National News

Three killed in Boston blasts; feds seek suspects, motives

Posted April 16, 2013

Map Marker  Find News Near Me



What we know:

  • Two explosions rang out about 2:50 p.m. near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
  • More than 27,000 people competed in the race, and thousands more were out on the streets to cheer them on.
  • Boston Police say three people are dead and more than 140 wounded. An AP source says an 8-year-old boy is among the dead.
  • At least one other bomb was discovered by police and disarmed.
  • A surveillance image showed a person carrying two backpacks near the site of the blasts.
  • Authorities have not identified any claim of responsibility. They have no suspects.
  • One man, who was seen running from the blasts and was then tackled by a bystander, is in police custody for questioning. He has been cooperative with investigators and is not considered a suspect, police said.
  • Authorities served a warrant late Monday on a home in a suburban Boston neighborhood.
  • There was a fire at the JFK library that police have said is not related.
  • Security has been stepped up in other major East Coast cities.
  • Google established a website to help people find their loved ones
  • Telephone number to locate victims: 617-635-4500
  • Telephone number for tips: 1-800-494-TIPS

Authorities searching for clues in Boston blasts

FBI agents searched a suburban Boston apartment overnight and appealed to the public for amateur video and photos that might yield clues to who carried out the Boston Marathon bombing, while a doctor treating the wounded said one of the victims was maimed by what looked like ball bearings or BBs.

Two bombs blew up seconds apart Monday at the finish line of one of the world's most storied races, tearing off limbs and leaving the streets spattered with blood and strewn with broken glass. Three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 140 were wounded. Boston Images: Explosions rock Boston Marathon

Federal investigators said no one had claimed responsibility for the bombings on one of the city's biggest civic holidays, Patriots Day. But the blasts raised the specter of another terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

President Barack Obama was careful not to use the words "terror" or "terrorism" as he spoke at the White House on Monday, but an administration official said the bombings were being treated as an act of terrorism.

"We will find out who did this. We'll find out why they did this," the president said. "Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice."

Across the U.S., from Washington to Los Angeles, police tightened security, monitoring landmarks, government buildings, transit hubs and sporting events.

The FBI took charge of the investigation, converging on a home in the suburb of Revere on Monday night and appealing for any video, audio and photos taken by marathon spectators. Authorities gave no details on the search. Investigators were seen leaving a building there early Tuesday carrying brown paper bags, plastic trash bags and a duffel bag. 

Investigators refused to give any specifics on the bombs and say, for example, where they might have been hidden or whether they were packed with shrapnel for maximum carnage, as is often the case in terror bombings overseas.

But Dr. Stephen Epstein of the emergency medicine department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center said he saw an X-ray of one victim's leg that had "what appears to be small, uniform, round objects throughout it — similar in the appearance to BBs." He said it remained to be determined what exactly the objects were. Boston authorities provide update on marathon blasts Boston authorities looking for videos, images of bombings

A European security official said Tuesday initial evidence indicates that the attacks were not the work of suicide bombers.

"So far, investigators believe it was not the work of suicide bombers, but it is still too early to rule it out completely," said the official, who spoke from the United States on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the U.S. investigation.

The Pakistani Taliban, which has threatened attacks in the United States because of its support for the Pakistani government, on Tuesday denied any role in the bombings.

The fiery explosions took place about 10 seconds and about 100 yards apart, knocking spectators and at least one runner off their feet, shattering windows and sending columns of smoke rising over the street. Victims lost limbs and suffered broken bones, shrapnel wounds and ruptured eardrums.

Roupen Bastajian, a state trooper from Smithfield, R.I., had just finished the race when he heard the explosions.

"I started running toward the blast. And there were people all over the floor," he said. "We started grabbing tourniquets and started tying legs. A lot of people amputated. ... At least 25 to 30 people have at least one leg missing, or an ankle missing, or two legs missing."

At Massachusetts General Hospital, Alasdair Conn, chief of emergency services, said: "This is something I've never seen in my 25 years here ... this amount of carnage in the civilian population. This is what we expect from war." Boston Carlson: Blasts created terror on festive day

As many as two unexploded bombs were found near the end of the 26.2-mile course as part of what appeared to be a well-coordinated attack, but they were safely disarmed, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation.

An 8-year-old boy was among the dead, according to a person who talked to a friend of the family and spoke on condition of anonymity. The person said the boy's mother and sister were also injured as they waited for his father to finish the race.

Hospitals reported at least 144 people injured, at least 17 of them critically. At least eight children were being treated at hospitals.

Tim Davey of Richmond, Va., was with his wife, Lisa, and children near a medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners when the injured began arriving. "They just started bringing people in with no limbs," he said.

"Most everybody was conscious," Lisa Davey said. "They were very dazed."

The Boston Marathon is one of the world's oldest and most prestigious races and about 23,000 runners participated. Most of them had crossed the finish line by the time the bombs exploded, but thousands more were still completing the course.

The attack may have been timed for maximum bloodshed: The four-hour mark is typically a crowded time near the finish line because of the slow-but-steady recreational runners completing the race and because of all the friends and relatives clustered around to cheer them on.

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said authorities had received "no specific intelligence that anything was going to happen" at the race.

"We still don't know who did this or why," Obama said at the White House, adding, "Make no mistake: We will get to the bottom of this." Jim Reese Security expert: Forensics will be key in Boston blasts

With scant official information to guide them, members of Congress said there was little or no doubt it was an act of terrorism.

"We just don't know whether it's foreign or domestic," said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

A few miles away from the finish line and around the same time, a fire broke out at the John F. Kennedy Library. The police commissioner said that it may have been caused by an incendiary device but that it was not clear whether it was related to the bombings.

The race winds up near Copley Square, not far from the landmark Prudential Center and the Boston Public Library. It is held on Patriots Day, which commemorates the first battles of the American Revolution, at Concord and Lexington in 1775.

The first explosion occurred on the north side of Boylston Street, just before the finish line, and some people initially thought it was a celebratory cannon blast. When the second bomb went off, spectators' cheers turned to screams.

Runners in the medical tent for treatment of dehydration or other race-related ills were pushed out to make room for victims of the bombing.

A woman who was a few feet from the second bomb, Brighid Wall, 35, of Duxbury, said that when it exploded, runners and spectators froze, unsure of what to do. Her husband threw their children to the ground, lay on top of them and another man lay on top of them and said, "Don't get up, don't get up."

After a minute or so without another explosion, Wall said, she and her family headed to a Starbucks and out the back door through an alley. Around them, the windows of the bars and restaurants were blown out.

She said she saw six to eight people bleeding profusely, including one man who was kneeling, dazed, with blood trickling down his head. Another person was on the ground covered in blood and not moving.

"My ears are zinging. Their ears are zinging," Wall said. "It was so forceful. It knocked us to the ground."


Associated Press writers Jay Lindsay, Steve LeBlanc, Bridget Murphy, Rodrique Ngowi and Meghan Barr in Boston; Julie Pace, Lara Jakes and Eileen Sullivan in Washington; Paisley Dodds in London and Marilynn Marchione in Milwaukee contributed to this report.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • delilahk2000 Apr 16, 2013


  • delilahk2000 Apr 16, 2013


  • Save It Apr 16, 2013

    I appreciate the idea of sticking together and avoiding political partisanship however...

    How exactly are we supposed to stand in solidarity with the nut jobs on the far right making public comments such as "it was the FBI to justify taking our guns"? Or how about "Obama did it to strip away more freedoms".

    The lunatics in your ranks are making noise again GOP. Time to denounce and remove them from your association or it's hard to take any of you seriously. Appalling, disrespectful, vile, misguided. Paranoid over a evil shadow government like voices in their heads. There should be a punishment... or at least mandatory therapy. I will not stand in solidarity with such filth.

  • UreapwhatUsow Apr 16, 2013

    Unfortunately, our enemies live among us.

  • nothing surprising Apr 16, 2013

    The great thing about this country is that it becomes stronger when faced with adversity and the people that try to weaken it never succeed. Karma will find the ones reesponsible and have no mersy on their rotted souls. Stay strong Boston, united WE stand.

  • publicassistance Apr 16, 2013

    These kinds of things are meant to spread suspicion, insecurity, division, and feelings of vulnerability. I hope we don't allow that to happen.

    We need to just hold tight, get the facts, and see justice done. Other than that, go on with our lives.

    This was a criminal act, and it matters little who or why. Justice and security....

  • Rebelyell55 Apr 16, 2013

    @Mr. Middle of the Road
    April 16, 2013 9:53 a.m.........Good post, too early for all these speculation. More news and information coming out hourly, so better to stand together right now and show unity.

  • Mr. Middle of the Road Apr 16, 2013

    Remember, whoever did this attacked us all. Whether they are from the middle eastern part of the world, or midwestern USA, or just some yahoo from the northeast, they are our enemy. We stand together, or we fall apart. They will not defeat us or our way of life if we unite.

  • Hans Apr 16, 2013

    "You are the only one who has brought this up so I guess you are the one whose mind it came to first. Also, the "person of interest" they are holding and talking to right now is a Saudi national. So remember, it COULD be a terrorist attack by someone who is NOT American." - anderson
    April 16, 2013 9:30 a.m

    It could be anyone, you are right. When "persons of interest" and all that comes out, let's all remember what happened to Richard Jewell. They literally hounded the poor guy to his death when he was just trying to do his job. The semantics arguments over the word "terrorism" are also annoying. It's become an emotionally-charge political term meant to incite. Treat this as a criminal act, and proceed from there.

  • Plenty Coups Apr 16, 2013

    "Agreed, jr, good post. Right now, there should be no Republican or Democrat, just American."

    Yes, lets just catch those responsible.