National News

Boston bombings suspects: Details emerging

Friday, April 19, 2013

Details about the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings continue to emerge as authorities try to answer questions in the ongoing investigation.

Massachusetts State Police said Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a shootout with police late Thursday night. His brother, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, escaped the shootout and remained at large for much of the day Friday. A massive police manhunt was underway Friday in the metropolitan area of Boston. The Boston Police Department said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was taken into custody at about 5:45 p.m. Pacific Time. He was alive, according to federal sources.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had been hiding in a boat in the back driveway of a house in the Watertown neighborhood. He reportedly exchanged gunfire with law enforcement before he was captured. He was hospitalized in serious condition, according to the Boston Police commissioner.

The brothers are believed to have fatally shot an MIT campus police officer Thursday night. They were reportedly driving a Honda Civic, then carjacked a Mercedes SUV. The suspects were in the Mercedes when they encountered police. They hurled explosives and shot at officers. Tamerlan was subsequently wounded or killed in a shootout with police. An officer was severely wounded in the shootout. Police say Dzhokhar then ran over his brother as he drove away. State police said Dzhokhar fled on foot at some point after that.

Tamerlan had been attending Bunker Hill Community College, studying engineering. He then dropped out of school to pursue boxing, even aspiring to fight on the U.S. Olympic team. "I don't have a single American friend, I don't understand them," he had reportedly said.

Dzhokhar was a standout high-school wrestler who won a $2,500 college scholarship. He was a freshman at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

An aunt said Tamerlan had married and had a 3-year-old child.

An FBI official confirmed that the FBI interviewed Tamerlin Tsarnaev two years ago on behalf of a foreign government. They found nothing derogatory and closed the file.

FAMILY BACKGROUND

The two brothers are believed to be of Chechen ethnicity and from the southern Russian republic of Dagestan.

The family's origins are in Chechnya, the mostly Muslim Russian republic where separatist rebels fought two full-scale wars with Russian forces since 1994.

A spokesman for Chechnya's leader said the family left Chechnya long ago and went to Central Asia, then moved to Dagestan, a Muslim republic adjacent to Chechnya that has been the site of a sporadic insurgency for more than a decade.

The Tsarnaev brothers lived near Boston and had been in the U.S. for about a decade, an uncle said.

COLLEGE CLASSMATE TALKED TO SUSPECT DAY AFTER BOMBINGS

UMass Dartmouth student Andrew Glasby said he saw Dzhokhar the day after the Boston Marathon bombings on campus in front of a dormitory.

Glasby said Dzhokhar was not acting rushed or nervous. He said he had a brief, nonchalant conversation with Dzhokhar. Dzhokhar said his green Honda Civic had been fixed, and he offered to drive Glasby home Friday to Waltham. Glasby said Dzhokhar was not acting like a fugitive.

Glasby said Dzhokhar lives in the same dorm, on the third floor. He said he sat next to Dzhokhar in a psychology class.

FORMER CLASSMATES IN DISBELIEF

"Absolutely shocking," said Sierra Schwartz, a high school classmate of Dzhokhar's. "The high school student that I knew and the high school student that all my classmates knew is the exact opposite of the person that's been committing these crimes."

"Naomi," a classmate of one of the brothers, said: "He was in my pre-calculus class at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and I met him my junior year of high school, and he seemed very normal and nice and just a sweet kid. And so everybody is in sort of disbelief and shock, and we don't understand what's going on. We are confused."

Eric Mercado, a friend of Dzhokhar's, said: "He was good friends with a bunch of us. I know that he worked at Harvard University as a lifeguard just recently, so I don't know what the deal is there.

"We hung out, we partied. Good high school friends," Mercado said. "Everybody, we're all, we're all, like, in shock. We don't really understand it. There was no telltale signs, any kind of malicious behavior from Dzhokhar. It's all coming as a shock, really."

SOCIAL MEDIA

The younger Tsarnaev gave few clues as to his inner life on his profile on Vkontakte, a Russian equivalent of Facebook, though he did include websites about Islam among his favorites.

Dzhokhar's Twitter account showed an April 15 tweet: "There are people that know the truth but stay silent & there are people that speak the truth but we don't hear them cuz they're the minority."

An April 5 tweet read: "how I miss my home land #dagestan #chechnya"

ABC News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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

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