As Boston Reels from Violence, Details of Attack Slowly Emerge
Investigation announces no solid leads for culprit(s) as voices urge against rush to judgment
Update (3:01 PM):
In addition to the release of 8-year-old Martin Richard's name, family members of Krystle Campbell have confirmed that the 29-year-old women was the second of three fatalities in Monday's bombing in Boston.
Campbell's father, William A. Campbell Jr., told Yahoo News, "My daughter was the most lovable girl. She helped everybody and I'm just so shocked right now. We're just devastated."
The third victim remains unnamed.
Other developments available midday Tuesday included more details about the nature of the explosive device used, including the use of pressure cookers into which ball bearings, carpenter nails, and other projectiles placed.
The New York Times reports:
Surgeons at several Boston hospitals told televised news conferences on Tuesday that the explosive devices had apparently been packed with small pellets and sharp “nail-like” objects that were designed to maim their victims.
The new details about the explosives emerged as President Obama announced at the White House that the F.B.I. was investigating the attack as “an act of terrorism,” but said that it was unclear if it had been carried out by an individual or a group, foreign or domestic.
The FBI has mounted an intense investigation following a pair of bombings in Boston on Monday that left three people, including one 8-year-old boy, dead and 176 people injured. Among those wounded, 17 are said to be in still critical condition.
So far, however, there are no reports of substantial leads, nor have authorities announced any specific suspects or the existence of any credible claims of responsibility for the attack.
World headlines overnight turned their attention to the carnage that took place near the finish line of the Boston Marathon about four hours into one of the city's most celebrated and well-attended sporting events.
[See Common Dreams' breaking coverage of Monday's events here.]
On Tuesday, the Boston Globe released this video taken from the finish line, just a short distance from one of the explosions:
As suspicion and assumptions about who might be behind the bombings grew, many were urging compassion for the victims and their families while cautioning against a rush to judgement about the possible perpetrator or perpetrators.
As more details emerged about the day's tragic events, the group Families for Peaceful Tomorrows—comprised of family members of victims who died on 9/11—tweeted:
As we bemoan the senseless violence in #Boston and elsewhere in the world, let us redouble our efforts to attain more peaceful tomorrows.
— Peaceful Tomorrows (@PeacefulTomorro) April 16, 2013
In a televised address Monday evening, President Obama responded to the bombings by saying, “We will find out who did this. We’ll find out why they did this."
"Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice,” he added.
Writing for The Progressive on Monday evening, however, editor Matthew Rothschild urged for calm and against rushes to judgement.
"In this moment of horror," Rothschild wrote, "let us take a couple of deep breaths. Let’s let law enforcement figure out who the culprits are and how they managed to wreak their havoc, and let's let them apprehend the culprits."
He continued, "If we’ve learned anything after the Oklahoma City bombing and after 9/11, it is that speculation can lead us down the wrong path, and that reacting rashly can have deadly consequences for this country."
Twitter users continue to share updates, photos, and videos:
Recounting the basic outline of Monday's mayhem, the Boston Globe reports:
The explosions blew out windows, sent plumes of smoke into the sky, and left victims piled on each other in a scene far more reminiscent of a battlefield than a celebrated day in Boston’s Back Bay. The blasts occurred at 2:50 p.m., several hours after the elite runners had finished the race.
About 30 people were transferred to hospitals under a Code Red, meaning life threatening injuries, which may point to a rising death toll, according to a law enforcement official.
Flags were lowered to half-staff in Washington, D.C., and around the nation, as the country mourned with Boston.
An enormous investigation is now underway, with local law enforcement officials following the lead of the FBI, which has assumed authority of what is being treated as a federal crime. As The Guardian reports:
FBI officials swooped on a residential building in Revere, eight miles north-east of Boston, late on Monday and removed a large bag from an apartment in the early hours of Tuesday morning. But in the immediate aftermath there are no arrests, no credible claims of responsibility and little information from police about who might have carried out the attack.
Reuters reports on those who were killed and the nature of many of the injuries sustained:
Hospitals in the Boston area were planning surgeries for some of the victims, many of whom sustained lower leg injuries in the blasts, said Peter Fagenholz, a trauma surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital.
"We're seeing a lot of shrapnel injuries" from small metal debris, Fagenholz told reporters outside the hospital. Doctors treated 29 people, of whom eight were in a critical condition.
And the Globe included additional information on the young boy who was killed in the bombing:
The grief resonated sharply in Dorchester, where locals gathered Monday night at Tavolo Restaurant in memory of 8-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed in the attack, and his mother and sister, who suffered grievous injuries. Martin’s father, Bill, is a community leader in the Ashmont section of Dorchester. A third child was reportedly uninjured.
“They are beloved by this community. They contribute in many ways. That’s why you see this outpouring,” said City Councilor at Large Ayanna Pressley, who was among the mourners. “It’s surreal, it’s tragic, it’s incomprehensible. Everyone here tonight is trying to comfort one another and be prayerful.”