After Bombing, Boston Reflects on Past Week

Newbury Street, usually crowded on a Saturday evening at 7 PM, was sparse on April 20. It is located one block north from the second bombing site.
Photo Credit / Victoria Krukenkamp
Newbury Street, usually crowded on a Saturday evening at 7 PM, was sparse on April 20. It is located one block north from the second bombing site.
Photo Credit / Victoria Krukenkamp




At 2:50PM on Monday, April 15, 2013, two bombs erupted in the crowd near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street in Boston, Massachusetts, killing three and injuring nearly 200.

The bombs erupted around four hours into the marathon when the “charity runners” were crossing the finish line, and the crowd of family and friends waiting to see their loved ones cross the finish line was the most dense.

29-year-old Krystle Campbell of Arlington Massachusetts, and 23-year-old Lingzu Lu, a Boston University Graduate Student from China, were both killed by the first bomb.

Eight-year-old Martin Richard of the Dorchester neighborhood was killed by the second bomb, which also severely injured his mother and sister.

After the bombs went off on Monday, the Marathon was abruptly halted and a several block radius around the locations of the bombs was cordoned off as a crime scene.

The medical tent at the finish line, intended to treat exhausted and dehydrated runners, quickly became a triage center to which victims were rushed by volunteers and medical professionals on scene.  Many finishers that were still in the area and had medical credentials rushed to the aid of the victims on the scene and at the many local hospitals.

Thursday, April 18, 2013, President Obama attended an interfaith memorial service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston.  At the service, Obama identified that there was a piece of Boston in him.

“Every one of us has been touched by this attack on your beloved city,” said Obama.  “Every one of us stands with you.”

Later that evening, the FBI released photographs and video of the suspects that they had identified in the case.  Labeled Suspect 1 and Suspect 2 to coincide with the bombs that they had placed, the FBI implored the public to look closely at the photographs and call in with any information.  Images not released by the FBI showed Suspect 2 placing the second bomb.

By 11PM local time that evening, the Boston Marathon Bombing suspects had killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Police Officer, and were on the run in Watertown, MA with the full force of Boston Police, the FBI, and National Guard after them.  The suspects had carjacked a Mercedes SUV and forced the driver to withdraw money from various ATMs before releasing him.

The fourth victim of the Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects is Sean Collier, 26, of Somerville, MA, who was killed by multiple gunshots while sitting in his squad car on the MIT campus.

Around 1AM on Friday, April 19, 2013, the pursuit of the suspects, who were throwing explosives and exchanging gunfire with police, reached a stop.  Suspect 1 stepped out of his vehicle and charged the police while firing his gun.  He was wounded by the police returning fire, and by Suspect 2 running over him with his vehicle.

Suspect 1 was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital where he died from his wounds.  Suspect 2 evaded the police and was now on the loose, but suspected to still be in Watertown.

At this time, an unprecedented “shut-down” of the City of Boston and its surrounding areas began.  Public transportation was ordered not to open, businesses were ordered not to open, and residents were advised to “shelter in place.”

At 8:30AM on Friday, April 19, 2013 police identified Suspect 1 as Tamerlan (Tam-er-LAHN) Tsarnaev (Sar-NAI-ev), 26, of Cambridge, MA, and Suspect 2 as Dzhokhar (Jo-CAR) Tsarnaev (Sar-NAI-ev), 19, also of Cambridge.

The brothers are members of a family that has immigrated to the United States from Chechnya/Dagestan.  Dzhokar Tsarnaev is a citizen of the United States who received his citizenship on September 11, 2012.

Around 11 AM, Massachusetts Governor Duvall Patrick resumed taxi services in the city in order to encourage citizens who were locked down at work to return home and shelter in place at home.

“It was eerie,” said Wes Ritchie, describing the empty streets during the day on Friday.  “It was so quiet, and there was so little information about what was really going on.”

Ritchie lives in Somerville, MA, three blocks from the home of the suspects, where authorities warned of possible controlled explosions occurring throughout the day.

At 6:15 PM, Governor Patrick announced that public transportation had been resumed and that citizens were now able to leave their homes, despite Tsarnaev remaining on the loose.

Shortly after hearing he was able to leave his home, Watertown resident David Henneberry stepped outside to find that the tarp meant to winterize his boat was moving in the wind.  Henneberry investigated the situation by climbing up the ladder of the boat and looking under the tarp, where he found Tsarnaev crumpled up in a pool of blood. Henneberry called 911.

Police raced to the scene, and a firefight ensued, but eventually negotiators were able to convince Tsarnaev to surrender to police.  He was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, where he remained over the weekend.

On Friday, April 19, 2013, President Obama addressed the nation, calling the capture of Tsarnaev a close to “an important chapter in this tragedy.”

On Saturday, April 20, 2013, Ritchie explained what the week had been like in the city, describing his return to work on Tuesday and Wednesday as difficult.

“We had to make decisions about who we were contacting,” said Ritchie.  “We didn’t know who had been affected by this tragedy, so we didn’t know when we could return to doing our jobs normally.  We thought maybe after Obama’s service on Thursday, but…” Ritchie trailed off the end of the thought implying the lockdown of the city.

On Saturday, the normal city crowds were missing.  Memorials set up at both ends of the cordoned off section of Boylston St were the most densely packed areas, but were virtually silent.  Traffic which would normally be dense and slow moving was virtually non-existent.

“I am relieved that he’s captured,” said Ritchie.  “I’m looking forward to life getting back to safe and normal.”


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