Jeffrey Bauman, a maimed victim of Monday’s bomb attack at the Boston Marathon, was labeled a hero after helping the FBI identify one of the suspects. Bloomberg News reported that Bauman was able to ID 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, aka Suspect No. 2, whom Bauman saw just seconds before his legs were blown off by a homemade bomb.
Here’s what you should know about this extraordinary American.
1. He Helped the FBI from His Hospital Bed
Jeff Bauman was the face of the massacre as medics took him to a hospital after the blast forced both legs to be amputated. Before the explosions, Bauman encountered suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev wearing shades, a hoodie, and a baseball cap. “I’ve had many times alone with him, and yes, he told me every single detail,” Jeff’s brother Chris said. After he gained consciousness at the Boston Medical Center, Jeff asked for a pen and paper to write down what he recalled at the moment before the explosion — seeing the suspect drop a bag near him. He wrote, “Bag, saw the guy, looked right at me.”
2. Jeff Was Waiting for His Girlfriend at the Finish Line
The New Hampshire native traveled to Boston to see his girlfriend, Erin Hurley, participate in the marathon. Jeff was waiting for his girlfriend by the finish line at the time of the explosion, where he encountered Dzhokar, who it’s believed left a bag by Bauman’s feet. Two and a half minutes later the bomb exploded, destroying his legs.
3. His Parents Learned of His Condition on TV
Jeff’s parents didn’t know of his condition until his sister Erika Schneider saw the horrifying image of her brother being carried in a wheelchair. “She called my mom, freaking out,” Chris said. Chris, who worked at McDonald’s near their home in Concord, New Hampshire, received a call from his mother to come home quickly. “Chris, you have to sprint home,” she said. “Something’s happened.”
4. Jeff’s Friend Felt Guilty
Twenty-five-year-old Remy Lawler was standing with Jeff Bauman before the incident happened. The roommate of Jeff’s girlfriend left Bauman by himself as she moved closer to the finish line to take pictures. She got hurt in the explosion, suffering a shrapnel wound, but escaped devastating injury that struck Jeff.
“She feels guilty about a lot of this — that she wasn’t with her friends,” said her father, Arthur.
5. Bradley Cooper and Julian Edelman Paid Him a Visit
New England Patriots’ receiver Julian Edelman was at the Boston Medical Center visiting the victims of the bombings, along with actor Bradley Cooper, who was in the area working on David O Russell’s next film. The local football star posted a picture on his Twitter page of him and Bradley with Jeff at the hospital. “Visited #survivor #stud #hero Jeffrey Bauman Jr. today. He was looking great and is a true inspiration,” Edelman tweeted.