In May of 2011, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, then a senior at a prestigious high school, was awarded a $2,500 scholarship from the city of Cambridge, Mass., to pursue higher education. Now, Tsarnaev is on the run, described as “armed and dangerous” and suspected of the Boston Marathon bombing.
Two brothers, one now dead, one alive and at large. After hours of only grainy images of two men in baseball caps to go on, a portrait gradually started emerging Friday of the men suspected in the attack.
Tsarnaev, 19, and his older brother, Tamerlan, who was killed during a violent night in Cambridge, had been living together on Norfolk Street in Cambridge. An uncle, Ruslan Tsarni of Montgomery Village, Md., told The Associated Press that the men lived together near Boston and have been in the United States for about a decade. They came from the Russian region near Chechnya, which has been plagued by an Islamic insurgency stemming from separatist wars.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s page on the Russian social networking site Vkontakte says he attended Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, graduating in 2011, the year he won the scholarship, which was celebrated with a reception at City Hall, according to a news release issued at the time. Before moving to the United States, he attended School No. 1 in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, a predominantly Muslim republic in Russia’s North Caucasus that has become an epicenter of the Islamic insurgency that spilled over from Chechnya. On the site, he describes himself as speaking Chechen as well as English and Russian. His world view is described as “Islam” and he says his personal goal is “career and money.”
Tsarnaev appeared in the video released by authorities on Thursday, identified as Suspect Number 2, striding down a sidewalk, unnoticed by spectators who were absorbed in the race. He followed Tamerlan by about 10 feet. He wore what appeared to be a gray hoodie under a dark jacket and pants, and a white baseball cap facing backward and pulled down haphazardly.
Tamerlan was stockier, in khaki pants, a light T-shirt, and a dark jacket. The brim of his baseball cap faced forward, and he may have been wearing sunglasses.
According to the website spotcrime.com, Tamerlan was arrested for domestic violence in July 2009, after assaulting his girlfriend.
He was an amateur boxer, listed as a competitor in a National Golden Gloves competition in 2009.
Timeline of events
Key moments related to the search for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, based on reports from the Middlesex County district attorney, Massachusetts State Police, and Boston police.
— At 5:10 p.m. Thursday, investigators of the bombings release photographs and video of two suspects. They ask for the public’s help in identifying the men.
— Around 10:20 p.m., shots are fired on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, just outside Boston.
— At 10:30 p.m., an MIT campus police officer who was responding to a disturbance is found shot multiple times in his vehicle, apparently in a confrontation with the Boston Marathon bombing suspects. He is later pronounced dead.
— Shortly afterward, two armed men reportedly carjack a Mercedes SUV in Cambridge. A man who was in the vehicle is held for about a half hour and then released unharmed at a gas station on Memorial Drive in Cambridge.
— Police soon pursue the carjacked vehicle in Watertown, just west of Cambridge.
— Some kind of explosive devices are thrown from the vehicle in an apparent attempt to stop police. The carjackers and police exchange gunfire. A transit police officer is seriously injured. One suspect, later identified as Suspect No. 1 in the marathon bombings, is critically injured and later pronounced dead.
— Authorities launch a manhunt for the other suspect.
— Around 1 a.m. Friday, gunshots and explosions are heard in Watertown, just outside Boston. Dozens of police officers and FBI agents converge on a Watertown neighborhood. A helicopter circles overhead.
— Around 4:30 a.m., Massachusetts state and Boston police hold a short outdoor news briefing. They tell people living in that section of eastern Watertown to stay in their homes. They identify the carjackers as the same men suspected in the marathon bombings. Overnight, police also release a photograph of a man believed to be Suspect No. 2, apparently taken from store video earlier in the evening at a 7-Eleven convenience store in Cambridge. He is wearing a grey hoodie-style sweatshirt.
— Around 6:35 a.m., The Associated Press reports that the bomb suspects are from a Russian region near Chechnya and lived in the United States for at least one year.
— Around 6:45 a.m., The Associated Press identifies the surviving Boston bomb suspect as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, who has been living in Cambridge, Mass.
— Around 8:40 a.m., a U.S. law enforcement official and the uncle of the suspects confirm that the name of the slain suspect is Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s older brother.