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Bombing victim Jeff Bauman helped FBI identify suspect

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

Just before 3 p.m. on Monday, Bauman 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 Jeff, 27, and dropped a bag at his feet, his brother, Chris Bauman, said in an interview.

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 yesterday in an interview.

While still in intensive care, Jeff Bauman gave the Federal Bureau of Investigation 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.

The FBI released video images of two men yesterday.

“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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