Video Shows Man Leaving A Bag At Scene Of Boston Attack

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Authorities say they have an image of someone who may have been involved in Monday's deadly attack at the Boston Marathon.


This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.


And I'm Robert Siegel. And we begin this hour in Boston, where authorities say they have an image of someone who may have been involved in Monday's deadly attack at the Boston marathon. The lead appears to have come from a videotape they've been analyzing.

Meantime, as authorities pursue whoever is responsible, NPR's Tovia Smith reports the city is struggling to recover.

TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: Officials tell NPR there is video of a man setting down a bag and leaving the scene of the blast but that does not necessarily make him a suspect and it remains unclear as to whether authorities have identified who that person actually is. White House spokesman Jay Carney spoke this morning but offered little insight.

JAY CARNEY: We do not know, at this time, yet, whether it was an organization or an individual, foreign or domestic, but we will find out and we will hold accountable and bring to justice whoever is responsible.

SMITH: Still, even reports of a possible break were met by excitement in the city today, especially by those closest to the damage done.

KEVIN TABB: It will be a tremendous relief to know that the authorities have caught whoever's responsible for this terrible, terrible thing.

SMITH: Dr. Kevin Tabb is president and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center that received two dozen victims on Monday. Even knowing the who, he says, would be just half the equation. Many are aching, he says, for the illusive why.

TABB: The fact that this is really a senseless act that no one can make sense of, that certainly weighs on you.

SMITH: Almost immediately on Monday, Tabb says, it became clear to one trauma surgeon in particular that patients needed more than just the best doctors.

TABB: We asked a young woman who was a victim, how are you? Are we getting you everything you need? And she said, you know, everything is fine, except up here. She pointed at her head.

SMITH: Within hours, Tabb says, new procedures were set up so that along with the orthopedists and wound care specialists, psychiatrists and clergy would also be part of the group making rounds to patients. At the same time, he says, the hospital's trying to do more to care for the caregivers.

TABB: We're not used to these sorts of mass casualty events, thankfully, here in Boston.

SMITH: Tabb trained and worked in Israel, where he says he got used to an announcement every month or two of mass casualties coming in from a bus bombing or some other terrorist act. In Boston, he says, the enormity of Monday's attack is taking its toll on staff.

TABB: We had a nurse who told us that she cried all the way into work because she knew that she needed to be strong when she was at work.

SMITH: The city of Boston, today, set up a new location for a counseling center and they're offering counseling over the phone. In some ways, the immediate aftermath of a traumatic experience can actually be easier to handle, according to Ellen Martin, a clinical social worker working there.

ELLEN MARTIN: A shock has almost a protective factor. We compartmentalize. We do what we have to do. We move through on adrenalin and autopilot. So now, yes, the shock is starting to wear off and the feelings of what they saw are starting to come at them.

SMITH: Martin says picking up and moving on is being further complicated by news of other incidents, like the letters that tested positive for ricin sent to the president and the U.S. senator and the Boston threat at the courthouse in Boston today.

MARTIN: In the direct aftermath of this, there has also been other really scary, potentially traumatic things happening. So you could, in fact, be at a heightened risk for more severe trauma, for furthering of that initial trauma.

SMITH: Security continues to be tight around the nation and the world, including at the London Marathon scheduled for this weekend.

JOHN ADAMS: You got some concerns about the security with marathons, it's difficult to police the whole 26-mile course.

SMITH: John Adams ran in Boston on Monday. He had finished and heard the blast from a nearby bar. He is also running in the London race.

ADAMS: There's not a lot I can do, really. It's just not let this affect me and continue on as I would do normally.

SMITH: That would be a lot easier to do if and when those responsible for the attack are in custody. Tovia Smith, NPR News, Boston.

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