LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Friends and family reacted with shock on Friday as new details continue to emerge on 19-year-old fugitive suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is at the center of an ongoing manhunt following Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings.
KCBS Radio reporter Douglas Sovern told KNX 1070 a close friend from college who lives in Cambridge was in disbelief upon learning of Tsarnaev’s alleged involvement. According to Sovern, his friend’s son is close to the 19-year-old suspect. The man, who attended the marathon, narrowly avoided injury when two bombs went off at the finish line of the 26.2 mile race, killing three people and wounding 180 others.
“My friend, who survived this bombing by seconds, and then to find out that main the suspect they’re looking for is one of his son’s four best friends,” said Sovern.
“They’ve met him, they know his family, they can’t even believe it. They’re in shock.”
The two boys were on the JV soccer team together before Tsarnaev chose to focus on wrestling, according to Sovern. Both were students at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.
“They described Dzhokhar as a smart, sweet, nice guy,” said Sovern.
Sovern’s friend described the suspect’s older brother, Tamerlan, who was identified by the FBI on Thursday as Suspect Number One, as “a bit of trouble.” Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a confrontation with police Thursday night.
According to authorities, the two suspects killed an MIT Police Officer and severely wounded another member of law enforcement on Thursday in a car chase and gun battle involving the suspects hurling explosives at police.
Sovern said friends feared 26-year-old Tamerlan was a bad influence on his younger brother.
“They fear he sort of came under his older brother’s spell. I mean we don’t know that, but it’s just what they want to believe because they like their son’s friend so much,” he said.
Sovern’s niece was in a children’s chorus with 8-year-old victim Martin Richard of Dorchester, Massachusetts, who was the youngest killed in Monday’s attack.
“It just shows once again that you never really know people,” said Sovern.