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Everyday Heroes

Boston bombers’ carjack victim is a Chinese entrepreneur named “Danny”

Boston Marathon WashingtonThe man who was carjacked by alleged Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and who made a daring escape that helped lead to their apprehension, is a 26-year-old Chinese immigrant engineer and entrepreneur who has asked only to be identified by his American nickname, Danny.

The Boston Globe interviewed Danny and reported that he is from a “province in central China” who studied engineering at Northeastern University before starting up a company in Boston’s Kendall Square. He asked the Globe not to disclose his full name, although it may be made public if and when he testifies against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

“I don’t want to be a famous person talking on the TV,” Danny told the paper. “I don’t feel like a hero. … I was trying to save myself.”

Lu Lingzi, one of the three people killed in the Boston Marathon bombings, was also a Chinese national who traveled to Boston to attend one of its many high-level universities. Although her name was not disclosed by authorities, Chinese internet users quickly tracked down her identity. Given the level of detail that Danny disclosed, that is a plausible scenario for him as well. The Globe reported:

Danny had come to the US in 2009 for a master’s degree, graduated in January 2012, and returned to China to await a work visa. He came back two months ago, leasing a Mercedes and moving into a high-rise with two Chinese friends while diving into a startup.

The interview recounts his harrowing escape from his Mercedes SUV when the Tsarnaev brothers stopped at a gas station for a snack. When Dzhokhar was in the store, Tamerlan dropped his guard for a moment, and Danny “did what he had been rehearsing in his head. In a flash, he unbuckled his seat belt, opened the door, stepped through, slammed it behind, and sprinted off at an angle that would be a hard shot for any marksman.”

Danny called 911 from a nearby gas station, which helped police track down the brothers using Danny’s abandoned iPhone and his Mercedes’ tracking system. At the time of his escape, they were planning to drive to New York City for another potential attack.

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