon, who have experience in the military, and the doctors here talking about how they're similar to battlefield wounds, people are in medically induced comas, internal bleeding. We're learning that the oldest patient being treated is 71 years of age at Mass General. The youngest, just a two- year-old little boy.
I want to bring in our chief medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta, who has been here.
You've been talking to doctors, listening to what's been going on. We were talking earlier. I thought it was interesting, the point you made. When you hear about a bomb going off, you hear the phrase "hit the deck." You said the bombs yesterday were on the deck. They were low.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's exactly how they described it to me. I was talking to Dr. Zinner, who's the chief of surgery here, and, first of all, he used the - he used the term IED to describe what this was like. And a lot of people are saying how similar is this to what they're seeing in battlefields. And according to Dr. Zinner, very similar.
But to your point, typically when you think of these explosions, from the area of the explosion, you think about them going up and out.
GUPTA: Here, it really seems to have stayed low and then eventually come up. And it's important to medical professionals because they're trying to figure out what the pattern of injuries they're going to expect. Lower limb injuries, you've heard that. But there --
BALDWIN: Thus the amputations.
GUPTA: And thus the amputations. There were - there was at least one patient here who had a head injury that required an operation further away from the explosive site. And one patient who had shrapnel injury to the neck that actually hit one of the arteries and that needed to be operated right away. Those patients are doing OK, my understanding is. But that gives you a little bit of an idea of the nature.
BALDWIN: And, you know, there were questions over the shrapnel and the nature of the metal and the bb like pieces and bits and the nails and there were, you know, questions whether this came from the environment, right?
BALDWIN: But it's not according to one of the doctors.
GUPTA: It's not. And I can tell you, you know, as a person who has done trauma surgery, it can be difficult to tell sometimes when you're actually taking some of the shrapnel out, where exactly did it come from. But now they're saying, without a doubt, and we asked this a few times, that there were nails, carpenter nails specifically, and, quote, bb-like metal within some of these patients. And so they - and they know for sure that it came from the explosive device. Again, this is a doctor saying that based on their medical examination. So this wasn't just, as you point out, debris that was lying around.
BALDWIN: What about -- what about also quickly in terms of the amputations. I was hearing one of the doctors saying last night, some of these patients were coming to them very injured, bleeding, and they were saying, take whatever you need, I want to be alive. That has to be tough for a doctor, though.
GUPTA: Yes, I mean, these are - these are, I think, heart- breaking decisions, you know. It is a - you can make the decision fairly quickly if that's going to be the best course of action because -
BALDWIN: Life or death. GUPTA: Yes, you know, if you don't do the amputation, sometimes it can mean infection that can spread throughout the rest of the body. So it is heart breaking, Brooke. And this is a running event and you're talking about lower leg amputations.
Still, you know, these are medical decisions. We know there are two patients right now behind us who have known as threatened limbs meaning that they're still being observed, but doctors still aren't sure whether or not they're going to be -- need an amputation or not.
BALDWIN: I know I need to let you go. You and your crew are heading inside the hospital and you're going to walk around and let us know what it is like for the people being treated so hopefully we can get you on next hour to talk about that. Sanjay, appreciate it very much. Anderson, we're going to send it over back to you.