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April 26th, 2013
04:48 PM ET

Bombing victim who played key role in manhunt speaks

He was maimed for life in Boston, but he still helped put authorities hot on the trail of the suspects.

The haunting image of Jeff Bauman, ashen, horribly injured, and being wheeled to an ambulance by a man in a cowboy hat - Carlos Arredondo - and other first responders, has become one of the iconic images of the April 15th terrorist attacks.

The 27-year-old recently shared what was going through his mind at that moment with local radio station WEEI.

"Are you thinking at that point, you're gonna make it?" asked WEEI's Gerry Callahan.

"Not really. Actually when Carlos picked me up and threw me into the wheelchair then, then I was like alright, maybe I am going to make it, but before that, no way," said Bauman. "I thought I was done."

"Did you see what had happened to you? Were you aware of what had happened?" asked WEEI's John Dennis.

"Yea. I kind of just, I don't know. I just toughed it up at that point you know," said Bauman. "I mean I was definitely hurting, but I, you know, I was sad. That someone would actually do that," said Bauman.

Bauman's legs were shredded, but his memory remained pristine, and he was one of the first ones to describe Tamerlan Tsarnaev to law enforcement. He remembered being at the marathon, with his girlfriend's roommates, having a great time. Everyone around him was having a great time, too, he said, except for one person.

"It was just that one guy, you know, he didn't look like he was having a good time," said Bauman. "He was right next to me, you know, at that point, and he had a bag, and he had his glasses, he had like, a kind of like, a leather-like sweatshirt type of deal. And you know, it's warm out."

"He was just an odd guy, he just struck me odd, and that's what I remember of him. And then next thing you know, I hear fire works, and I'm on the ground," said Bauman.

Bauman was conscious when he was being transported from the blast site to the hospital.

"When I was in the hospital, I was giving descriptions of the guy, the first guy. The guy with the hat, and the aviators, and the five o'clock shadow," said Bauman.

When Bauman heard that Tamerlan had been killed, he said, "Well what I thought was, 'He's dead and I'm still here.'"

Bauman said he is angry, but that the attack is in the past.

"I had a lot to live for before and I have a lot to live for now."

Bauman is recovering, going to occupational and physical training. He says he cannot hear very well, but is looking forward to gaining strength.

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