Before the blast took both his legs below the knee, Jeff Bauman says that he looked into the eyes of one of the alleged bombers. According to Jeff's brother Chris:
"He woke up under so much drugs, asked for a paper and pen and wrote, ‘bag, saw the guy, looked right at me.'"
Bauman's testimony, provided just moments after he revived in the hospital, has likely helped the FBI narrow the bombing suspects.
In one of the most graphic and wrenching images of the marathon bombing injuries, Bauman is the man in the wheelchair pushed by first responders moments after the explosions. Bauman was waiting for his girlfriend to cross the finish line of the marathon just before 3 p. m. According to Chris Bauman, Jeff saw a man in a cap, a black jacket over a hooded sweatshirt, eyes behind sunglasses look at him, and drop a bag at his feet.
Two and a half minutes later, the bag detonated. First responders rushed the severely wounded Bauman to the Boston Medical Center. While still in intensive care, he gave descriptions to the FBI and helped them isolate the suspects from hours of video of the attack.
Bauman's report of a face-to-face confrontation may have been one the key clues that helped the investigations team identify the current suspects—Dzhokar A. Tsarnaev, 19, of Cambridge and his now deceased 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan. The hunt for these two alleged bombers resulted in a violent shoot-out and a temporary lockdown for the city of Boston. Dzhokar A. Tsarnaev is still at large.
[Bloomberg, image via AP]