National News

Boston Marathon bombing suspects' family speaks out; fugitive son's dad calls him 'angel'

Friday, April 19, 2013

The father of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects described his fugitive son as a smart and accomplished "angel."

Anzor Tsarnaev spoke with the Associated Press from the southern Russian republic of Dagestan after police said one of his sons, 26-year-old Tamerlan, had been killed in a shootout and the other, 19-year-old Dzhokhar, was being intensely pursued in Boston.

"My son is a true angel," the elder Tsarnaev said. He said his son was "an intelligent boy" who was studying medicine.

"They were set up, they were set up!" he exclaimed. "I saw it on television; they killed my older son Tamerlan."

The elder Tsarnaev also spoke to ABC News, saying he talked to both of his sons earlier in the week. He said they talked about the bombing. When he said he was worried about them, his sons reassured him saying, "Everything is good, Daddy. Everything is very good."

He said his sons were innocent, but also said he would appeal to his younger son to "surrender peacefully."

"Give up. Give up. You have a bright future ahead of you. Come home to Russia," the dad said.

The father warned, however, "If they killed him, then all hell would break loose."

"If they kill my second child, I will know that it is an inside job, a hit job. The police are to blame," the father told ABC News. "Someone, some organization is out to get them."

He said his two daughters, ages 22 and 24, live in New York.

The Tsarnaev brothers' uncle Ruslan Tsarni of Montgomery Village, Md., spoke to the media on Friday and urged his nephew to turn himself in and ask for forgiveness. He said his family is ashamed and that he loves the U.S. and respects this country.

The suspects' aunt in Toronto, Maret Tsarnaeva, also spoke to reporters about her nephews. She demanded proof of the brothers' involvement in the marathon bombing.

"We're talking about three dead people, 100-something injured, and I do not believe, I just do not believe our boys would do that ... I don't know them in the way that they could be capable of this," she said.

She also said Tamerlan had recently become a devout Muslim who prayed five times a day and that he is married and has a 3-year-old daughter in the U.S.

"He has a wife in Boston and from a Christian family, so you can't tie it to religion," she said, adding that Tamerlan "seemingly did not find himself yet in America, because it's not easy."

She described both of her nephews as smart and athletic.

"Within the family, everything was perfect," she said.

Thursday night, authorities got a call about a robbery at a 7-Eleven in Cambridge, Mass. This incident was thought to be connected to the bombing suspects. However, State Police later established that the robbery was a separate event and that the Tsarnaev were not suspected in the holdup.

At about 10:30 p.m. ET, a campus police officer, 26-year-old Sean Collier, was shot and killed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Collier was responding to a disturbance. The suspects then carjacked an SUV in Cambridge and they were chased to Watertown, Mass.

That SUV was later described as a gray Honda CRV with Massachusetts license plate 316-ES9. Boston police confirmed Friday morning that the car was located in Boston unoccupied and that authorities are combing the vehicle for evidence.

The carjack victim told authorities the suspect told him they were responsible for Monday's marathon bombings, which killed three people and injured more than 180 others.

During the chase, a gun battle exploded between the suspects and police. One suspect, believed to be Tamerlan, was shot and killed, while Dzhokhar got away.

Based on the interaction with police, authorities say the brothers appeared to have paramilitary training. However, their father told ABC News that his sons have no military training and never handled weapons before.

The Associated Press and ABC News contributed to this report.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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explosion, boston marathon bombing, bombing, national news
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