Bombing suspects take Boston hostage (w/update)

Like many of you, I woke up this morning to the news of the killing of a security guard, an attempted robbery of a 7-11, a car-jacking and car chase, explosions and gunshots, a dead bombing suspect, and police officer who had been shot.

Now Boston is in lockdown, with people being told to “shelter in place.”

From “FBI Evidence Photo Shows Boston Bomb Suspect Standing Near Child Later Killed In Marathon Blast,” Newsbuster

Essentially the city and its environs have been taken hostage by the suspect introduced to us yesterday via FBI pictures, showing him in a white hat.

In a picture released after the first set, here he is, near the little boy who was killed by one of the bombs. [Source of picture]

I don’t question the decisions of the authorities in Boston – not at all.

Clearly this man is very dangerous. Two security personnel have been shot, three people were killed by the bombs and others were severely hurt.

But this shows the incredible disruption and damage just a few people can do, even people like this who were so stupid as to rob a convenience store on the very night the FBI released their photos to the world.

As events unfold, consider the amazing sequence of events that led to the suspects’ identification.

Minutes before the bombs blew up in Boston, Jeff Bauman looked into the eyes of the man who tried to kill him.

Just before 3 p.m. on April 15, Bauman was waiting among the crowd for his girlfriend to cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon. A man wearing a cap, sunglasses and a black jacket over a hooded sweatshirt looked at Jeff, 27, and dropped a bag at his feet, his brother, Chris Bauman, said in an interview.

Two and a half minutes later, the bag exploded, tearing Jeff’s legs apart. A picture of him in a wheelchair, bloodied and ashen, was broadcast around the world as he was rushed to Boston Medical Center. He lost both legs below the knee.

“He woke up under so much drugs, asked for a paper and pen and wrote, ‘bag, saw the guy, looked right at me,’” Chris Bauman said yesterday in an interview.

Those words may have helped crack the mystery of who perpetrated one of the highest-profile acts of terror in the U.S. since the 2001 assault on New York City and the Washington area, one that killed three people and wounded scores. [Source]

Jeff Bauman was seen widely through the world in a photo showing him being wheeled from the bombing scene by the “man in the cowboy hat,” Carlos Arredondo.

Arrendondo was saved by Marines after he tried to kill himself in 2004 upon hearing that his son had been killed in Iraq. “Arredondo was at the marathon to cheer for a runner who’d dedicated their race to his son.” Then Arrendondo saved Bauman.

As we think of all the pain and harm caused by the bombers, let us also remember all those who have saved lives and helped solve this crime, and all those who have reached out to help others.

Update: April 22

At this point, the younger brother is in custody in a Boston hospital. And it turns  out that this post needs a correction. The brothers did not rob a 7-11. However, this does not change my view that they lacked smarts. (And of that, we should be grateful, for they could have been more damaging and harder to apprehend.)  For examples of their foolishness, see “The 11 Most Mystifying Things the Tsarnaev Brothers Did.”

Amy Fried

About Amy Fried

Amy Fried loves Maine's sense of community and the wonderful mix of culture and outdoor recreation. She loves politics in three ways: as an analytical political scientist, a devoted political junkie and a citizen who believes politics matters for people's lives. Fried is Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. Her views do not reflect those of her employer or any group to which she belongs.