Dzhokhar Anzorovich “Jahar” Tsarnaev (/ˌdʒoʊˈxɑr ˌtsɑrˈnaɪ.ɛf/, joh-khar tsahr-ny-ef; born July 22, 1993) and Tamerlan Anzorovich Tsarnaev (/ˌtæmərˈlɑːn/, ta-mər-lahn; October 21, 1986 – April 19, 2013)[note 1] were two brothers suspected of perpetrating the April 15, 2013, Boston Marathon bombings. The bombings killed three people and reportedly injured as many as 264 others.
The document, viewed by the Globe on Friday, shows that Tsarnaev was pronounced dead at 1:35 a.m. April 19.
Shortly after the Federal Bureau of Investigation declared them suspects in the bombings and released images of them, the Tsarnaev brothers allegedly killed an MIT police officer, carjacked an SUV, and engaged in a shootout with the police in the Boston suburb of Watertown, during which Tamerlan was killed and an MBTA police officer was critically injured (the latter by what may have been friendly fire). Dzhokhar was injured but escaped, and an unprecedented manhunt ensued, with thousands of police searching a 20-block area of Watertown. On the evening of April 19, the heavily wounded Dzhokhar was found unarmed hiding in a boat on a trailer in Watertown just outside the police perimeter, arrested, and taken to a hospital. It was later reported that he was persuaded to surrender when the FBI negotiators mentioned a public plea from his former wrestling coach.
While still confined to a hospital bed, Dzhokhar was charged on April 22 with using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death and with malicious destruction of property resulting in death. He could face the death penalty if convicted. Dzhokhar allegedly later admitted during questioning that they next intended to detonate explosives in Times Square in New York City and that they were jihadists who perpetrated the bombings on their own to defend Islam from attack. Dzhokhar reportedly also admitted to authorities that he and his brother were radicalized, at least in part, by watching Anwar al-Awlaki lectures. ABC reported on April 23, 2013, that authorities linked Tamerlan to an unsolved triple homicide in nearby Waltham that took place around the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
Born seven years apart in different republics of the former Soviet Union, the brothers are half Chechen and half Avar. They immigrated to the United States as refugees in 2002. Tamerlan was an aspiring boxer who authorities believe had recently become a follower of radical Islam. Dzhokhar was a student at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth who became a naturalized U.S. citizen on September 11, 2012, seven months before the bombings.
In the early hours of April 19, 2013, in Watertown, a suburb of Boston, Tamerlan was apprehended by police after being shot multiple times. The exact sequence of events remains clouded in confusion, as do key details. According to police, Tamerlan’s younger brother Dzhokhar ran him over with an SUV and dragged him with the vehicle for 20 feet (6.1 m). He was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where, despite efforts to revive him by emergency medical personnel, he was pronounced dead from several critical injuries, massive blood loss, and cardiac and respiratory arrest. Emergency room doctors said that he did not appear to have been run over. An eyewitness claims that he was struck by a police SUV before he was shot multiple times.
Tamerlan’s parents continue to proclaim his innocence. His mother is quoted as saying “America took my kids away from me. I’m sure my kids were not involved in anything.” The imam of a prominent Boston mosque has condemned the violence and distanced itself from the suspects, refusing to give Tamerlan a Muslim burial. His body was released to the funeral service hired by the family at 5:30 p.m. EDT May 2, 2013, by the Massachusetts Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. His death certificate gives cause of death as gunshot wounds to the torso and extremities, as well as blunt trauma to the head and torso. It confirmed that he was struck and dragged by a vehicle, in addition to being shot.
Tamerlan’s body was moved to a funeral home in North Attleborough; after protesters picketed the building, it was handed over to Graham, Putnam, and Mahoney Funeral Parlor in Worcester. Officials in Boston, Cambridge, at a state prison, and in over 120 other U.S. and Canadian locations refused to allow Tamerlan’s body to be buried in their jurisdictions. On May 9, Worcester police announced that Tamerlan’s body had been buried in an undisclosed location. It was later revealed that Tsarnaev was buried in a small Muslim cemetery, Al-Barzakh Cemetery, in Doswell, Virginia. The burial was set in motion by Martha Mullen of Richmond, Virginia, who said she was appalled by the protests at the funeral home, which she said “portrayed America at its worst” and wanted to find a way to end the impasse. She contacted Islamic Funeral Services of Virginia, which agreed to provide an unmarked plot in their cemetery. The funeral agency released a statement saying “What Tsarnaev did is between him and God. We strongly disagree with his violent actions, but that does not release us from our obligation to return his body to the earth.” Caroline County Sheriff Tony Lippa said the burial was legal. Locals, as well as the imam of the Virginia Islamic Centre condemned the secretive burial.
On June 19, 2013, Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s name was read aloud (in the context of a victim of gun violence) during a “No More Names” event held in Concord, New Hampshire. In response Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns issued a statement explaining how they were using a list complied from Slate.com who in turn used the Twitter account @GunDeaths “as the source of its data.”