Return to Transcripts main page

THE SITUATION ROOM

Digging For Clues In A Landfill; Bomb Suspect Moved; Ninety Minutes of Fear; Russian Raid Tied to Boston Bombings?; From Shrapnel Wounds to Losing a Leg

Aired April 26, 2013 - 17:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Jake, thanks very much. Happening now, new developments in the Boston bombing investigation. Authorities dig through a Massachusetts landfill there looking for a laptop. And the FBI coming up with some new clues this hour.

Also, extraordinary stories of heroism. A carjacking victim tells how he was held by the suspects for 90 minutes, threatened with death before a daring escape.

An off-duty firefighter tells how he helped save one of the youngest bombing victims.

And we'll hear from the man who noticed a suspicious figure only moments before his legs were blown off and still managed to put authorities on the trail of the suspects.

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in the SITUATION ROOM.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Authorities today are literally digging for evidence in the Boston bombing case. They've been combing a Massachusetts landfill for a computer belonging to one of the suspects. Let's go straight to CNN's Brian Todd. He's in Boston with all the latest developments -- Brian.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, this according to a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation telling our CNN's Susan Candiotti that investigators this afternoon have been searching this landfill in New Bedford, Massachusetts. This landfill is near the dorm where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the younger of the two suspects, stayed at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.

What are they looking for? According to this official, they're looking for his laptop. They say that this official says that both brothers are believed to have detonated their devices, detonated the bombs with their own devices. So, they are looking for this -- through this landfill for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's laptop and it could be a lead that could take them to maybe searching to finding the detonation devices or the detonation triggers for the bombs.

This lead, according to this official, came from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, himself. In other details of the investigation today that we're getting, we did see some video today for our first glimpse of the widow of the older suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. His widow, Katherine Russell (ph), we have not seen her in days. We did catch a glimpse of her leaving her home in North Kingston, Rhode Island with her attorneys.

Not clear what that's leading to, but again, this investigation moving along pretty rapidly, Wolf, with the landfill search and possibly Katherine Russell (ph) meeting with her attorneys. We believe the attorneys have at least met once, at least once with investigators, Wolf.

BLITZER: What are we learning about this mysterious Misha, this supposed person who had this inordinate influence on the older suspect who's now dead, supposedly radicalizing him, an Armenian who's converted to Islam? What are we learning about the hunt for Misha

TODD: According to this law enforcement official, Wolf, who spoke with CNN's Susan Candiotti, they are looking for Misha. They are working with overseas partners to try to track him down. It could be a clue as to where he might be. No specific mention of where overseas, but they are working with overseas partners to track him down. And they believe they are making progress on that front.

BLITZER: When they say they believe they're making progress, are they giving any details, any specifics, because that sounds like they think they have someone in mind.

TODD: They may very well have someone in mind, Wolf. They're not giving details really much beyond that. Just that they're working with overseas partners. Giving you a clue that this man who's been so elusive, at least, to most of us in the Boston area who've been looking for him for the past three days that he's been very elusive.

He could be overseas somewhere. Officials not giving detail where they think he might be. Of course, that could be something that could give it away to him as well.

BLITZER: Brian Todd in Boston, thank you. It's been 11 days since the Boston marathon bombings which killed three people and wounded 264 others. Thirty of them of the wounded remain hospitalized. Only one is still listed in critical condition. At least 14 people have undergone amputations because of their wounds.

The wounded bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has been moved away from bombing victims. He's been transferred from a Boston hospital to a medical center with bars, a federal bureau of prisons facility about 40 miles away. Our national correspondent, Jason Carroll, is there. He's got the latest details. What are we learning, Jason?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we can tell you, Wolf, after speaking to a representative here that Tsarnaev was brought here just about 5:00 a.m. this morning from Beth Israel Hospital. He was brought here because he's now in stable enough condition and is able to sit up. He's a lot more responsive now than he was just a few days ago. He went through something called an intake screening process. It's a step-by-step process, brought here in handcuffs by U.S. marshals.

We're told the first step of that process is he was strip searched. Right after that, he went through a medical screening. Obviously, once again, in stable condition. More responsive now than he was before. He went through a psychological screening to make sure that he wasn't in danger of hurting himself. And I'm told here by a representative here that the result of that psychological screening determined that he was not in danger of hurting himself.

He was also fingerprinted. A DNA sample was taken from him as well. And then, he was photographed. And then, all of that material was then given and turned over to the FBI. That entire part of the process, Wolf, I'm told took just about an hour before he was then transferred to his cell -- Wolf.

BLITZER: And do we know who else is at that federal prison there? I understand there are a lot of others who need medical attention, psychological attention. What do we know about this facility?

CARROLL: Well, Devens Federal Medical Center is one of six such types of medical centers here in the commonwealth of Massachusetts. This particular facility, Wolf, can hold just about a thousand inmates, and they're all different types, low risk to high risk. You can have sex offenders here. Any type of offender can be brought to this facility if that offender is in need of medical care.

When it comes to Tsarnaev, he has been moved to a special restricted section of the facility since he's a high risk offender, at least, classified as a high risk offender. It houses about 30 individuals. He's held in a single cell. To tell you just a little bit about that cell, it has a steel door. There's a slot in there that food can go through. He has a shower in there, a small shower. A toilet. A small sink as well.

And just from speaking to a representative here at the facility, just about 15 minutes ago, he told me that they also go through particular rounds where they check on these individuals more so than some of the others -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Jason. Thanks very much. Jason Carroll is on the scene for us outside that federal prison.

Let's drill a little bit deeper now on the transfer of the bombing suspect and on the investigation. Joining us is our national security analyst, Tom Fuentes. He's a former FBI assistant director. Tom, we know the victims at that Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center certainly wanted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev moved, but it's also important for law enforcement. Explain.

TOM FUENTES, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, Wolf, I think U.S. marshals and the bureau of prisons would have wanted him out of there. The hospital is not geared up for that type of security on a continuing basis, so the various FBI agents, marshals, and other law enforcement officials trying to guard him, maintain his custody, keep a vigilante from coming in there and killing him while he's laying in his bed and just the protection of the hospital. It was in everybody's best interests to get him out of there, get him in a medical facility that is part of the bureau of prison system and is designed to be a hospital facility within a prison environment, within a cocoon of security provided by the prison.

BLITZER: Yes. They want to make sure that no one gets in there and kills this guy, obviously. You've been involved in similar moves with other high profile criminals when you served in the FBI. That explains, I assume, why they decided to move him in the middle of the night.

FUENTES: Right. Years ago, I helped coordinate the movement of Salvatore Sammy (ph) "The Bull" Gravano who was John Gotti's underboss from the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York to Quantico, first to the marine base brig and then over to the Quantico FBI academy facility that was being remodeled to accommodate him, if you will.

But, yes. I'm familiar with the process of trying to get somebody moved. Normally, it would be in the middle of the night. There's less traffic, there's less concern for being bottled up in a traffic jam where you're vulnerable to being attacked by somebody else. So, it makes sense to move him like that in the dark, get him moved, keep him safe, keep everybody away from him. Get him into the prison facility, and then, everything is much more secure from then on.

BLITZER: Much has been made, as you know, Tom, of the older brother who's now dead, Tamerlan's trip to Russia, whether he actually received military training. Do you have any thoughts on that?

FUENTES: My only thoughts are that, so far, the Russians would have to be the ones to tell us that he received military training and they have not. And, secondly, I would question what kind of military plan they were operating under that says, "perform this attack on Monday afternoon at the Boston marathon." Hang around Boston. Go to class. Go to parties. Smoke marijuana.

Do what you want for three and a half days where if there was an intention to go to New York as had been reported, they have three days to get to New York, complete anonymity during that time. Their pictures had not gone up on the internet or worldwide media coverage until Thursday afternoon at 5:15.

So, they had fully the rest of Monday, all day Tuesday, all day Wednesday, all of Thursday until 5:15 where they could have waltzed up and down Times Square and nobody would have recognized them as just anybody but a tourist.

BLITZER: Tom Fuentes, thanks very much. Tom Fuentes is a former FBI assistant director.

Up next here, right before his legs were blown off, he noticed the suspicious figure. We're going to hear from the man who managed to put the authorities on the trail of the two bombing suspects.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLITZER: We're getting these pictures, these are live pictures you're seeing courtesy of our affiliate, WHDH. This is Watertown, Massachusetts just outside of Boston. You see the boat there. That was the boat. It's covered there with a tarp. That was the boat where the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was caught and arrested the other night as he sought to escape the police.

They're moving the boat right now. Not exactly sure where they're moving the boat to. We're getting more information on this, but I think it's fair to say they want to collect all the evidence and put it in a safe place as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. We'll continue to monitor this but, clearly, they're getting ready to move this boat out of the backyard of this individual, this home in Watertown where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured.

It's become one of the most gruesome images of the Boston massacre, the bombing victim Jeff Bauman being rushed from the scene of the attacks missing much of both legs. He's also called a hero for helping authorities identify suspect number one and he's speaking out for the first time in a radio interview with WEEI's "Denison and Callahan Morning Show."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VOICE OF JEFF BAUMAN, LOST BOTH LEGS IN BOSTON BOMBINGS: I was with my girlfriend's roommates and we're having a great time, you know? We were watching the runners. Everyone was having a great time. And just that one guy, you know, he didn't look like he was having a good time. So, he was right next to me, you know, at that point, and he had a bag and he had his glasses.

He had like a kind of like a leather like sweatshirt type of deal and, you know, it's warm out. This is an odd guy. It just struck me odd. And, that's what I remember of him. And then, the next thing you know, fireworks and I'm on the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you actually looked this person in the eyes. I mean, you have sunglasses on but you made eye contact with this gus?

BAUMAN: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And immediately you knew there was something wrong.

BAUMAN: Yes. Yes. Exactly. Like he just didn't seem right, you know? So, you know, like you size somebody up and I just looked at him and I was like what's this guy's problem, you know?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. And how long before the explosion was that, Jeff?

BAUMAN: You know, it could have been five minutes. it could have been two minutes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.

BAUMAN: It was quick, you know?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I know --

BAUMAN: He was there and then he was gone and then boom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you thinking, at that point, you're going to make it?

BAUMAN: Not really. You know, actually when Carlos picked me up and threw me into the wheelchair, then I was like, all right. Maybe I am going to make it. But before that, no way. I thought I was done.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see what had happened to you? Were you aware of what had happened?

BAUMAN: Yes, yes. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How does your brain process that?

BAUMAN: I don't know. Just toughed it up at that point, you know? I mean, I was definitely hurting but, you know, I was sad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe you were there for one day. You couldn't talk. You had tubes coming out everywhere. You were in real pain. And you asked Sally for whatever, a pencil and paper and started writing and Sally was saying his hands just started shaking. I mean, I know you're not comfortable with this. I know you're a humble, quiet guy, but I mean, that was the first big break on the case. Why don't you tell us about it.

BAUMAN: Yes. Well, I was still conscious. I was being transported from the blast site to the hospital. And the whole time I -- when I was in the hospital, I was given descriptions of the guy, the first guy, the guy with the hat and the glasses, the aviators and the five o'clock shadow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tamerlan. Suspect number one. Right.

BAUMAN: Yes. Suspect umber one. I was just real out of it --

(CROSSTALK)

BAUMAN: -- coming out of the first operation, I guess. Yes. The FBI was all around my room. They were there from the moment I was talking right when I got to the hospital.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And was it -- was the sketch artist ever brought in so they actually drew a picture or they just took your description, the words of your description?

BAUMAN: Yes. They -- well, for the first suspect, I think they just took the description, but then, there was -- then I think they saw the second suspect and on like Wednesday, they had a sketch artist in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And so, he drew a picture. And did it look like the guy that we now know is suspect number one? BAUMAN: Yes. It looked just like him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The doctors, Jeff, outlined what the next, I don't know, couple month are going to be like for you in this process?

BAUMAN: Yes. Just a lot of getting my upper body strength. I'm going to -- all physical training, you know, occupational training and I'm going to try to get my hearing back. My hearing is shot. I can't hear for anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about when they got him? What about when you found out that the guy you saw was run over, literally, by his brother?

BAUMAN: Yes. I mean, what I thought was he's dead and (INAUDIBLE) still here, you know?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't sound angry. You don't sound pissed off. Can I ask you what your feelings are about the men who did this to you and so many other people?

BAUMAN: Yes. I'm pissed obviously.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

BAUMAN: But, i mean, it's in the past, you know? You can only look forward. I had a lot to look forward to before and I have a lot to look forward (ph) now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: Amazing young man. If you'd like to help Jeff Bauman with his recovery and I hope you do, you can go to GoFundMe.com/BucksforBauman. Good idea.

Coming up, 90 minutes of fear. A carjacking victim tells how he was held by the bomb suspects and threatened with death before a daring escape.

And we'll hear from a family badly scarred by the Boston bombings. Three of them wounded at the finish line.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Suddenly there was this loud explosion, which to me sounded very metallic and almost like had an echo to it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: An unbelievable find in New York City today. Parts of a landing gear which appear to be from one of the commercial airliners destroyed 12 years ago during the 9/11 terrorist attacks have been discovered wedged between two buildings in Lower Manhattan. CNN Raelyn Johnson is on the scene in Manhattan. She's joining us on the phone. What do you seeing, Raelyn, and what are you learning? RAELYN JOHNSON, CNN PRODUCER: Well, it's a very interesting scene down here. It's a beautiful day in New York City and any day when armies of tourists sort of pile on a block. You wonder what's going on and people cannot believe what is being reported (ph) down here. There is an officer standing outside of a sort of an alley. There's a cross street behind 51 Park Place here and that is police say the space where the landing gear from one of the planes from 9/11 was found.

And I have to say, you know, it's not often that New Yorkers stop and want to know what's going on. This is a very big city. But people are in sort of shock down here that this piece of such a (ph) day in our country in New York City was found here this morning.

BLITZER: And how did they come upon it? What were the -- what was the background to the discovery of this piece?

JOHNSON: Well, it's believed that one of the neighboring buildings, which ironically, Wolf, is eight blocks here that caused so much controversy two years ago when it was being built, people didn't like it being so close to 9/11. It's literally the site (ph) of 9/11 just a few blocks away from me but was believed to be the case is that one of the neighbors saw something in an alley way and called police and it's verified this morning.

It can't be removed from the scene yet until medical and people get on the scene and sort of see what's going on and determine it is a safe and healthy working environment. So, the piece of equipment is actually still here. And like I said, people are walking by in disbelief. You can't see it from the street. It's in a crawl space. But as you see, we have some photos of what that looks like.

BLITZER: CNN's Raelyn Johnson on the scene for us. A dramatic discovery there in Lower Manhattan. Thanks very much.

Up next here in the SITUATION ROOM, 90 minutes of fear. A carjacking victim tells how he was held by the bombing suspects in Boston and threatened with death before making a very daring escape.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Looking live pictures right now courtesy of our affiliate, WHDH. This is the boat. This is the boat where they found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hiding out under a tarp. It's now being moved from that home, backyard of that home in Watertown, Massachusetts just outside of Boston. You see it's being towed there through the streets of Boston.

People are watching a boat being towed. They're probably not thinking too much about it, but it is getting security. You see police officers, police cars blocking intersections as they're moving this boat. We assume it's going to some sort of warehouse, some sort of facility so they continue to inspect it, continue to collect it. Part of the evidence in this criminal investigation. But you see this boat now moving through the streets of Watertown, Massachusetts. That's just outside of Boston. Our affiliate continuing to watch this move several days after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old suspect, was found underneath a tarp in that boat, a dramatic moment obviously in this entire, entire saga.

There are some pictures of what they saw when they discovered him in the boat finally coming out. The person who lived in that home saw some blood, called 911. The police came over. They discovered him hiding out in that boat. And now that boat is being moved to a different location.

We'll find out where it's going. We'll update you with more as it becomes available. But you can see that boat being towed through the streets of Watertown right now.

For 90 minutes he was allegedly held prisoner in his own car by the bombing suspects and he was threatened with death. Now a 26-year-old Chinese entrepreneur who wants to be identified only by his American nickname, Danny, has told his harrowing experience exclusively to the "Boston Globe."

"Boston Globe" reporter Eric Moskowitz spoke with CNN's John Berman.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC MOSKOWITZ, BOSTON GLOBE REPORTER: What stuck out to me is that Danny really has probably, you know, of all the millions of people in greater Boston the perfect combination of innocence, and poise, and calm. If it had been almost maybe anyone, any one of us or, you know, sort of a little different twist here or there, Danny wouldn't have survived and the brothers would have gotten on to New York. I mean, it's really just an incredible story. Danny is an amazing guy.

JOHN BERMAN, CO-ANCHOR, EARLY START: Ninety minutes he spent in that car with one or both of the brothers at different times. How did he manage to escape?

MOSKOWITZ: So I take it back to the beginning. I mean, first of all it starts with Danny stopping his car to send a text message. So if you question if anyone actually does it, it's Danny. They pulled up immediately behind him. The older brother gets out, raps on the window. He doesn't hear him. He lowers it. Tamerlan sticks his hand through the window, opens the door, and pulls a gun on him. Takes what money he has and tells him to drive.

Partly they're driving with him, the other brother following behind. Then they go and they consolidate what Danny thinks is luggage but is actually the bombs from their car to his car. They drive around for 90 minutes constantly threatening him and Danny is just trying to think, how do I stay alive? Don't want to say the wrong thing.

You know, at one point he gets a text message from his roommate in Chinese saying, you know, where are you? How come you haven't come home? And Tamerlan takes a Chinese to -- sorry, English to Chinese app, texts back, I'm sick, I'm not coming home tonight, I'm with a friend. That seems weird to Danny's roommate. There is another text, then a call. They don't answer. There's silence in Danny's car.

They call again. Tamerlan says, you answer. If you say a word in Chinese, because he knows he'd be speaking in Chinese, he might rat them out, I'll kill you, and don't be stupid. So Danny says, answering to someone talking to him in Mandarin in English, I'm sick. I'm with a friend. I'm sorry. I've got to go. And he's just trying to think, you know, where can I get out? When is my moment?

Lucky for Danny the car was running low on gas. They had to stop at a gas station. Double stroke of luck it wouldn't take the credit card. The younger brother has to go in to pay with cash. That leaves Danny alone with Tamerlan.

Think about Tamerlan. He's been on the run all day. He's, you know, killed an MIT police officer five hours earlier. He puts his guard down for a second, puts the gun in the driver's side pocket of Danny's SUV, and he's got both hands fiddling with the GPS and Danny realizes, if I'm going to get out now is the chance. I've got to unbuckle the seatbelt, open the door, and go in one swift motion.

At a certain point he stops thinking it and he does it. And it's like really the perfect place. He goes between the car and the gas pumps and if Tamerlan is going to shoot him he'd have to go through the window, you know, it's just like an impossible shot. So he tries to reach for him. Can't get him. He hears him curse. Sprints across the street to safety at another gas station and calls 911.

BERMAN: Because he called 911 there they were able to trace the car using his cell phone and also the Mercedes satellite technology.

MOSKOWITZ: Yes.

BERMAN: This man Danny, who was minding his business, going to text, may have saved lives. He certainly helped, you know, catch the suspects here.

MOSKOWITZ: Absolutely. I mean, this is -- take you back last Thursday, early Friday morning, just after midnight, it was only a matter of minutes between when the police got to Danny and when they caught up with the -- with the Tsarnaev brothers. And, you know, without Danny's cell phone, without his poise, without the satellite technology in the car, who knows how long it could have taken them?

BERMAN: What does Danny say the brothers said about New York?

MOSKOWITZ: So two things. When I spoke to Danny they were speaking English. When they spoke to each other it was in a language Danny didn't understand. He is trying to listen without making it clear that he's listening. Because Tamerlan said if you look at me, if you see my face, I'll kill you. So Danny very wisely said, I didn't see you, I don't remember you.

But he's trying to hear him and he hears the word Manhattan come out in this language that he otherwise doesn't understand. So that gives him an indication they might be going to New York. Then they ask him, can your car go out of state? He doesn't know what to make of that question so he said, what do you mean? And they mean like New York. So he says, yes, yes. My car can go out of state.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: Eric Moskowitz of the "Boston Globe" speaking to our John Berman.

Next hour, by the way, CNN's Brian Todd will show you where that 90- minute ordeal happened step by step by step. Stand by for that.

Just ahead here Russian authorities carry out a massive sweep aimed at radical Islamic groups. Is there a link? Is there a link to the Boston bombings?

Also coming up, you'll hear how members of one family were wounded at the marathon finish line.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Dozens of people are detained as Russian security services carry out a sweep targeting Islamic extremist organizations. So here is the question. Is there a possible connection to the Boston bombings?

Let's go live to our senior international correspondent Nic Robertson, he's joining us once again from Dagestan. That's in Russia.

What's going on here, Nic? What are you hearing?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, a big sweep by Russian security forces. A hundred and forty people detained at a mosque in a southern Moscow region, the Dar Ul-Arkam mosque. They say that they were targeting people there with ties to radical Islamist organizations according to the security services. They say people who attended that mosque have gone on in the past to be involved -- be involved in preparing and carrying out what they described as terrorist activities in the North Caucuses, this region of Russia right where we are at the moment.

There is no indication that we have so far there are any direct connections to the Boston bombing. However, some Russian news organizations are saying that 30 foreigners were picked up in this operation, Wolf.

BLITZER: Do we have any clue whether or not Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the 26-year-old who is now dead, one of the Boston bombing suspects, when he was there in Dagestan, what, for six months last year, did he visit this area? Did he go to that mosque? Are they saying anything about any of his stay in Dagestan connected to these activities?

ROBERTSON: So far nothing direct on that connection. What we do know is that the mosque that he attended here in Dagestan is one that has a radical reputation as well, that it was somewhere that the security services were already watching. They did have concerns with it. We know that a large amount of his time here in Russia was unaccounted for. But we don't know if he attended that particular --

BLITZER: Nic Robertson, thanks very much. Just lost that connection at the very end. Nic is in Dagestan.

When we come back, a family of three suffers everything from shrapnel wounds to a lost leg in the Boston bombings. Their first-hand account of the power of those blasts just ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: This was in your --

MARY JO WHITE, INJURED IN BOSTON TERROR ATTACK: In my purse.

BERMAN: In your purse? And what happened here?

M. WHITE: Yes. I won't be making any check stubs.

KEVIN WHITE, INJURED IN BOSTON TERROR ATTACK: That was the check.

BERMAN: Just a piece of shrapnel right through it?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: The marathon bomb blasts have left lots of permanent scars on three family members standing near the finish line that horrific day. The most severe, a husband and father who earned a Purple Heart for his service in Vietnam. Now coming to terms with losing his leg in a place that was supposed to be anything but a war zone.

CNN's John Berman spoke with him.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

K. WHITE: On My arm, this is where they pulled out the biggest chunk of shrapnel right there. And then I have all these little BB marks all up and down here and all over here. This is -- you see all these round welts. And then over on this side there is more of them and then there is all up through here. This is where I got really hit the hardest.

So it's interesting because they are -- when I went to the hospital, some of these actually had the round pieces of metal in them that looked like BBs basically. I will always have them to remember I guess. You know?

BERMAN: Some memory.

K. WHITE: Yes.

BERMAN: So 2:50 p.m. in the afternoon on marathon Monday.

K. WHITE: Mm-hmm.

BERMAN: What happened?

K. WHITE: Well, you know, from what I recall, we were close to the finish line, and kind of meandering, stopping, starting, stopping, starting, and suddenly there was this loud explosion, which to me sounded very metallic and almost like had an echo to it, and I saw this huge flash of light, blinding, and then just dark.

BERMAN: This is a picture, right after the race. Show me where you are.

K. WHITE: I am right here, I kind of got blown away from the blast by about five feet and my father is in the red, right here, laying down, and my mother is right next to him, over, and then you can see that the blast happened like right around there.

BERMAN: Mary Jo, I have to say it had to be terrifying.

M. WHITE: It -- the sound was just unbelievable. That was -- it's just like you were in another world.

BERMAN: And then the uncertainty. Not knowing for hours.

M. WHITE: Yes.

K. WHITE: That was -- that was the hardest part, I think. It was, you know, not knowing where they were, and calling around, and trying to find updates and just being kind of helpless and powerless. That was difficult.

BERMAN: The explosion goes off, and what happened to you?

M. WHITE: It was -- the explosion and our clothes were torn off, and I could not find Kevin at all. My husband, Bill, was on the ground next to me. But I didn't know where Kevin was, I couldn't see him.

BERMAN: This -- this was in your --

M. WHITE: In my purse.

BERMAN: In your purse? And what happened here?

M. WHITE: Yes. I won't be making any checks.

(LAUGHTER)

K. WHITE: That was the check.

BERMAN: Just a piece of shrapnel right through it?

M. WHITE: Yes.

BERMAN: And you have broken wrist?

M. WHITE: I have shrapnel in my left leg and in my face, and just a small break in one of my hands.

BERMAN: Tell me about your husband.

M. WHITE: He's doing remarkably well. K. WHITE: Yes. He's in good spirits, given his condition. And health wise, the doctors are astounded at the progress he's made.

BERMAN: After everything that's happened, are you bitter at all? Angry?

K. WHITE: I'm -- not really. You know, it's one of those things that it was so unpredictable that it happened that, you know, one minute earlier, one minute later, it might not have happened, so it's really -- it's hard to -- I'm speaking for myself. I mean, obviously my father, his condition is much more serious. But I -- I don't sense that he's very bitter or angry.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: Served in Vietnam many decades ago. Came home OK. This is what happened at the end of the Boston marathon.

If you'd like to help the White family with their recovery, you can visit their online fund at www.youcaring.com.

When we come back, he was the youngest victim to die in the Boston attacks. Up next you're going to meet the heroic firefighter who helped save the sister of little Martin Richard.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATT PATTERSON, FIREFIGHTER/PARAMEDIC: It's hard to explain but it is pandemonium but, you know, once you get something in your mind and once you focus on it, that's the task at hand. I don't know if it's training or if it's just the fact that I was distracted by just this one child, but it had my full attention.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Just seconds after the bombs went off at the Boston marathon, an off-duty firefighter having lunch at a restaurant nearby sprang into action. He had no idea at the time that he was about to come face to face with the youngest victim to die in this tragedy. Eight-year-old Martin Richard and his little sister Jane.

Here's what he told our Anderson Cooper.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON COOPER, ANCHOR, ANDERSON COOPER 360: So it's really the second blast that you realized --

PATTERSON: Yes, second blast. Yes, that took -- that took all the doubts out of my mind. You know, I immediately -- I immediately started running towards the front, yelling for people to get back, get to the kitchen, get away from the windows. You know, not pushing people back, but, you know, at the same time I was making it known that I was going forward and they were going the other way. I get out to the patio and I don't know if it was just tunnel vision or fate or whatever it was, but I just looked and focused, and I just saw this one child in the middle of the street, just sitting there with this dazed, shocked look. Even from where I was, I could just -- I could tell this child was hurt.

COOPER: You could see her face.

PATTERSON: I could -- yes, I could just tell. I mean, it's just -- I guess it's the best way -- I don't know if it was tunnel vision or what, I just zoomed in. Call it training or intuition, or whatever, something was horribly wrong.

COOPER: Because it's pandemonium. I mean, people are --

(CROSSTALK)

PATTERSON: It is. You know, it's hard to explain but it is pandemonium. But, you know, once you get something in your mind and once you focus on it, like that's the task at hand. Because I don't know if it's training or if it's just the fact that I was distracted by just this one child, but it had my full attention.

COOPER: So you ran over to this little girl.

PATTERSON: I ran over to this little girl, who I initially thought was a boy. I knelt down, I, you know ,expressed, you know, hi, I'm Matt, I'm here to help you. You know, I was -- I was a paramedic. I was like, you know, we're going to be all right, we're going to be OK.

COOPER: So she was with her father?

PATTERSON: She was with her father and older brother. Neither one of them looked injured. I asked her name, the reply I thought I got back was Shane. Turns out it was Jane. Like I said, the answer was irrelevant. The fact that she could speak told me that she (INAUDIBLE), it was pain and that she was conscious and alert to at least what was going on. She just -- she looked in a state of shock. She just had this emotionless look. And just -- you know, I only remember her saying once or twice that, you know, her leg hurt.

COOPER: So was she -- was she crying?

PATTERSON: No. No crying. She looked me straight in the face and, you know, answered the question. You know, what's your name? It turned out to be Jane but Shane. And you can imagine with the chaos and the noise, you know, Shane, Jane.

COOPER: Right.

PATTERSON: It was just -- it was --

COOPER: So what -- what did you do first?

PATTERSON: Well, so once she spoke, I realized that was good, I looked down, I realized that she had a full left leg amputation. So I got up, I ran back to the sidewalk. There happens to be a gentleman standing there. I said, (INAUDIBLE). I need your belt. I need your belt. Without hesitation this man just ripped off his belt and gave it to me. Took the belt, I ran back over, applied a tourniquet. Started looking left, started looking right, I knew that we needed to get, you know, this child moving. Like she was in serious condition and nothing was going to save her leg at this point beside surgery.

COOPER: It was critical to get the tourniquet on to stop the bleeding.

PATTERSON: Yes. The tourniquet was crucial. Without the tourniquet, she would have bled out.

COOPER: How quickly can someone bleed out?

PATTERSON: A child that size, I mean, it really varies on the injuries, and you know if the wound cauterizes or if it's an artery, but 30 seconds to a minute, probably, a child that size. Yes.

COOPER: She got the belt you ran back.

PATTERSON: So after the tourniquet was applied, another gentleman who I later found out, Michael Chase, great guy, ran up to me, asked me what he could do. I said, listen, I said we have to move this kid. I said this child needs transportation and medical help. Like mega help. Like a doctor.

I heard the familiar sound of sirens. Looked up and down Boylston Street and I saw two fire engines and a medic truck coming towards us. Immediately scooped up the child. I told Michael no matter, don't let go of the tourniquet. And then we ran in unison down the street, I guess, with the father and his son following. Didn't notice -- Michael ended up standing and talking to them afterwards to calm them down.

COOPER: So you're running, holding Jane and Michael --

PATTERSON: Is running with me , holding the tourniquet on.

COOPER: Wow.

PATTERSON: Yes. Just to keep it cinched down because, you know, it's a belt, it's not made for -- it's designed for that kind of pressure and that kind of tension, so yes, he had to run with me. His job was to hold the tourniquet and I was just supporting her weight while he held that on. So I mean, it was crucial. Like without him or I, it wouldn't have worked. It wasn't -- it couldn't have been done with one person. You just -- you can't. You needed both of us to be there at that time. And able to do what we did.

Ran back to the scene. Again, I get upon another child who I know that I see CPR is in progress. I didn't know who was doing it but I did notice that CPR is being done. I get up to the child and I notice that it's a boy. Couldn't have been any more than 8, 10 years old, small child. Severe injuries as well. Lower extremities and abdominal. So I moved my way to the head. At this time there's some medical personnel on scene so there's a first-in bag which is an EMT basic bag, and I administered two breaths to the child. Let the CPR go. Two more breaths to the child. Checked for a pulse. There was no pulse.

I knew at that point that, you know, it's never a lost cause with a child or anything like that, but the situation depending, and especially in that situation with the amount of injuries and severity of the injuries, that there was nothing that -- there's nothing more that we could do for this boy.

COOPER: And that was Martin Richard?

PATTERSON: That was Martin Richard. I was like, that's the boy that, you know, we tried to save and ended up having to just, you know, triage and move on to someone else that could be saved.

COOPER: So that was Jane's brother.

PATTERSON: It was Jane's brother, yes.

COOPER: What's that like to -- I mean, to -- you're with these people in the most horrible moment, in this intimate moment. And to not even know who they are, and then to see on television the picture of this little boy when he was alive.

PATTERSON: During the event and the tragedy, you know, you don't really have a connection. And it's not personal. I don't mean to sound it like that. We don't care, because we do. But it's a very --

COOPER: You've got to be focused.

PATTERSON: It's a very methodical, you know, this is what I have to do, this is what can be done, this is who can be saved. And, you know, you have to assess each injury and each victim separately and you know without bias. And it's just -- it's purely based on, what can I do to save this person's life, or help, and can they be saved?

COOPER: Have you been able to talk to the Richard -- the family?

PATTERSON: No.

COOPER: Is that something you'd ultimately like to do?

PATTERSON: I -- ultimately, I would -- I mean, if -- it's up to the family. I mean the family has suffered more in a day than anybody should in a lifetime. But you know I'd like an update. I'd like to know that, you know, we did make a difference. And it's one less person that they didn't get and one less life that wasn't robbed.

COOPER: You saved a life.

PATTERSON: Yes. And that's ultimately what it's about. You know, you just happen to be in a really bad situation, but you were there. You were put there for a reason and you had the knowledge, and, you know, the guts or whatever you want to call it to run in there and make a difference. COOPER: You just became a medic.

PATTERSON: I did.

COOPER: I'm very glad you became a medic.

(LAUGHTER)

PATTERSON: Me, too.

COOPER: Thank you.

PATTERSON: Hey, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

COOPER: It's truly an honor. Thanks.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: That's Matt Patterson. Thankfully he did become a medic. Thanks to Anderson Cooper as well.

If you'd like to help the Richard family with their recovery process, and we hope you do, you can visit RichardFamilyFund.org.