Everyone who knew Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was apparently shocked when he emerged as the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing.
The 19-year-old was described by former classmates at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School as “friendly” and “sweet.”
One former wrestling teammate, who wished to remain anonymous, told us about his experience with Dzhokhar. He calls the suspect a friend who went out of his way to help him succeed.
Here’s his written response, lightly edited for clarity:
He was a friend to me, he was a teammate to me, he helped me be successful in wrestling. He was one of the people that saw potential in me, which made me continue to wrestle. Even after he graduated he came back and spent his time trying to make me be the best wrestler I could be.
He was part of the reason why I was so successful in wrestling. He was one of the people that came to practice and never gave up on me being successful in what we do as wrestlers he worked with me one on one on the wrestling mat.
I just can’t believe that he would do something like this. It just breaks my heart to know that it was him. I wish it was not but it is. It’s just so hard when someone you treated like family, with such a big influence on your life, just turns into the person that I’m seeing on TV. It brings great pain and sadness to me.
The last time I saw him was in the winter and the last thing I said to him was, “Next time I see [you] we are going to wrestle,” and I was going to win, and he told me, “Any time.” But I have no clue [about] what happened to him at all.
And that’s my story.
A different teammate posted a video of Dzokhar dancing and practicing wrestling, calling him a “friend and teammate,” and commenting the video showed “the Jahar I knew.”
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