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

Everett district relents on eminent domain moving expenses

Homeowners near Bothell still must be out by April to make way for a planned new high school.

Shock from WSU suicide ripples through Snohomish County

Roughly 1 in 10 seniors, sophomores and 8th-graders said they had attempted to take their own lives.

$1,000 reward for info on who killed an eagle near Snohomish

After being shot, the raptor was treated at the Sarvey Wildlife Center but died overnight.

Woman confronts man leaving house with stolen item

“He swung at her with a crowbar, missing her.”

Police seek suspect in Wells Fargo bank robbery

He was described as white, in his 30s, heavyset, with blonde hair and a maroon sweatshirt.

Possible bobcat sighting keeps Snohomish students inside

The creature was spotted on the campus of Valley View Middle School around noon.

Stabbing in Everett follows dispute between brothers-in-law

The victim, 54, was hospitalized. The suspect, 29, had not been apprehended Thursday.

New leaders coming to county, state political parties

Hillary Moralez of Bothell takes over as chair for the Snohomish County Democratic Party.

Legislature must comply with open records law, judge rules

News organizations, including The Herald, had sued to challenge lawmakers’ contention they are exempt.

Most Read