Dead bombing suspect had wounds ‘head to toe’

BOSTON — A doctor involved in treating the Boston Marathon bombing suspect who died in a gunbattle with police says he had injuries head to toe and all limbs intact when he arrived at the hospital.

Dr. David Schoenfeld said 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev was unconscious and had so many penetrating wounds when he arrived at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center early Friday that it isn’t clear which ones killed him, and a medical examiner will have to determine the cause of death.

The second bombing suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was in serious condition at the same hospital after his capture Friday night. The FBI has not allowed hospital officials to say any more about his wounds or condition.

Schoenfeld lives in the Boston suburb of Watertown and heard explosions from the shootout between the two brothers and police early Friday. He called the hospital to alert staff they likely would be getting injured people, then rushed in to coordinate preparations.

“We had three or four trauma teams in different rooms set up and ready,” unsure of whether they would be treating a bombing suspect, injured police or bystanders, Schoenfeld said.

The older Tsarnaev’s clothes had been cut off by emergency responders at the scene, so if he had been wearing a vest with explosives, he wasn’t by the time he arrived at the hospital, the doctor said.

“From head to toe, every region of his body had injuries,” he said. “His legs and arms were intact — he wasn’t blown into a million pieces” — but he lost a pulse and was in cardiac arrest, meaning his heart and circulation had stopped, so CPR, or cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, was started.

Schoenfeld did not address police’s assertion that Tsarnaev was run over by a car driven by his brother as he fled the gunfire.

The doctor said he couldn’t discuss specific treatments in the case except to say what is usually done in such circumstances, including putting a needle in the chest to relieve pressure that can damage blood vessels, and cutting open the chest and using rib-spreaders to let doctors drain blood in the sac around the heart that can put pressure on the heart and keep it from beating.

“Once you’ve done all of those things … if they don’t respond there’s really nothing you can do. You’ve exhausted the playbook,” he said.

After 15 minutes of unsuccessful treatment, doctors pronounced him dead.

“We did everything we could” to try to save his life, Schoenfeld said.

How did the medical team react to treating the bombing suspect?

“There was some discussion in the emergency room about who it was. That discussion ended pretty quickly,” Schoenfeld said. “It really doesn’t matter who the person is. We’re going to treat them as best we can.”

More in Local News

Families begin relocating from public housing complex

Baker Heights is in need of repairs deemed to costly to make, and will be demolished and replaced.

Trail work by juvenile offenders builds resumes, confidence

Kayak Point trails were built out this year by groups from Denney Juvenile Justice Center.

Small fire breaks out at haunted house in Everett

Plastic that was supposed to be noncombustable was sitting next to a hot lightbulb.

Rules of the road for ‘extra-fast pedestrians’ — skateboarders

State traffic law defines them as pedestrians, and yet they are often in the middle of the street.

Distress beacon leads rescuers to Pacific Crest Trail hikers

Two men in their 20s had encountered snow and waited two nights for a helicopter rescue.

Volunteers clean up homeless camp infested with garbage

The organization’s founder used to live and do drugs in the same woods.

Everett mayoral campaign is one of the priciest ever

Many campaign donors are giving to both Cassie Franklin and Judy Tuohy.

City of Everett to give $400K to a nonprofit housing project

The city expects to enter a contract with HopeWorks, an affiliate of Housing Hope.

The way he walked led to police to Everett murder suspect

Then, witnesses said they had heard the man and an alleged accomplice talking about a robbery.

Most Read