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Carjacking victim describes daring escape from Boston Marathon bombing suspects

Tuesday, April 23, 2013
A Mercedes SUV that was allegedly carjacked by the Boston Marathon bombings suspects is seen being towed away on Friday, April 19, 2013. Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in an undated file photo.

The man who was carjacked by the Boston Marathon bombing suspects is sharing details about his harrowing ordeal.

Even with the surviving suspect in custody, the carjacking victim says he is still afraid for his life and doesn't want to be identified on camera. The victim told ABC News affiliate station WCVB-TV he thought he was going to die before he managed to escape.

It was around 11 p.m. Thursday after reports of MIT Police Officer Sean Collier being killed that one of the suspects approached the carjacking victim, who was sitting in his car. He tapped on the passenger-side window, showing his gun, and allegedly said to the victim, "Did you hear about the Boston explosion? I did that."

He then forced the victim to go pick up the other suspect, and the men loaded the trunk with what authorities believe were the ammo and explosives later used in a shootout with police. The suspects held the man hostage and took over the wheel.

"They asked me where I'm from. I told them I'm Chinese," the man said, according to WCVB. "I was very scared. I asked them if they were going to hurt me. They said they won't hurt me. I was thinking, 'I think they will kill me later.'"

Soon, they needed gas, so the suspects pulled into a Shell station. The victim said he made his escape while one brother was pumping gas and the other was inside paying. He said he jumped out of the car and ran as fast as he could across the street.

"The guy outside the car tried to catch me using his hand," the victim said. "He tried to catch me, but I ran very fast."

The victim ran across the street to a Mobile gas station and pleaded with the cashier for help. The cashier, Tarek Ahmed, called police but said he was scared for his life too.

"I was sure somebody, if he follows this guy, I will die at the same time," Ahmed said.

The first suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed by police, but his younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was captured alive Friday after a massive manhunt that effectively shut down the city of Boston. He was discovered hiding in a boat covered by a tarp, which was parked on the property of a home in Watertown, Mass.

The condition of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been upgraded to fair. According to investigators, he said the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were major factors in their attack. The radical al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki preached against those wars. He was killed more than a year and a half ago, but the surviving brother said his message on the Internet was their motivation.

According to the FBI, Tsarnaev told agents the duo learned how to make a pressure cooker bomb in an online al Qaeda magazine called Inspire. ABC News reports the bombs were not tested in advance and were made from components that are commercially available, including a remote controlled toy car.

The suspects' mother is now speaking out, saying her boys were set up, and her family is being targeted because of their religion.

"What happened is a terrible thing. But I know that my kids have nothing to do with this. I know it. I am mother," said Zubeidat Tsarnaev in an interview overseas.

ABC News has learned that the suspects' mother has an outstanding warrant for shoplifting in the U.S. If she returns to the U.S. to claim her older son's body from the coroner or to visit her younger son in the hospital she could be arrested.

However, the FBI says Dzhokar Tsarnaev has admitted that he and his older brother found information online to carry out the attack. He said they had no ties to terrorist groups and were motivated by their religion.

A fireworks shop in New Hampshire said Tamerlan Tsarnaev bought two mortar kits with cash in February.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev's widow released a statement through her attorney saying it was a shock to hear reports that her late husband and brother-in-law were involved in the bombings.

As of Monday, 51 people remained hospitalized. At least 14 people lost all or part of a limb; three of them lost more than one.

On Tuesday, the MIT police officer was laid to rest, as was 8-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed in the blast.

Across Boston, the city is doing its best to move forward. Business owners and residents on Tuesday will be allowed to return to Boylston Street, the site of the bombings, to collect their belongings.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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explosion, boston marathon bombing, national news
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