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A hero. Kenny Tran, a police officer in Boston, was crucial to the arrest of the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.
Friday, April 26, 2013 6:05:38 PM
Tran, who works for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, his fellow SWAT team officers Jeff Campbell and Syler Thompson, and Detective Brian Harer ripped the cover off the boat where Tsarnaev hid, taking him into custody last Friday night. Boston, and the nation, breathed a sigh of relief.
Born in Viet Nam, Tran said he relocated to the United States at about age 5. He was a law-enforcement officer for three years before moving to the transportation authority’s SWAT team in 2008. His older brother also is in law enforcement in the Boston area. In a telephone interview, Kenny Tran reflected on the day.
Nguoi Viet 2: What happened when you first approached the suspect?
Officer Tran: The suspect was cornered. We were using flash bangs and stun grenades, and it wasn't working. The FBI was negotiating with the suspect, telling the suspect to give up. We got the shield up, and I was … the third guy in the stack. When we approached the boat, we couldn't see his hands and he was going in and out of consciousness. We were worried because we didn't see his hands and did not know if he had a suicide vest or another bomb on the boat. Once we got the chance, we grabbed him and pulled him off the boat and arrested him. We searched for weapons or bombs on his body, and once we did that, we called for the tactical medical team.
Q: During the take down, was he resisting arrest?
A: No, not at all because he was fatigued.
Q: What were your emotions, knowing that one of your co-workers (Richard “Dic” Donohue Jr., who was critically injured) was wounded before catching the suspect?
A: It was a long and emotional week for us. … We just wanted to get it done.
Q: Upon arrival to the crime scene, did you know that the suspect was one of the bombers?
A: We knew from the state police helicopter (pilot). He confirmed it and said there was an exchange of gunfire. So we knew it was the guy. There was also a blood trail from outside the house leading to the boat.
Q: How long was the standoff?
A: Well, I would say about an hour and a half or so.
Q: Was this arrest the most intense situation (of his career)?
A: Yes it was intense, hearing, “Officer down.” So it was a duty on a higher level.
Q: When you first became a police officer, what did your parents think?
A: Like any parents would. They were proud and at the same time worried about me.