Reporting Bill Hudson
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In a blaze of gunfire, the hunt for the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects was down to one. Late Thursday night, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a vicious firefight with police and federal agents.
More than 200 rounds of gunfire were exchanged as Tsarnaev and his younger brother, 19-year-old Dzhokhar, were attempting to flee a massive dragnet.
By Friday morning, the greater Boston area was in full lockdown, mass transit put on hold and residents asked to remain home.
The Tsarnaev brothers came to the United States as boys in 2002. Their parents fled Chechnya and the ravages of civil war between Muslim separatists and Russia.
Still, it is unclear if the two young men were being influenced by Islamic extremists or received outside help in carrying out Monday’s bombings.
Their uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, says their actions have cast a harsh shadow on Chechen-Americans.
“He put a shame on our family, [the] Tsarnaev family. He a put a shame on the entire Chechnyan ethnicity,” Tsarni said.
Just last year, 26-year-old Tamerlan became a naturalized U.S. citizen in a ceremony in Boston. Nineteen-year-old Dzhokar was an engineering student at U-Mass Dartmouth.
With classes cancelled Friday, his fellow dorm resident Andrew Glasby expressed disbelief.
“It’s just crazy just to think that, like, a person who’d do this is just right nea me, living right next to me,” Glasby said.
Tamerlan was a golden gloves boxing champion. Friends say he even wanted to try out for the US Olympic team.
His aunt, Maret Tsarnaeva, says Tamerlan used the sport as an outlet.
“Somebody asked me, ‘Is he capable of expressing violence?’ He’s a boxer. He was expressing his violence, you know, within the ring,” Tsarnaeva said.
Tamerlan is now dead after a vicious firefight with police, and his younger brother is now the most wanted man in America.
Both the Red Sox and Bruins games were postponed to help keep crowds of people off the streets Friday night.
The FBI says there was a period of 7 months when Tamerlan traveled back to his native Chechnya, but what he did there is unclear.