The bombing that took place during the Boston Marathon has left many people confused, frightened and saddened. Now that the sirens have died down, details about the aftermath of the bombings are starting to solidify.
We now know that one of the three people killed was Martin Richard, an 8-year-old boy from Dorchester who died while cheering for his father, according to The Boston Globe. His mother and sister were also injured in the attack.
At least 176 people were injured in the bombings, with at least 17 of them in critical condition. Eight are children, according to CNN.com.
The New York Times' Tim Rohan points out that the bombings seemed to be timed for when the highest concentration of runners would be passing the finish line. Last year, 42 percent of all Boston Marathon runners finished within the 30-minute window before and after the time the bombs went off on Monday, which is also when many spectators come to cheer their friends and family on.
Several Texomans were there when the devices blew up. Friends and family right here in Texoma waited anxiously to hear from loved ones after they heard about the deadly blasts.
Durant runner, Larry Qualls saw the explosion firsthand.
"Just scared, I heard some bombs going off then I talked to people that was there on that street and they said they thought it was fireworks at first. But then she said she felt the ground shake," he said. "Immediately, the track just filled with people. There were people going every direction and police cars and ambulances. It was really chaotic."
Qualls said he was less than half a mile from the finish and said if it wasn't for a calf injury, he could have been at the site of the blast maybe even killed.
Most of the injuries were to people's legs. Spectators rather than runners suffered the majority of the injuries, reports The Huffington Post. Alasdair Conn, chief of emergency services at Massachusetts General, told the AP:
“This is something I've never seen in my 25 years here ... this amount of carnage in the civilian population. This is what we expect from war. [AP]”
It remains unclear whether the shrapnel found in victims was intentional (e.g. pellets or nails placed in a bomb) or created by the force of the explosions.
Law enforcement officials don't have any official suspects and President Obama specifically urged people not to speculate on who's behind the attack.
"We still don't know who did this or why," Obama said Monday night. "People should not jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. But make no mistake. We will get to the bottom of this. We will find out who did this. We will find out why they did this. Any individual or responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice."
Of course, plenty of people are speeding by the president's advice and jumping to conclusions, the truth behind that can bee seen on any of the many social media sights, like facebook.
The top four groups being speculated are:
#1: Islamist jihadists: This one was pretty inevitable since the New York Post report that a 20-year-old Saudi national had been picked up as a "person of interest." Police quickly threw dealt with the situation and the man was not charged. Another anonymous law enforcement official "notes that the manner of the attack suggests it may have been Al Qaeda inspired — if not Al Qaeda directed," says Christopher Dickey at The Daily Beast. That's because the construction of the bombs — gunpowder with ball-bearings and other shrapnel to maximize the damage — is similar to a bomb recipe shared by Al Qaeda "on its internet manuals for terrorist attacks."
2. Right-wing militia types: This theory, too, was inevitable. And most proponents point to the date — Patriots' Day — as a clue. Residents of Massachusetts and Maine celebrate Patriots' Day by taking the day off of work and reenacting the first battles of the American Revolution. But in recent years, Second Amendment activists and antigovernment modern-day militia members have tried to co-opt the holiday, which also roughly marks the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. One reporter was quoted as saying “It's also "wise in these cases to remember that the 1995 bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City and the bombing at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 were carried out by Americans who espoused extreme right-wing causes.”
There's also the fact that the Boston Marathon fell on tax day this year, and the last mile of the race "was dedicated to Newtown victims," says Tomasky.
3. The government: "False flag" attack proponents wasted no time blaming the government for staging the Boston explosions to achieve their own ends, said Alex Seitz-Wald at Salon. Then "Dan Bidondi, a 'reporter/analyist' (sic) for Alex Jones's InfoWars, managed to ask Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick the very first question in a nationally televised press conference," notes Slate's David Weigel: “Why were the loud speakers telling people in the audience to be calm moments before the bombs went off? Is this another false flag staged attack to take our civil liberties and promote homeland security while sticking their hands down our pants on the streets?”
There were too many cameras and witnesses to "concoct a really compelling conspiracy theory," and the real-time fact-checking on Twitter has decimated the bad information that conspiracies need to thrive. For example, those "loud speakers" urging calm never happened.
4. A criminally insane lone wolf: There's also the possibility that this attack was perpetrated by some "local nut case," says Tomasky at The Daily Beast. "I guess I am right now leaning in that least conspiratorial direction." Unfortunately, in our "open and free society," people can cause massive destruction with a few well-placed bombs. There's a decent chance the Boston marathon attackers were "motivated by simple revenge of some kind, or by nothing but the disease in someone's brain."