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. Marie from NJ

    Anderson, Thank you for your frank a real coverage of Haiti and other events around the world. You did what you had to do. Thank you, you might not know where the boy is now.but he is not in the middle of the street because of you.
    I can see it is hard to be there. Thank you. Marie

    January 19, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
  2. Beth

    Thank you Anderson, it's bravery like yours that reminds me that their are still good people in this world. That you for being that boys angel.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
  3. a.

    amazing. and touching.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:33 pm |
  4. yolette

    Thank u Anderson for helping that boy. Hopefully he got some medical help to preserve his life. Please Anderson if u can follow this story bcuz lots of us would like to know what happened with him. My prayers are with u, ur staff, n my people in Haiti. Be safe

    January 19, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
  5. assia

    You are just amazing... please be safe out there... so hard to watch... you are my hero...

    January 19, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
  6. Byron Ramirez

    Anderson, I believe that you are deeply caring human being. Your actions throughout your career reveal that you place others before yourself and that you travel to so many locations to bring us the truth. I find that admirable. Your reports are complete and professional. Thank you for representing so many of us Americans through such a selfless and kind act of humanity. I truly hope that the situation improves in Haiti.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  7. Dennis Deleveaux

    There are a vast number of deportees that was sent to Haiti over the years. Many of these persons have never ever been to Haiti in their life. Some don't even know how to speak the language. Every one of these deportees have family in the United States of America. What will become of those persons (deportees)? Will they be allowed some type of status to join family back in America? Please, this is a very important issue, I beg you to take the time to address our concerns.

    January 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  8. Patty

    Anderson you are not just a great reporter but an amazing person. You and Dr Gupta definitely our heros. You are saving many lives be very proud of yourselves as we are extremely proud of you both.
    Keep safe and God Bless you both 🙂

    January 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  9. jennifer

    the things i have seen on cnn that dr.sanjay gupta and anderson cooper do .they are two amazing people.i really hope you can find out what happened to that boy.i hope he's okay.be careful and take care of yourselves.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:49 pm |
  10. Scott

    That kid's gonna remember you for a lifetime Anderson, nice job out there. Kinda sad how everyone else seems to be just sitting and watching him instead of helping.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:47 pm |
  11. Corbin

    This is really touching. I hope that he ended up being okay, the poor child. You are a superb reporter and all the coverage you did after Hurricane Katrina and now in Haiti is something that everyone should take note of. Keep up the amazing work.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:47 pm |

    Anderson, u did a wonderful job. !!!!! U went above and beyond ur call of duty. U allow us to see whats going on in Haiti from our homes. U and Dr. Gupta are the real heros!!!!!!! GOD BLESS U ALL!!! I HOPE U READ THIS BECAUSE U R AN INSPIRATION TO ME AND MANY OTHER PEOPLE WATCHING U EVERYDAY!!! WE LOVE U.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:46 pm |
  13. Monique

    Sanjay and Anderson are heroes. There was sooo much blood on that boy's face. I hope he fine.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:45 pm |
  14. Benjamin

    Great work Anderson. You are doing a great job not only in reporting the situation but also in lending a helping hand. Thank you.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:45 pm |
  15. Dabwitso J.

    Anderson you are a real hero.
    You are now a case study in ethical journalism. Anyone doing journalism, this kind of question always comes in. Is it ethical to intervene instead of carrying a news story? Anderson Cooper showed the world human life = ethics.

    I nominate you as my CNN hero of the year.
    Viva Anderson

    January 18, 2010 at 11:43 pm |
  16. Maria

    AC Thank you for helping! Thank you for caring! I hope that little boy is OK ...God bless you and please stay safe.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:41 pm |
  17. mars

    good jobs coops!

    January 18, 2010 at 11:40 pm |
  18. Kathy Keithley

    Anderson, you are amazing. I've been watching your coverage from the start. You, Sanjay, and the entire CNN team are doing heros work every day. The world needs to see this. All of you, please stay safe.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:40 pm |
  19. Anne

    Anderson, you and the others at CNN are not only doing journalism, you are doing humanitarian work. God bless you.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:40 pm |
  20. estella

    anderson cooper, you are a kind and very generous man; i admire your act of courage and humanity when you rescued the young boy in haiti; there may come a day when you will need help and someone will be there for you; bless you; estella

    January 18, 2010 at 11:40 pm |
  21. Bob

    You are a man of substance in a world so desperately craving it. Thank you for showing others what it means to be a human being. You're an inspiration and a role model for us all.
    WWCD- What Would Cooper Do?

    January 18, 2010 at 11:39 pm |
  22. Carlos P.

    Well done, Anderson. Good action, good reflexes. May God richly bless you and the boy.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:39 pm |
  23. Debi


    The Haitian people are so lucky to have you there reporting their stories and saving lives! You've shown the people of the world what a true journalist is, continue to push for the medical help that hasn't shown up yet, there has got to be someone out there that will hear the cry of the poor and get the help to them. Anderson, and the CNN gang, stay safe, you're in our prayers along with ALL the people of Haiti!

    January 18, 2010 at 11:39 pm |
  24. Lynne

    this is a very moving piece. i dont watch AC that much, but this was very brave and caring. Hope others will learn and do by his example.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
  25. Dean

    Thank you Anderson for saving that little boy's life. YOU SIR ARE A HERO.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:37 pm |
  26. Lorie

    Anderson, you're what a real journalist is all about. You not only report the news, but you're on the ground doing so much humanitarian work as well. We're all proud of you! Thank you so much for helping all those people and showing the world what's really going on.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:37 pm |
  27. S.C.L

    I was absolutely shocked when seeing this video clip a few hours ago on CNN's Larry King Live. Anderson Copper has been doing an incredible job, trying to help these poor victims. God Bless you Cooper. Hope Haiti get recovered soon.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:36 pm |
  28. Jeanne

    Your report on the looting chaos story was incredible! I wanted to jump thru my TV to help you get that little boy to a safe place. Bless you!

    January 18, 2010 at 11:36 pm |
  29. Katrina

    You have a great heart Anderson. You will always be blessed because of it. Keep up the goodness, compassion and bravery. Know that those of us out here are inspired by your actions.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:36 pm |
  30. Mike Moran

    Mr. Cooper I have the ut most respect for you, from what I have seen through all the time you have been on there air. An it takes a lot for me to say this to someone. I am from the California National Guard state reserve, and i have to give you my and my families utt most respect to you to what you have done an helped out in Haiti. I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart and Soul. You truly show what it is to be human to this whole world. Thank You, so much and the rest of your stafff. God Bless you and your staff at CNN!!! Charge Foward!!!
    SPC Mike Moran
    Chino, CA.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:35 pm |
  31. Jason Ohayon MD

    You are a brave and kind soul. You risk your life for your work and more importantly, for others. You display the best of humanity at a time where humanity's limits are tested and may bring the worst.

    May G-D continue to give you strength and please be careful.
    Stay strong
    Jason Ohayon

    January 18, 2010 at 11:35 pm |
  32. eve

    anderson for president '16

    January 18, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
  33. AngelP

    Anderson rescued the boy from death and I hope the country(Government of Haiti) recues the people of haiti from suffering and be there when this horible natural desaster set and done.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
  34. SKS

    Fantastic job, Anderson...those pictures are scary. Kudos to you for thinking of the safety of the boy first.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:30 pm |
  35. T. Verbicky Vancouver, BC

    Anderson you should be the CNN Hero of the year for 2010!
    Be safe please. We all count on you. Thank you.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:30 pm |
  36. Patrick

    Anderson, you are much more than a reporter, you set the bar for others to try to follow. Well done!

    January 18, 2010 at 11:29 pm |
  37. Lilibeth

    Thanks for saving that boy's life, Anderson. How I wish I can be in haiti to help the people there. I feel my donation is not enough. I know that's not true, but I can't help but feel this way. What if you weren't there to pick up that little boy? I can only imagine. You're in my prayers, always. Take care.

    Edmonds, Washington

    January 18, 2010 at 11:29 pm |
  38. sheila

    If you never did another thing in your life, Anderson, just know that you helped a child. You're a good man.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:27 pm |
  39. mary

    Thank you Anderson! I have children myself and that was heart wrentching. It takes a special person to just jump in with no concern for their own safety. My friend is working in Haiti in the medical field. With any luck that little boy made it to her or someone who cares!
    You have earned your wings! God Bless and please be safe
    Thank you

    January 18, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  40. sixta

    anderson, that was just amazin and brave. you where not only there to report, but had the hart to not leave a kid behind... hope hes is alive...

    January 18, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  41. Jenn

    Goodness, Anderson Cooper. You are brave, but I pray that you are also being careful.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  42. Stefanie Henriquez

    Anderson Cooper, you are the epitome of what an amazing human being should be! I adore and have always respected you as a reporter. There are no words that can express how great full we are as a nation that you and your crew are there in Haiti bringing us the information you are able to provide us with from the day it all happened. I also have to say THANK YOU!!! I am of Haitian decent and love Haiti as you seem to and for once someone has opened up and has told the world what an amazing people we are and what a great country Haiti is..I see and feel the passion you have for our country and people. Haiti which HAS been forsaken for so long and now thanks to you and CNN Haiti is being exposed not only for the its disaster but what led us to be such an exploited nation. Hopefully the world will hold Haiti's hand for years to come so they can begin to lead the dignified lives most of the country has never had. To you and your crew, please be safe you are in my and I am sure the worlds prayers...

    January 18, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  43. Harold J Koffman

    You did the right thing. Love you Anderson. I wish all journalists were as caring as you. You are really something special!

    January 18, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  44. R Meade

    Please tell of the fate of that young boy if you ever find out. Thanks Anderson, thanks for being human and caring !!!

    January 18, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  45. Tracey

    It's nice to know that above "getting the story" you did what was right despite danger. You rock Anderson Cooper!! I love everything about your journalism and what appears to be you as a person. Keep up the fantastic job and stay safe.

    January 18, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
  46. Mary Jo Ochlak

    Actions and pictures speak louder than words. May you and all of your co-workers stay safe.

    January 18, 2010 at 9:59 pm |
  47. Samantha, Boston MA

    Anderson Cooper, you are an angel. What you did was an incredibly brave and heroic thing, and I am so very proud of you. You give me hope for the people of this world, and you make me realize that there are good people who do good things for one another. You are a truly beautiful and amazing person Anderson, and I hope you never forget that.

    January 18, 2010 at 9:58 pm |
  48. Michele

    Anderson, what you do is beyond reporting, it is much more than a job.

    January 18, 2010 at 9:57 pm |
  49. p.miller

    Anderson's not only keeping them honest, he's keeping them alive too.

    January 18, 2010 at 9:57 pm |
  50. Patrick

    You stepped up in New Orleans when the truth needed to be reported and now you are doing the same and more in Haiti. It is a great service to the people of Haiti and a great service to those of us in other parts of the world that watch on with hope, sadness, and terror all rolled into one. Keep up the great work!

    January 18, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
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