January 18th, 2010
11:40 PM ET

In the midst of looting chaos

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor

We were covering another story when we heard shots being fired. We ran toward the sound and found a store being looted. Two Haitian police officers were occasionally firing into the air to try to keep order, but that only worked for a few moments, then the looting would begin again.

They were stealing boxes of candles. An American businessman named Tony who owns two stores nearby barricaded one street to keep looters away. He had armed the two Haitian police with automatic weapons, and they were assisting him, but they were not able to control anything beyond their barricade.

It quickly became a free-for-all. Young men began fighting one another for the stolen items. A number of young men had knives, and planks of wood, screwdrivers and rocks. They were using their improvised weapons to threaten and injure others who had stolen items from the store. The robbers were now being robbed. One group of looters whipped another man with a leather belt. They punched him as well, and they stole the sack of goods he'd just stolen.

I was in the midst of the melee with Charlie Moore, my producer, Neil Hallsworth my cameraman, Vlad Duthiers, my translator, and there was a still photographer from Getty Images with us, photojournalist Jonathan Torgovnik. As things got really out of control, I saw a looter on the roof of the store they'd broken into throw what I think was part of a concrete block into the crowd. It hit a small boy in the head.

I saw him collapse. More chunks of concrete were being thrown at the looters on the roof. The injured boy couldn't get up. He'd try and then collapse again. Blood was pouring from his head. He was conscious but had no control over his body. I was afraid someone on the roof would see him lying there and throw another cinder block piece onto him. I was afraid he'd get killed. No one seemed to be helping him.

I ran to where he was struggling, and picked him up off the ground. I brought him to a spot about a hundred feet away. I could feel his warm blood on my arms. I stood him up, but he was clearly unable to walk. He wiped his bloody face, and I tried to reassure him. He had no idea where he was, and he clearly couldn't walk, so I picked him up again and handed him over to someone behind that makeshift barricade. Tony, the American businessman, gave the boy a wet towel. He was then taken away by someone else. We don't know what happened to him.

I hope he's ok.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Anderson Cooper • Haiti Earthquake
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. Sharon

    Sorry, I forgot to commend Anderson for his heroic efforts. But, he has always struck me as a person who does the right thing. I hope you got your camera back.

    February 20, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
  2. Sharon

    Why are things continuing to fall apart in Haiti. With all of the relief supplies and money coming into the country why is no one in charge of overseeing the organization of distribution and movement of supplies and will there be an organized effort for the money to rebuild? This would be the perfect time for humanitarians who can build quality structures to step up and offer assistance in design and hurricane proof products. Has any one heard such products? We who live in Florida have. I hope Haiti doesn't waist this opportunity to make good out of bad.

    February 20, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  3. junelson

    Anderson I'm Haitian and I just want to say thank you for helping my people back in Haiti I'm in America now and I'm not able to go over there by myself THANK YOU GOD BLESS

    January 25, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  4. rubeN

    An extremely dangerous and scary situation there. Glad you helped the kid to safety.

    January 25, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
  5. Francklin Louis-Jean

    In the name of all the haitian people THOUSAND TANKS COOPS !!!

    January 25, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
  6. Pita

    Any more survivors or recovered victims from the Hotel Montana?

    January 25, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
  7. Matt Gunter

    I am not sure where to start, but I was watching the HOPE FOR HAITI on TV and I saw a CNN Reporter(?) show a two year old child with serious injuries and without any family. Now I can't get that out of my mind and I am trying my best to find a place to start to find the child. Any ideas? Thanks Matt Gunter

    January 25, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  8. KETTY


    January 25, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  9. Cheryl

    Awesome Job Anderson!!!!!!

    January 19, 2010 at 9:04 pm |
  10. Frances Franco

    I have watched AC 360 for a year or so. About three weeks ago, I was reading up on AC life/career's story and after learning more details about AC I liked him even more.

    Then his work in Haiti keeps stealing my heart.

    AC- Keep it up!!! I wish we could have more reporters like you.

    I should nominate you and Dr. Gupta for CNN Heroes of the Year. You have both touched my heart!! Love you both!! ♥

    Thank you!!

    Living in Dallas, TX (B/R in Puerto Rico)

    January 19, 2010 at 8:58 pm |
  11. Taylor

    It is a truly wonderful thing to know that there is a news caster out there whom I can trust. We got to see a piece of your heart today Mr. Cooper. Thank you for your loyalty and character. You inspire people more than you know.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
  12. Madona Florenville of St.Lucia West Indies

    I am so proud of you Anderson Cooper and CNN for your outstanding coverage of this dreadful situation in Haiti as it happens. Thank you so much for being our eyes and ears on the grounds of Haiti and for inspiring us to give of our means to help. You are doing a fantastic job. You keep me glued to my t.v set for every detail. God bless you all as you continue this great work.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:55 pm |
  13. Roshni

    Great work Anderson!! I nominate you as my CNN hero of the year

    January 19, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
  14. MJ Beaton

    Lead by example, it's the best thing to do. All of your viewers must be very proud of you, I know I am.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:51 pm |
  15. Tammy Dawson (Dallas, TX)

    I watched CNN last night and I was amazed but what I saw. Over the last week I cant tell you how many times I have cried as I watched coverage on Haiti but last night was different. As the tears poured down my face I felt a great sense of pride, joy, amazement, and fear all at the same time. Anderson you are amazing! With out hesitation you stepped in and did what needed to be done. I have always thought you were a great journalist but more important you are a GREAT human being. Thank you for your compasion. Thank you for inspiring me to be a better person. The lesson learned from last night's video was that we all need to be our brother and sister's keeper.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:51 pm |
  16. Shirley Blaise

    My name is Shirley Blaise and I have an Uncle that works in Bank National/ National Bank in Downtown Port Au Prince. No one has gone out there to look for bodies! I hope you read this so that you can help find my uncle Mesguir Anglade. The bank is still standing but the parking lot has crumbled. Im afraid he might still be in the rubble.......... Please help me. If you find anything please contact me at Sblaze17@yahoo.com

    P.S YOU ARE GREAT AT WHAT YOU DO!! God will bless you along side Dr. Gupta and any other person who is out there trying to help!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:51 pm |
  17. shannon h

    I would like to thank Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta for not only going above and beyond with their reporting on Haiti, but for being human and stepping in and helping another person regardless of their own safety.Great job and be safe.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:50 pm |
  18. simone

    Anderson, you are so real...so compassionate...so brave. God bless you and keep you safe.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:49 pm |
  19. Kathleen

    You and people like you are why we as humans exsist. As I sit here in Arizona listeining to the rain hitting my window pain. Every breath is with the people of Haiti and everyone who is suffering right now. Thank you is not enough.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
  20. Mario Divkovic

    They Say Americans Dont Help But You Proved Them Wrong Good Work

    January 19, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
  21. MJGuatemala

    Seems surreal really. Good job you're doing. Sadly close friends of mine are suffering, and now specially after bad reporting jobs, because they cant find two family members. They first reported they found a body, now retracting, and we just wish they were more responsable like you guys. Not fair putting families through this! Last thing we know is that the Uruguayan government is sending k9 units, since one of the missing is former uruguayan football player, the other sadly is his 3 year old kid. We're praying people like you are put in their way so they can be helped. Haiti is in my heart, from Guatemala.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
  22. Jason Nunez

    I saw this story as it was occurring and I am glad there are reporters like you, Anderson, who - instead of standing behind the camera while things like this happen - step up and risk your own lives to save the lives of others.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:46 pm |
  23. Eli

    Anderson you're a good man. I've always appreciated your show for it's content, and you for keeping them honest – and also safe. Very inspiring.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:41 pm |
  24. Annie Kate

    Hope you found out the boy was ok today. Being hit on the head by a concrete block could really do some damage; hope his didn't lead to complications later in the day.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
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