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Boxing Coach Calls Bombing Suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev ‘Very Good Athlete’

Bob Russo coached Tamerlan Tsarnaev when he was a competitor at the Golden Gloves amateur nationals in 2009. Tsarnaev, one of the suspects of the Boston Marathon bombings, was killed Friday while in pursuit from police. Photo by Julia Malakie, Lowell Sun

As the manhunt continues for 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, stories begin to unfold about his older brother and suspected accomplice in Monday’s attack that killed three and wounded 170.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed early Friday morning in an encounter with police. According to the Associated Press, the brothers are ethnic Chechen who had lived in Dagestan, which neighbors Chechnya in southern Russia. They had been in the U.S. for about a decade, an uncle said, and were believed to be living in Cambridge, Mass.

Tamerlan studied accounting as a part-time student at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston. He was also an aspiring boxer. According to the Lowell Sun, Tamerlan was a Lowell Golden Gloves boxer who told the paper in 2004 “I like the U.S.A.” after winning his first fight in the north Massachusetts town.

PBS NewsHour spoke to Bob Russo, Portland Boxing Club owner, who coached Tamerlan at the Golden Gloves amateur nationals in 2009.

Russo said he didn’t know the young boxer very well, but said he was very quite and “a very good athlete.”


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