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Mystery of Flight 370

Aired April 9, 2014 - 21:00   ET


JAKE TAPPER, THE LEAD HOST: It was starting to look like the trail was running cold. But now, official sound more certain than ever, that they will locate Flight 370.

I'm Jake Tapper this is The Lead.

The World Lead, this could be it. The search area is shrinking after crews once again intercepted things that maybe from the black boxes. But actually getting to those black boxes, well that's another matter entirely.

The National Lead, high school tragedy, 21 people stabbed with kitchen knives, most of them students. The young suspect this morning walked into school like any other teenager but he walked into court later in the day as an adult for what he allegedly did inside.

Also in National News, his image is one of the indelible icons from the Boston terrorist attack and he was able to point the FBI to one of the man accused of setting off the bombs that took both of this legs. Now, almost a year later Jeff Bauman visits The Lead to share with us how his life has taken a joyous turn for the better.

Good evening everyone welcome to The Lead. I'm Jake Tapper. Welcome to a special prime time edition of The Lead.

Tonight, we begin with the World Lead. A much needed shine of urgency in the search for Flight 370. Before authorities thought they may have been on the right track, now they sound as if they are almost certain of it. Searchers using U.S. naval equipment were able to reacquire those pings in the ocean. Increase in confidence tonight that they'll find Flight 370 which disappeared 34 days ago.

Officials apparently know enough at this point to shrink down this search area. It's now about the size of West Virginia. Now, that may sound vast but it is nearly 7,000 square miles smaller than it was yesterday.

And as our aviation correspondent Rene Marsh reports, we may be closer than ever to learning what really happened to the 239 people onboard that plane.


RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After 67 hours of silence, two new pings. But today, crews are still hoping to find more. ANGUS HOUSTON, JOINT AGENCY COORDINATION CENTRE: Ocean Shield has been able to reacquire the signals on two more occasions.

MARSH: The illusive pings they've been desperately trying to recapture detected again Tuesday. Once per about five minutes and then again for seven, Ocean Shield has now picked up a total of four pings in five days all near the arc where the plane made its last satellite connection.

HOUSTON: I'm now optimistic that we will find the aircraft or what is left of the aircraft in a not to distant future.

MARSH: The detections boosted optimism but crews are still listening for even more to narrow the search area they're on borrowed time.

HOUSTON: The guaranteed shelf life of the ping batteries is 30 days. And it is now 33 days since the aircraft went missing.

MARSH: Investigators say they will only launch the underwater vehicle Bluefin after they are certain the batteries are dead. Equipped with side-scan sonar, the Bluefin can launch search missions that last nearly a day but it's slow. It would six times longer to cover the same area as the towed ping or locator. Once found, it could take months to recover the boxes. The water in this area can be miles deep. Recreational scuba divers only go down about a 130 feet.

The Empire State Building submerged would only go down 100 feet. Light from the surface stops at 3,000 feet. The Grand Canyon over 5,000 feet deep. And that's still wouldn't even come close to reaching the ocean floor. The Titanic was discovered more than 12,000 feet down. The block boxes are believed to be even further than that, more than 14,000 feet underwater.

Rene Marsh, CNN Washington.


TAPPER: Our thanks to Rene Marsh. The search zone far off of Australia's coast is 12 hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone. Long pass the dawn of another day in the search for Flight 370. As many as 14 airplanes and 13 ships are taking part in what is now a 24/7 effort.

Let's go now to our own Michael Holmes, he's standing by live in Perth, Australia and Michael, good to see you.

Shrinking that search area really seems like a very positive sign.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, it does. Jake, the search area down from 7,200 or so square miles down to 6,000 or so, now it's interesting when you look at that as you say that is a massive, massive area -- sorry I was saying square kilometers there. It's actually a lot less in miles, 29,000 square miles down to 22,000 square miles.

But when you look at the pings, these four pings, what they're tying to do if you think about the cell phone towers trying to find a cellphone, you triangulate between, and that's why they want to get more of these pings and they're out there dragging that ping locator as we speak to try to do that.

So they can narrow that search area down even more. And as Rene pointed out there in her piece that's really just the beginning. They may put down that submersibles, it can take a full day to get the data back from that by the time it's gone down enough. And then even if it does find some wreckage down there then you've got to get the other submersible vehicles in there that are equipped to do any kind of recovery.

Now that could be weeks and weeks away. But you heard there the man who's heading this search, Chief Air Marshal Angus Houston. That is a man that has not given the (inaudible). Quite the opposite, he plays things down. When he says, he's optimistic they're going to find this wreckage that really says a lot. Jake.

TAPPER: Michael Holmes in Perth, Australia, thank you so much.

Let's bring in our panel CNN Analyst David Soucie, author of the book "Why Planes Crash", Captain Tim Taylor, a Sea Operations and Submersible Expert and Captain Van Gurley, a former Navy Oceanographer and Senior Manager of Metron Scientific Solutions.

Van, let me start with you. If this is isn't the plane's black box what else it could it possibly be?

VAN GURLEY, FORMER NAVY OCEANOGRAPHER: Not much else. Based on the signals even on Saturday, the types of analysis, how regular they were, it's very -- we're certain this is not something that occurs in nature. This has to be a man-made signal from a pinger, you know, like we've been talking about.

There is a very slight change and I want to say very, very slight change this could be a pinger deployed with something else if some scientific gear uses stuff like this. But I would put that at infinitesimal odds based on the types of signals that were recorded now in four different occasions. I'm very confident that this is the pingers from the black box of Malaysian Air 370.

TAPPER: And one would think if there were such a scientific device out there that scientist would have told the authorities.

GURLEY: Absolutely. Yeah. Again, this is not a signal that occurs in nature. This is man-made and everything says this Malaysian Air 370.

TAPPER: David, time is of course of the essence because of the batteries. How much longer do you think they will keep trying to recreate these pings?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Well, we just head from Commander Marks. We spoke with him and he had said that they would go probably two days without receiving a ping before they would terminate that and start to put in the Bluefin. So we're looking about two days after they stop receiving ping. So if we go for one day, it might go a day without a ping, then the next day they'll get a ping. So until that goes with two straight days without any pings they'll keep that TPL in the water.

TAPPER: And Tim, what's the next?

TIM TAYLOR, SEA OPERATIONS AND SUBMERSIBLE EXPERT: Well, as David said they're going to keep the TPL in the water as long as they can. They cannot do both operations at once. Once they reel that TPL in and they dedicate the ship to running AUV operations. The ship has to kind of hover over the AUV while it descends and acquires bottom lock and actually -- it access it's own -- as the AUV's GPS for lack of a better analogy. It's a little more complicated than that. But it needs to be there because it's an hour or plus journey to the bottom. And without the boat it looses its way so.

TAPPER: Van, assuming that the plane is in this location, if authorities had been looking in this area a month ago, would they have likely found debris?

GURLEY: I think yes. I don't of any other modern aviation accident at sea like this that we didn't find a debris field. Normally you find a debris field and that lead you to the pingers. This is the only case in and of where we think we found the pingers or using that to try to find the surface debris field. But it's been over a month and there's been some storms over that area. I think whatever was it there is now long sense dispersed and it's going to be hard to find. Likely, you know, somebody will find something on a beach one day and that will be when we start finding pieces of whatever was the surface debris field.

TAPPER: And of course 30 days or so ago, authorities were looking in the South China Sea a completely body of water.

David, is it possible that the plane is buried in so much silt after a month or, you know, more than a month underwater and if that's possible would that post problems for detected it?

SOUCIE: Actually what I've heard so far is that it wouldn't because of the fact that the -- if it's in the silt area it's probably more flat areas so that the sonar that's coming back isn't going to give false indications of rocks and things like that. It would be man-made thing in the water would stand out more. And plus, the sonar does reach through thin layers of silt as well. So I don't think it going to cause a great deal of problems honestly.

TAPPER: David, Tim, Van stick around we're going to have a lot more do discuss on this breaking news story.

When we come back, using every shred of data to narrow down the search area. How investigators are analyzing information as they never have before to pinpoint this exact location of the missing Flight Malaysia Air 370.

Plus he's being described a shy quite teenager, so what on earth drove this sophomore who allegedly bring two knives to school and stabbed nearly two dozen students seemingly at random.

New information on the suspect and we'll hear from his father coming up ahead.


TAPPER: Welcome back to the special prime time edition of The Lead. I'm Jake Tapper.

More now on the significant new developments in the hunt for Flight 370, what was once a sprawling search area has now been hacked down dramatically thanks to two fresh sets of pings echoing from deep beneath the Indian Ocean.

I want to bring in CNN's Tom Foreman. Tom, every peace of data gets the searchers closer. Just how close could they be right now to zeroing in on the source of these pings?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORESSPONDENT: Well, Jake, if we believe what they are seeing right now, they could be getting within a few miles, now depending on how much you want to say it a few but it's a lot less in that three million they were talking about.

This is how they've done it. If you go flying in along the satellite arc up here and you follow the actual course that the Ocean Shield was traveling when it picked up these pings, this is where they occur. This is what that ship did at that time. Now, bear in mind, that satellite track that we've been talking about so much goes right along through here. This looks kind of like a mess, like this is wrote around randomly but they didn't, Jake.

What they were doing essentially was beginning to put together a grid on the ocean. This is how they follow these pings. They go back and forth one way then they take a perpendicular path and they look for commonalities that they get the strongest pings in one area. Once they get that on these converging paths, they can essentially cut that area down.

So, Jake, when you say how small is it now, well this is small as they can make it based on those four pings. Maybe around 560 square miles right now, but that's really much, much smaller than we've been dealing with in almost every report up until now. Jake.

TAPPER: And Tom, the undersea topography of certain areas of the world we know a lot about. Mostly we know very little about it. What do we know about the ocean floor beneath the area that you're highlighting?

FOREMAN: Yeah, especially the very deep open -- deep ocean, Jake, is often been said that more people had been to space than had been there and that's quite true.

If you go all the way down to the very deep ocean and talk about where this pinger is, what we're talking about is an area where at the deepest end of this long slope that they're dealing with in this area it's more than three miles deep. Over here, would be about one and a half miles. This is generally believed to be around two and a half mile deep zone. That's plenty deep for all of the equipment we have out there that might reach it. You go much below that, you're relying almost entirely on robots.

And placement along this ridge, Jake, makes a big, big difference. If they can keep it here, that's helpful. If they happen to find things more up slope like this, that's very good news. If they find more of the debris down slope with every descent it just gets harder and harder to ultimately salvage this stuff even if you can locate it. Jake.

TAPPER: Tom Foreman thanks.

Let's bring in our -- let's bring back our expert panel. Tim, let me start with you on the surface, this smaller search area the fact that they're -- went in and went down and that looks helpful but tell us about the challenges under the surface.

TAYLOR: Well, I mean as Tom said, it kind of look -- you just grid it out and look for it. But I'm sure that they're taking a lot of this data and then doing a lot of regression analysis using the Doppler effect, you know, when the towed pinger gets louder and softer and trying to zeroing in on it that way.

So there's a lot of math going on behind the scenes. But once they do narrow down that search pattern to something that's sizable. I heard the number was, what, 24,000 square miles or 23,000 square miles with the Bluefin-21, that would take 600 days. So it's got to get smaller than that.

But that launch, once they get it down to a bite size, you know, segment they can actually study in like several months. They'll launch the Bluefin AUV and it'll go down to the bottom and it'll shoot sound waves out the side of it and just basically take pictures a thousand yards on either side, 1,500 yards on either side of the boat or meters. And then it'll paint a picture of the bottom with a sound. And anything that is a plane debris will show up very bright and it'll be different than the local bottom structure in geology that's down there. And they'll be able to ID that.

TAPPER: Van, we're talking about signals potentially coming from three miles below the surface of the ocean. What can happen to these signals as they travel through water that deep?

GURLEY: Well, the way sound moves through ocean water is very different than we're used to up here in the air and on the land.

The different temperature layers and (inaudible) layers and pressure layers of the ocean bend the sound waves into very complex patterns. So the fact that they're picking up signals and losing it and picking up somewhere else doesn't surprise me. That's exactly what we expect with the way the sound really moves in a very complex pattern anywhere in the ocean especially in the ocean bottom.

What is a little surprising though is the range of which we're getting these attachments. Normally, the TPO that they only works out to a couple of miles, the fact that we're getting detections over 17 miles is a little surprising. We actually rerun some numbers this morning to make sure we could understand it because I unfortunately was on a show last night and said, "No. They got to be in a much smaller area and Mother Nature maybe humble yet again."

TAPPER: And David, you heard Tim say that if they threw the underwater drone at it right now, it could take up to 600 days to do that. Do you think it makes sense to continue to wait to put the underwater drone, the Bluefin-21 in the water?

SOUCIE: You know, I've run calculations on it from the point one to point four and that's 24.25 kilometers and if you do the math on that, if you figure that all of those pings were within the dome or the region of where that would be and you carry the math out, it comes out to about 900 square meters which is only about 560 square miles only about which is still a great deal but it's far less than what they've been dealing with before.

So if they don't find any pings out north which they -- I talked with Commander Marks earlier and he said that they'd probably start looking up north now to see if there's any pings above the two-hour stretch that they got early on. Then if there's no pings up there, we're talking about a 24-hour mile line of sight between the two of them. So the search just within that region would only be about 560 to 580 square miles.

TAPPER: All right. We have a lot more to come on this search. Stay right there. We'll come back to you gentlemen in a little bit.

At least one official thinks the end is near in the search for missing Flight 370, but haven't we heard that before? Why some families are skeptical that any lead will pan out. That's coming up next.

Plus, an unexpected moment in Houston today after President Obama met with families of the most recent Fort Hood shooting. The story behind this picture you're seeing right now coming up.


TAPPER: Welcome to the special prime time edition of The Lead. I'm Jake Tapper.

Continuing our World Lead, emotions had been swinging like a pendulum for those involved with the search for Flight 370. Just when it seems as if they're close to finding out what happened to their loved ones, hopes are dashed by changing satellite data or the cruel reality that what looked like plane debris was little more than ocean trash. After more than a month of frustration and heartache, is this finally the breakthrough that we've all been waiting for?


HOUSTON: What we're picking up is a great lead.

TAPPER: Two fresh signals picked up by Australia's Ocean Shield ship have brought fresh hope for answers and perhaps closure to a search nearly exhausted by false promise.

HOUSTON: We will find the aircraft or what is left of the aircraft in the not too distant future.

TAPPER: That future can't come soon enough for families of those onboard the missing Malaysian flight who have heard this phrasing before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is another new lead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't know what the other possibilities out. This is the most positive lead.

TAPPER: March 8th.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can confirm that there was a nice lead but no debris.

TAPPER: Recalled within hours of the flight's disappearance and oils leak was spotted between Malaysia and Vietnam. That turned out to be unrelated.

March 12th, China released these satellite images of large objects floating in the South China Sea, but China later said those images were released in air and at least according to the latest information that turned out to be the wrong body of water.

March 13th.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The possibility is the plane flew four, five hours to the west out over the Indian Ocean.

TAPPER: U.S. officials told CNN that the latest information suggested that Flight 370 continued on for hours after its final transmission.

Some families clung to this as evidence that their loved ones may have landed safely. That new information spawned in every evolving map of possibilities of flight paths and search areas.

As hope of survival turned to desperation for answers, new satellite images then emerged.

March 20th and 23rd, Australia and France released satellite images showing large objects, some measuring more than 70 feet floating in the South Indian Ocean.

March 24th, the Malaysian Prime Minister made this solemn announcement.

NAJIB RAZAK, MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER: Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.

TAPPER: International search teams then descended upon Western Australia to continue a more specific search.

In the days that followed, hundreds of objects, a potential debris field of up to 300 different items were spotted on satellite, but once again it was all for not.

HOUSTON: Unfortunately, all the leads we've got from the satellites turned out to be other things other than wreckage.

TAPPER: Now, in the absence of debris, the hope lies with sound, pings, similar to this. Generally do no occur in nature. So search crews now logging four separate encounters with that noise is there I say the best lead yet.


TAPPER: A Former Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Transportation says the optimism among investigators this time, is it justified? Saying the search is now just a matter of time and work.

Let's bring back our aviation panel. Very quickly gentlemen, what do you all think? Could this be another dead end or is this for real?

Van, let's start with you.

GURLEY: They're onto it. I mean, this is -- the evidence is still overwhelming. They were in the right area. The Australians have to be certain in respect. We don't know anything for certain until we see it but the evidence leads us here and I think this is a matter of weeks to months to finally get the resolution that families have been waiting for.

TAPPER: Tim, what do you think?

TAYLOR: I agree with Van. It's a matter of time even if it stretches in the next season because of the weather to get the black boxes. Yeah, I feel they're on the custom of acquiring in the bottom and finding it. They know more than they're telling us.

TAPPER: And David.

SOUCIE: Let's make it three for three. I'm with Chief Air Marshal Angus Houston with his confidence in it as well.

TAPPER: All right. Tim Taylor, David Soucie, Van Gurley thank you all so much. We really appreciate your expertise.

Coming up on The Lead, a 16-year old charged as an adult after he allegedly stabbed 20 students at his high school. What his father is now saying about the attack coming up next.

Also, he still can't look at this picture nearly a year after the Boston marathon bombings almost took his life. Now, survivor Jeff Bauman is opening up about his difficult recovery and he's got some really good news to share with us too.


TAPPER: Welcome back to the special prime time edition of The Lead. I'm Jake Tapper. Our national lead now, it was an act -- a seemingly random as it was horrifying, police say a sophomore high school just east of Pittsburgh this morning used two kitchen knifes to carry out a rampage against his classmates. That student has been identified as 16-year old Alex Hribal.

Hribal was treated for injuries to his hands before being transferred to a youth services center where he is being held currently without bail. 20 students and one adult were stabbed or slashed in the attack. 10 are still hospitalized, four remaining critical condition.

But as much of a shock is all of this was to those in the quiet community of Murrysville, what is perhaps not so shocking is how in moments of sheer terror and chaos, students and staff members stepped up, pulling off acts of heroism that may have saved lives, including this man, assistant principal Sam King who tackled the knife wielding student.

Tonight, we've learned the suspect is being charged as an adult. What remains unclear is the motive for the mayhem. A short time ago, the suspect father made very short remarks to the media.




TAPPER: CNN correspondent Pamela Brown joins us live from Murrysville with the very latest. Pamela, have police released any new information on the suspect?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, by all accounts, the suspect, 16 year-old Alex Hribal was a quiet student who kept to himself and had no prior run ends with the law. According to officials, he is now charged as an adult with four counts of criminal intent to commit a homicide and 21 counts of aggravated assault.

Today, the district attorney spoke in court and said that Hribal allegedly walk into school this morning and started stubbing people indiscriminately.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This teenage boy behind the terrifying rampage today, a five-minute alleged free of stubbing in chaos at his Pennsylvania high school.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was walking over towards the exit and there was blood all over the floor. I thought maybe someone had nosebleed or something. And someone yelled "she got stubbed."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Officials say 16-year old Alex Hribal used two 8-inch kitchen knife.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a nice young man. He's never been in trouble. He's not a loner. He works well with other kids at school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is no immediate word on the motive. FBI agents were seen at Hribal's home following the attack at the Pittsburgh area high school.

SCOTT SMITH, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: The suspect's computer is being confiscated. It is not been forensically examined yet. As far as I'm told, the subject did not have a cellphone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The sophomore was arraigned this evening, charged as an adult, accused of four counts of criminal attempt to commit homicide, 21 counts of aggravated assault, and one count of possession of a weapon on school property. The carnage begun shortly before the start of classes Wednesday, when Hribal begin stubbing students in a crowded hallway, then went from classroom to classroom.

Investigator said a fire alarm was pulled during the attack and that likely helped get more people out of the school.

CHIEF THOMAS SEEFELD, MURRYSVILLE POLICE: I can tell you want we saw when we got there was a hallway that was pretty much in chaos as you can imagine. A lot of evidence of blood on the floors in the hallway. We had students running about and trying to gather the area.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Investigator say minutes after the attack started, an assistant principal tackled the teen. And then the school resource officer was able to handcuff the suspect.

GOV. TOM CORBETT, (R) PENNSYLVANIA: There are a number of heroes, students who stayed with their friends and did not leave their friends. Cafeteria workers who automatically just reactively began caring for students who were bleeding, teachers and teacher's aids who pulled students out of the hallways into rooms to begin applying first aid and protecting those children. And then obviously, the school resource officer ...


BROWN: So Jake, 21 wounded at last count, 20 classmates, one adult, four remain in critical condition tonight. And also, the district attorney talked about one of the victims saying that he was eviscerated, he is one of the ones in critical condition that went into surgery right after the stubbing spree. And the district attorney is saying that it's unclear if he's going to make it.

But Jake it is -- what is clear is that this could have been much worse if it weren't for those quick thinking heroes who jumped into action here this morning.

TAPPER: Our thanks to Pamela Brown. Some of the students involved in the attack suffered life threatening injuries. Thankfully, we're now told doctors expect all of them to pull through. Let's get an update now from Dr. Mark Rubino. He's the chief medical officer at Forbes Hospital. He joins us now by phone. Dr. Rubino thanks for joining us.

I understand that seven patients were transferred to your hospital and all seven of them are still there, is that correct?

MARK RUBINO, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, FORBES HOSPITAL: That is correct though three of the students remain in the ICU. These are three of the students that had relatively extensive surgery this morning. And four of the students are on the floor, recovering from their stab wounds.

TAPPER: And what is the latest on the conditions of those who were most gravely wounded?

RUBINO: The three that are in the ICU, two of them remain in critical condition, they've stabilized, but they are still critical. And one in the ICU, I have to say is stabilized and we're encouraged he's going to maintain that status.

TAPPER: How serious were these injuries?

RUBINO: They were serious. The injuries to the three students that remain in the ICU were single puncture wounds that they were relatively extensive to the abdominal organs.

TAPPER: We're told that a lot of students and people who worked at the school including cafeteria employees helped out some of the victims, applying pressure to them, did you see evidence of that? Is that true? Did that make a difference?

RUBINO: Well, I think what happens on the scene truly does make a difference. The -- not only the friends and the workers that were there, but then the paramedics, the EMS that responded, we have a very strong paramedic crew that were there on the scene and triage these students appropriately. And then when they were transferred to Forbes Hospital, the trauma team was ready and waiting and then immediately started to treat the wounds.

TAPPER: And this is tiny (ph) community, your kids, I believe, went to this high school, that's must have been not just a job today, but a personal mission.

RUBINO: Well, and that would be all members of the team, you know, we kind of live in a community that we serve and I think that, you know, even though the emotions could come out at that time, they really didn't -- people acted professionally, they did the jobs that they needed to do. And I was proud to see it happen.

TAPPER: Dr. Mark Rubino of Forbes Hospital, we really appreciate your time, thank you so much.

Joining us now is Westmoreland County Emergency Management spokesman Dan Stevens. Mr. Stevens, thanks for joining us. The suspect is in police custody. He is being questioned, what can you tell us? Are there any new details that you can tell us about the suspect?

DAN STEVENS, WESTMORELAND COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SPOKESMAN: And the suspect was taken into custody very early into the incident, according to -- (inaudible) once police were aware that only lasted about three to five minutes. He was taken down in the hallway not far from where he started his rage for a luck of better word. And he was at that point taken into custody and they've removed from the scene. The students were able be treated and transported from the location. TAPPER: Are there indications of this young man had any emotional or psychological problems before, anything that would have necessarily be relevant to this with this incidence?

STEVENS: Yeah. I'm not really familiar with any of his history. And talking to the law enforcement, they really have not had any dealings with this individual in the past. He had a very minor Facebook presence and he really didn't have a whole lot of Twitter experience because from what we're understanding, he didn't even have a cellphone.

TAPPER: Have authorities gotten the chance to speak to many of the victims?

STEVENS: Between the Pennsylvania state police, the FBI, Murrysville police in Westmoreland County detectives, they have interviewed quite a few of the students that were in and around the school, when this occurred. But it's going to be a very long drawn up process because the school does have about 1200 students and it's quite take some time to get through everyone to make sure they have a good picture of exactly what happened this morning.

TAPPER: Dan Stevens, Westmoreland County Public Safety Spokesman, thank you so much for your time sir.

STEVENS: Thank you for your time and your concern. I appreciate it.

TAPPER: Also in national news this evening, a touching moment on the tarmac in Houston, Texas after an emotional day for the president and first lady at Fort Hood. Former President George W. Bush greeted and embraced the Obamas as they walked off Air Force One as they arrive for a fundraiser later in the evening.

When asked why President Bush decided to popping on the Obamas, he said, "When the president comes to your home town, you show up and welcome him."

Tomorrow, President Obama will see other members of the president's club Bush 43, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, all will be attending a civil rights summit at the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library in Austin.

When we come back, he nearly died in the Boston marathon bombing after coming face to face with his attacker. So what was it like to lock eyes with Tamerlan Tsarnaev moments before the bombs exploded? Survivor Jeff Bauman will visit The Lead and tell me coming up next.


TAPPER: Welcome back to the special prime time edition of The Lead. I'm Jake Tapper. Another national news, he lived through hell but she says leaving him never crossed her mind.

A year ago, Jeff Bauman was waiting for his girlfriend Erin to cross the finish line at the Boston marathon when two bombs went off, one of them taking both his legs. Rushed from the scene, he's photo became synonymous with the shocking tragedy of that day. But Jeff Bauman, he got back up. The woman he was waiting for is now his fiance and he has written about their journey in a new memoir titled "Stronger."

And it's my honor to welcome Jeff Bauman to The Lead. Thanks so much for being here Jeff. I appreciate it.


TAPPER: Well, it's a really, really good book. And it has a really chilling start.

"I know exactly when my life changed when I looked into the face of Tamerlan Tsarnaev." Then you go on to say "It was 2:48 p.m. on April 15th 2013, one minute before the most high-profile terrorist event on United States soil since September 11th and he was standing right beside me."

A gripping beginning for the book and a horrifying moment. Tell us about it.

BAUMAN: I was at the finish line with couple of my friends, Erin's -- my fiance's roommates and, you know, we're on a crowd of people watching the race and, you know, then like a guy was making his way to the crowd kind of rudely and he bumps in to me and, you know, he kind -- I looked at him and he just looked truly out of like, you know, like he then belong there. He was alone and he was carrying a bag and he was just, you know, everyone there was with somebody and everyone there was laughing and he was this very serious and kind of struck me as odd.

So, you know, I didn't really pay attention -- much more attention to him and then, you know, I looked down and he was gone and his -- I saw a bag there, you know, it's -- I don't really think too much into it and then next that I know I was on the ground. I heard a pop and soft flash.

TAPPER: I know you don't like looking at that iconic photograph.


TAPPER: You being whisk away, your legs are gone, Carlos is the man in a cowboy hat who's helping you, two other individuals are helping you. You say when you see that picture makes you uncomfortable although you like to look at the people helping you. Tell us about your relationship with Carlos. He's saving you mean something special to him as somebody who has lost people in his life. Tell us about that.

BAUMAN: Yeah. He lost his -- both his sons went in the war at Iraq and then went to suicide later. But he's a great person. We went to Costa Rica together with his wife Mel (ph) and my fiance Erin and my cousin, my brother, and I got -- we got to meet his whole family and just see his country and where he's from and it was just amazing.

TAPPER: One of the great things about this book, "Stronger" is that it really is extremely candid. And one of the things you are so candid about is how difficult it has been this path to recovery. You had set a goal to be walking by the time of this year's marathon coming up on April 21st. How far along are you in that process and what's been the most difficult part of it?

BAUMAN: I'm pretty close. I'm pretty close to ditch. I walk with crutches right now and, you know, right there, that's in the early -- early shot, I mean, I'm just learning how to stand and, you know, the most difficult part is maintain -- getting your strength up and, you know, my legs are still really, really sensitive. My nerves are always, you know, shooting off and it's just, you know, it's very different. It's coming along. I can't wait to see where I am, you know, a year from now or six months from now. I think it's -- I'm going to be doing a lot better.

TAPPER: You have not only the entire city of Boston, but the whole country and then people throughout the world rooting for you of course. I do want to ask about the perpetrators of this event who's name are, I'm reluctant to even say, but obviously, Tamerlan Tsarnaev is dead, his brother now waiving trial. You do not express a tremendous amount of anger towards Jahar. In fact, you write in the book that you almost feel a little bad for him. Why?

BAUMAN: You know, his -- in a tiny space that he's confined and his freedom is gone and he, I mean, he has no life left and he wasted it. He wasted a good life. He wasted it. And I feel bad for him for wasting that life. I'm just happy that, I mean, that he's not a free person anymore and that he's locked up so he can't hurt anybody else.

TAPPER: Jeff, we want you to speak around because your fiance who is the other hero of this book is going to be joining us to talk about your future together.


TAPPER: We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.


TAPPER: We're back with Boston marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman who has a really riveting new book. It's called "Stronger." And we're now pleased to announced that his fiance Erin Hurley has joined us. Welcome Erin. You are the second hero in this book. And if you are half the saint that Jeff writes you are, he is indeed a lucky man. You also have some news. We can't see it in the strat (ph) right now but you have a baby on the way.


TAPPER: Congratulations so much. I know you don't know the gender. It's going to be a surprise.

HURLEY: Thank you.

TAPPER: We're all very excited. You were an incredible source of strength to him and he really details that in this book about how we could not have gone through the rehabilitation and made it to where he is today without you. It's a really -- I really admire what you did and how selfless you were.

One of the things I have to say, and I said this about the descriptions of the rehab, this book is so candid and so raw. And I mean it in the best possible way. And Jeff, I mean, when you write about it, you're very open about how difficult rehab was, you're -- how you miss your legs, you write about struggles with other members of your family have, your relationship with Erin, you two had broken up, you only recently had gotten back together shortly before the marathon and you write about how difficult it was.

There's this very vivid scene where you both have a little of a drink and this is just after the bombing and you get in a fight in car, you bang the radio, you break the radio, and I just -- I feel like that is such a service to show people how difficult this is. How are you doing now? You seem great. Has this year brought you to an incredible strength?

HURLEY: I think that we had to learn a lot about each other in a very short period of time which, you know, we have the silver lining to it because now, you know, we both know we're going to be there for each other no matter what. But it definitely was a hard year for the both of us to infer, you know, individually and also in our relationship.

He did say to me when he's in the hospital, "You don't have to do this. If you want to be here for me, that's great, but you don't have to stay with me." And, you know, I think that not being there was never really an option for me and I really thought about, you know, living our -- I just didn't even cross my mind. I just wanted to be there for him as much as I could.

TAPPER: It's very clear in the book that Jeff knows how lucky he is to have you.

HURLEY: Yeah. And I'm lucky to have him too.

TAPPER: That's very quick. So, we're coming up on this year's marathon, what do you plan to do on that day? Will you go? Erin, will you run?

HURLEY: No, I'm not going to run because I'm ...

TAPPER: Of course like you're pregnant. That's a stupid question.

HURLEY: But, I was going to -- I was planning on running.

TAPPER: ... (inaudible) will you walk? You're planning on running? You were going to walk the marathon -- run the marathon until you find out that you are pregnant?

HURLEY: Yes. Yeah. So, I'll probably do it next year. But, as far as commemorating, you know, the anniversary, we're going to participate the -- likely the one fund (ph) and the BAA have both setup a lot of activities for the survivors in their families and their friends for us to, you know, both remember those that we lost and to celebrate the fact that were all still here and doing well. So, we plan on attending many of those events, so. We're excited about that.

BAUMAN: (Inaudible) a team that's running. It's the team of Tim Billman (ph) and it's a (inaudible) -- it's like seven of my co- workers from Costco where I worked and I just want to see them when they finish and see how they look and I don't know, just hangout with them after that. I want to see -- I want to be there.

TAPPER: Well, your spirit is incredible and I have to say I don't have any right to feel proud of you but I'm so proud of you.

BAUMAN: Oh, thanks.

TAPPER: I'm so proud of both of you. You really are ...

HURLEY: Thank you.

TAPPER: ... an inspiration and I wish you all the best. Congratulations on the baby.


TAPPER: Secondarily, congratulations on the book and we're still working for you.

BAUMAN: Thank you for ...

HURLEY: Thank you so much.

BAUMAN: Yeah. Thank you for your advice still (ph) in fatherhood.

TAPPER: That was given on the commercial break. Well, we ...


TAPPER: ... pretty share that.

BAUMAN: Thank you.

HURLEY: Thank you.

TAPPER: Thanks Jeff and Erin.


TAPPER: That's it for The Lead. I'm Jake Tapper. We'll see you tomorrow at 4 p.m. Eastern and then again at 9 p.m. Eastern. CNN Special Report starts right now.