MANHUNT: Friends, relatives of suspects speak out
BOSTON Friends and relatives of the Marathon bombing suspects reacted in shock Friday as one was killed and the other remained the target of a massive manhunt.
The surviving bomb suspect is Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, a 19-year-old. His uncle, Ruslan Tsarni of Maryland, said Dzhokhar and the other suspect, who he said is named Tamerlan, are brothers who have been in the country since 2001.
When his wife showed him the picture of the suspects, he was “shaking.“
“Anger, anger, anger. I can’t come up with the words,“ Tsarni said when asked for his response to the terrorist attacks his nephews are accused of. “Unhuman.“
Describing his emotions, he said: “I’m not being able to feel anything. Anger for the people they murdered.“
A man who described himself as a friend of the suspects, Ahdi Moro, 22, of Watertown, Mass., said the two attended Cambridge Rindge & Latin School.
“I was pretty shocked,“ Moro said. “I would never think anything like that of them. They were good kids.“
He said Tamerlan was a Golden Gloves boxer who was the father of a 2-year-old and Dzhokhar was an all-star wrestler.
“He was a really quiet kid,“ Moro said. “He was very popular at school, like, the most popular kid at school. He was a really good-looking kid. He’s as American as anybody. He grew up here. He’s like a regular Cambridge kid.“
He described Tamerlan as big and tough, and remembered how, on the first day of school, he was “picked on“ by three kids - and beat up all three.
“These kids grew up around violence,“ Moro said. “They were always not scared of anything.
Cambridge Rindge & Latin assistant wrestling coach Peter Payack said as soon as he saw the photo of bombing suspect Dzhokar in a hoodie released early this morning, he had a sickening feeling.
“Once I saw that picture, I knew it was him,“ Payack said of Dzhokar, who wrestled at Cambridge in 2010 and 2011. “I just couldn’t talk, it was like someone put a knife in my heart, I just felt like crying. Wrestling is like a brotherhood and you feel like all the wrestlers are your son, so this was hard for me.“
Dzhokar was an all-Greater Boston League wrestler at Cambridge in 2011. He placed third in the 135-pound weight class at the Division 1 Central sectionals that year, but failed to qualify for the All-State tournament.
According to Payack, Dzhokar returned to Cambridge as recently as six weeks ago to work with the team in preparation for the state tournament. Payack remained stunned by the recent turn of events.
“He was a great kid, very dedicated to the sport and a hard worker,“ Payack said. “Everyone liked him.“
Tamerlan Tsarnaev boxed in the Golden Gloves in 2010 as a heavyweight, said Terry Moran, marketing and production director for Lowell Golden Gloves. “He was a successful fighter. He was on the New England team. I didn’t know him personally.“
He added: “We’re really sad that he was associated with the program. This doesn’t represent all the great kids, more than 100 a year, that go through this program.“