Boston bombing carjacking victim shares story of his terrifying night

By now you are probably familiar with the fact Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev carjacked a Mercedes with the driver still in it on the night of Thursday April 18. The victim (and thankfully survivor) of the carjacking has had the courage to retell his story in a recent interview. 

The survivor (I refuse to call him a victim from here on out) spoke to reporters on the condition that he only be identified by his American nickname, Danny. Danny is a 26-year-old Chinese entrepreneur with a very bright future ahead of him. He came to the United Sates to get a master's degree which he completed at Northeastern University in 2012. He returned briefly to China to await a work visa, and has only been back in the U.S. for a couple of months.


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Danny had just pulled up to the curb of Brighton Avenue in his newly leased Mercedes when he heard the screeching brakes of an old sedan behind him. A man in dark clothes got out of the sedan and approached the passenger side window. The man spoke quickly and in an effort to hear him, Danny lowered the window. The man reached in, unlocked the door, let himself in, and showed Danny that he was carrying a silver handgun. 

The man advised Danny not to be "stupid" and asked him if he had followed the news about Monday's Boston Marathon bombings. Danny acknowledged that he had and the man said, "I did that...And I just killed a policeman in Cambridge." The man in Danny's car would later be identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Danny went on to spend a horrifying 90 minutes being held captive first by Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the car with him while being followed by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the sedan and then with both of the brothers in the car. His story is one of perseverance, quick thinking and survival. Danny says, "I don't feel like a hero. ... I was trying to save myself", but he's wrong. He is a hero. Because he seized a moment when the Mercedes had to be refueled to make his getaway, he was able to contact police with details that led to the eventual confrontation that left Tamerlan dead and his younger brother, Dzhokha, captured.

Danny's story is compelling to anyone, but if you have ever been held against your will at gunpoint it is almost overwhelming. Without giving you the details of my own experience (which in no way compares to what Danny went through, but certainly gives me empathy), I can tell you that my heart aches for this young man. For what he went through and what he will have to go through with every retelling of this story. He may not feel like a hero, and I believe him when he says, "I don't want to be a famous person talking on the TV." But there's no denying that I'm unbelievable impressed by this young man's ability to survive such a terrifying situation.

Image via Getty Images

Topics: boston marathon explosions  bomb  carjacking  inspiration