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The 2013 Boston Marathon Tragedy

Three people were killed and hundreds injured after multiple bombs exploded during the Boston Marathon.



Boston Marathon Shrine, April 20, 2013
Photo credit: Natalie Baumgardner

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On Monday, April 15, 2013, multiple bombs exploded during the Boston Marathon. The bombs went off at 2:50 in the afternoon as runners finished the race. Three people were killed. One was an eight year old boy. More than 260 people were injured.

The first explosion happened on Boylston Street close to the finish line. The second blast came about ten seconds later, 50 to 100 yards away. Another explosion happened during the afternoon at the JFK Library, but officials confirmed that incident was not connected.

The Search for Suspects

A U.S. government official said that neither the Boston police nor the FBI received any threats of an attack leading up to the marathon. Parents of the 2012 Newtown, Conn., shooting victims were in attendance near the finish line, sitting in the VIP section of the bleachers, but none of them were injured. President Obama said from the White House briefing room, "We still do not know who did this or why, and people shouldn't jump to conclusions before we have all the facts, but make no mistake: We will get to the bottom of this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice."

On April 18, 2013, three days after the marathon bombing, the FBI released photos and video of two suspects in the hope that the public could help identify them. "Somebody out there knows these individuals as friends, neighbors, co-workers, or family members. Though it may be difficult, the nation is counting on those with information to come forward and provide it to us," said FBI special agent Richard DesLauriers upon the release of the photos and video.

On the same day the images were released, President Obama spoke at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston's South End. After the service, both the president and First lady Michelle Obama visited those injured in the explosions who were still recovering in the various hospitals throughout Boston.

Boston Lockdown

Just hours after the FBI released the images, the two suspects robbed a gas station in Central Square then shot and killed a MIT police officer in his car. Afterwards, the two men carjacked a SUV and told the driver that they had set off the explosions at the marathon. Police pursued the vehicle into Watertown. During the shootout, a MBTA officer was shot and one of the suspects, identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed. A suicide vest was found on his body.

The other suspect, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, age 19, remained at large for several hours, causing a massive manhunt and lockdown for all of Boston, Cambridge, and many other surrounding communities. The manhunt continued throughout Friday, April 19, 2013, until he was found alive, but seriously injured, hiding in a boat behind a house in Watertown.

The two suspects were brothers and had been living together in Cambridge. They had lived in the U.S. for about a decade, but were from an area near Chechnya, a region in Russia.

by Jennie Wood

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Did you know?
In addition to the phenomenon of “northern lights” (Aurora borealis) there are also the “southern lights” (Aurora australis).

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