Boston bombing victim in wheelchair photo helped identify Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev
Yet another hero is emerging from the Boston Marathon bombing story.
27-year-old Jeff Bauman was standing right next to one of the bombs when it exploded, destroying both his legs below the knee. An incredibly gruesome photo of Bauman being wheeled to an ambulance—more revealing than the cropped version above—instantly became the most iconic picture depicting the horror of bombs’ damage.
The cowboy hat-clad Carlos Arredondo at Bauman’s side in the photo ran into the crowd to help the injured before police even arrived at the scene, and was heralded as a hero of the day. But now Bauman is turning out to be a major hero himself.
Bloomberg reports that Bauman not only held onto his memory of the incident through his intense trauma, but that the very first thing he did upon waking in the hospital was recount the image of the man who left a backpack at his feet for the FBI.
His brother, Chris Bauman, says, “He woke up under so much drugs, asked for a paper and pen and wrote, ‘bag, saw the guy, looked right at me.’”
Bauman described a man wearing a black baseball hat and jacket over a hooded sweatshirt. Bauman’s description helped lead the FBI to identify the surviving bomb suspect from last night’s shootout as 19-year-old Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev of Chechnya.
Tsarnaev made direct eye contact with Bauman and left a bomb at his feed.
That the bomb didn’t kill Bauman is nothing short of incredible. His will to remember and to communicate his memory to the FBI in the midst of his devastating injuries is downright heroic.