Posts by Jason Sickles and Liz Goodwin

  • Witnesses describe deadly Oklahoma tornado; Gov. Fallin says death count unknown

    Jason Sickles and Liz Goodwin at The Lookout 2 yrs ago

    [Updated at 6:10 p.m. CT]

    MOORE, Okla. — Scientists surveying the aftermath here Tuesday deemed the tornado to be the worst of the worst, saying its winds were at least 200 mph and possibly stronger. Some victims didn't have long to react.

    “The storm intensified very rapidly in four miles or around 10 minutes,” the National Weather Service revealed in a preliminary report.

    The tornado cut a path of destruction 17 miles long and 1.3 miles wide.

    Kelly Damphousse was one of those caught off guard. He and his family were unloading a 26-foot U-Haul truck at a storage facility when they spotted the ferocious funnel.

    “It just kept coming,” said Damphousse, who was able to flee the twister's path.

    Twenty-four people have been confirmed dead—including 9 children—and 237 were injured by the tornado, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said. At a news conference Tuesday, Fallin said officials are trying to find out if other victims might have been taken to local funeral homes and have not yet been counted in the death toll.

    “This was the storm of storms,” Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett said.

    [ Photos from the scene. ]

  • Boston Marathon bomber manhunt: Police nab suspect alive

    Jason Sickles and Liz Goodwin at The Lookout 2 yrs ago

    [Updated at 10:18 p.m. ET]

    BOSTON—Police have nabbed the 19-year-old suspected Boston Marathon bomber, after a day-long manhunt that completely shut down the city of Boston and several suburbs and left one police officer dead. Some Bostonians flooded into the streets cheered the news, celebrating an end to five days of fear since the bombs wounded more than 175 people and killed three.

    An ambulance arrived at the scene to take the wounded suspect, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, to a hospital. Massachusetts State Police Col. Timothy Alben said he is in serious condition.

    Tsarnaev was found in a boat in the yard of a home on Franklin Street, close to where he and his older brother engaged in a shootout with police nearly 24 hours earlier. The homeowner discovered Tsarnaev when he saw blood on the outside of his boat and then lifted the tarp to find a person, covered in blood, inside. Police used a heat-detecting device on a helicopter to find out that he was still inside, and exchanged gun fire with the suspect for the next hour, before he was apprehended.

    Click image to see more photos. (Matt Rourke/AP)

  • Governor promises ‘progress’ in marathon bomb investigation while authorities push back on arrest reports

    Jason Sickles and Liz Goodwin at The Lookout 2 yrs ago

    [Updated at 7:35 p.m. ET]

    BOSTON—No arrests have been made, but investigators are gaining ground on identifying the assailant behind the fatal bombing at the Boston Marathon, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said late Wednesday.

    “They are making progress, there’s no doubt about it,” Patrick told reporters.

    The governor asked for the public’s patience as the probe continues into who planted the two shrapnel-filled bombs that exploded near the marathon finish line on Monday. Three people died in the blast, and at last 170 were injured.

    “I take comfort in the fact that the investigation is as thorough as it is,” Patrick said. “When you consider the size of the crime scene and the fact that they have to go through it square inch by square inch, that’s exactly what we want and what we need.”

    The FBI had scheduled a news conference for 8 p.m. Wednesday, but minutes later canceled the briefing without explanation.

    Earlier Wednesday law enforcement authorities forcefully denied a flurry of news reports that an arrest had been made in the case.

    The FBI issued a sternly worded rebuke to the press for reporting that a suspect was in custody.