Maimed victim looked into bomber's eyes

An emergency responder and volunteers, including Carlos Arredondo in the cowboy hat, push Jeff Bauman in a wheel chair after he was injured in an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday, April 15, 2013 in Boston. At least three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 170 were wounded when two bombs blew up seconds apart. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
An emergency responder and volunteers, including Carlos Arredondo in the cowboy hat, push Jeff Bauman in a wheel chair after he was injured in an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday, April 15, 2013 in Boston. At least three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 170 were wounded when two bombs blew up seconds apart. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Posted: April 20, 2013

BOSTON - Minutes before the bombs blew up in Boston, Jeff Bauman looked into the eyes of the man who tried to kill him, his brother says.

Just before 3 p.m. Monday, Bauman, who has deep family roots in Philadelphia and South Jersey, was waiting among the crowd for his girlfriend to cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon. A man wearing a cap, sunglasses, and a black jacket over a hooded sweatshirt looked at Bauman and dropped a bag at his feet, his brother, Chris Bauman, said in an interview Thursday.

Two and a half minutes later, the bag exploded, tearing Jeff's legs apart. A picture of him in a wheelchair, bloodied and ashen, was broadcast around the world as he was rushed to Boston Medical Center. He lost both legs below the knee.

"He woke up under so much drugs, asked for a paper and pen and wrote, 'bag, saw the guy, looked right at me,' " Chris Bauman said in an interview.

Those words may help crack the mystery of who perpetrated one of the highest-profile acts of terror in the United States since the 2001 assault on New York City and the Washington area, one that killed three people and wounded scores.

As a young child, Jeff Bauman, who lived with his mother in New England, would visit his divorced father and stepmother in East Falls. He also maintains close relationships with an aunt and uncle in Villanova and with other family members in South Jersey.

While still in intensive care this week, Jeff Bauman gave the FBI a description of the man he saw, his brother said. Bauman's information helped investigators narrow down whom to look for in hours of video of the attack, he said.

"I've had many times alone with him, and yes, he told me every single detail," Chris Bauman said.

Paul Bresson, a spokesman for the FBI in Washington, declined to comment on specific tips in the continuing investigation. Two FBI agents interviewed at the Boston office declined to confirm or deny the account.

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