(BOSTON) — U.S. Marshals have moved the Boston Marathon bombing suspect from his hospital room to a federal prison west of Boston, where he will receive medical care while he awaits trial for the twin blasts that killed three and wounded more than 250.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who had been listed in fair condition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, was transported overnight to the Federal Medical Center Devens, a federal prison facility that offers treatment to inmates requiring specialized or long-term medical care. Tsarnaev had wounds to his head, neck, legs and hands that he is believed to have sustained during a chase and shootout with police last week.
Prior to the move, he had been recovering in a sparely appointed hospital room with no television, in the same facility as a number of his alleged victims, law enforcement sources told ABC News.
On Thursday, New York City officials reported that the death toll could have been much higher had the men believed responsible for the Boston bombings not been apprehended.
New York’s Times Square narrowly missed being attacked by the accused Boston bombers, with the surviving suspect allegedly telling interrogators that he and his brother made a spontaneous decision to continue trying to maim and kill Americans.
“He told the FBI apparently that he and his brother had planned to drive to New York and detonate additional explosives in Times Square,” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at an afternoon City Hall press conference on Thursday.
But New York was spared, officials say, the moment the two accused bombers realized the Mercedes they carjacked in Cambridge needed gas.
“The driver used the opportunity to escape and call the police that led to the shootout in Watertown,” said New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
Had they continued on to New York, and not been bogged down in a night time shootout and chase, Kelly said they would have carried with them at least six more bombs, including a pressure cooker device similar to the ones detonated at the Boston Marathon finish line.
“We don’t know if we would have been able to stop the terrorists if they had arrived here from Boston,” Bloomberg said. “We are just thankful that we didn’t have to find out that answer.”
New York officials said Tsarnaev, 19, at first told the FBI he and his brother would go to New York just to party, as he did twice last year with some of his college friends. Photos from a social network page of a friend show the college student posing in Times Square.
But in a second hospital interview, investigators found Tsarnaev more lucid, and he told a different story, Kelly said. It was then that he allegedly revealed the Times Square plot.
Despite all that, and the extensive and graphic images, the parents of the two brothers continue to believe in their sons’ innocence, and are angry about the death of their oldest son, Tamerlan.
“Why did they kill him? Why did they kill him? They got him alive, he was in their hands,” said the boys’ mother, Zubadeit Tsarnaeva.
She spoke to reporters from her home in Russia. She faces possible arrest if she comes to the U.S. because of an outstanding shoplifting charge. She said she now believes America failed her family.
“I thought America was going like protect us, our kids,” she said. “It’s gonna be safe for any reason. But it happened. America took my kids away from me.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Elizabeth Cohen, CNN
Paul R. La Monica, CNN
Kelly Wallace, CNN