EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

April 20, 2013

A closer look at the Tsarnaev brothers

CAMBRIDGE — The pair of brothers from Russia were known for their athletic talents when they went to Rindge and Latin High School here. The elder was a Golden Gloves boxer; the younger was a wrestler.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, and his older brother, Tamerlan, 26, are suspected by police to be the bombers behind the massacre at the Boston Marathon Monday, and behind a violent chase through Cambridge and Watertown early yesterday morning that left one Massachusetts Institute of Technology policeman dead, an MBTA officer seriously wounded and several other officers injured.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was shot and killed by police in East Watertown when police said the brothers stopped the Mercedes they were driving and threw explosives at their pursuers. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev escaped, and apparently hid in a boat behind a house a few blocks away. Yesterday he was captured alive and taken to a Boston hospital. His condition was listed as serious, as off press time.

Residents around Inman Square here, where the brothers lived and where local, state and federal police blocked off several streets to search their apartment, were shocked that young men who lived in their neighborhood and went to their schools could cause such wanton violence.

“This is just shocking,” said Kumani Ellison, 16, a student at Cambridge Rindge and Latin. “You grow up around here and wouldn’t expect this to happen.”

Ellison and his younger brother Kenei, 14, said they did not know Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, though their older brother Kendrick, 17, did.

“(Kenrick) went to school with him and said he was quiet,” Kenei Ellison said. “He can’t believe it.”

Alex Jonathan Brito, 20, remembered Tsarnaev from high school as having a “weird charisma” and was sarcastic. “He was kind of off in the way he dealt with people,” said Brito, now a nursing student at Bunker Hill Community College. Brito recalled getting into an altercation with Tsarnaev in high school over what he said was “something stupid.” He would not elaborate.

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