VMI graduate shares story of survival after Boston bombing - KCTV5

VMI graduate shares story of survival after Boston bombing shootout

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Richard Donohue Richard Donohue
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

A man caught in the middle of the firefight with the Boston bombing suspects returned home this week to share his story.

Police officer Richard Donohue is a Virginia Military Institute graduate. He was shot during in the aftermath of the deadly bombings during the manhunt for the suspects.   

He told VMI cadets what he learned from his amazing story of survival.

Donohue got the call late in the night on April 18, just three days after the Boston bombing.

"I'll leave my patrol sector to respond to the city of Cambridge for the call of an officer down," said Donohue.

Donohue's friend, officer Sean Collier, had been shot and killed. Donohue was called in to help with the manhunt.

"It never crossed our minds that the same people we would encounter later that night would be Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev," said Donohue.

The same people suspected of planting the bombs at the Boston Marathon finish line.

"What happened next can best be described as dark, chaotic, loud and deadly," said Donohue.

Watertown Police stopped a car believed to be stolen, and a shootout ensued.

"Somewhere between two and three hundred rounds of ammunition were fired in a suburban neighborhood in America in a matter of minutes," said Donohue.

One of those bullets ripped into Donohue's leg, severing the femoral artery.

"I was within seconds of dying, if it weren't for the actions of a few brave individuals," said Donohue.

Fellow officers drove into gunfire to help Donohue, threw him into an ambulance and drove to the nearest hospital.

Forty minutes of resuscitation, six hours of surgery, Donohue was only given a two percent chance of survival.

"And despite the odds from the second I was brought into the hospital, they made it their mission to keep me alive and not to give up," said Donohue.

That is Donohue's message: to never give up, and to use leadership qualities learned at VMI to not only survive, but succeed. 

"Without clear vision and accompanying action, I wouldn't have a clear road map to success," said Donohue.

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