North Texas Daily

Locals react to Boston bombings

Locals react to Boston bombings

April 23
22:44 2013

Marlene Gonzalez / Assigning Editor

On Friday evening, Boston authorities captured Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, who was taken into custody. He is currently at a local hospital in Boston.

The other suspect, his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died Friday in a shooting at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge after refusing to negotiate with authorities.

The Associated Press said Tsarnaev was charged by federal prosecutors for using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction to kill. If charged, he could face the death penalty.

Dzhokhar has been communicating with officials and said the attacks were driven by jihadist radicalism sparked by the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

UNT graduate student Christina Ledesma was one of the runners at the Boston Marathon last Monday, finishing the race at 1:06 p.m., 44 minutes before the first bomb went off.

On Monday Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick asked residents to hold a moment of silence at 2:50 p.m., the time the first of two bombs exploded. Boylston Street, the street where the marathon took place, was also opened.

Ledesma said when she found out authorities had caught the suspects, she didn’t want to look at the Tsarnaev brother’s faces.

“It was an overwhelming sense of peace that they had been caught, but I was disgusted to look at them,” she said. “It was hard to look at the faces of the people who had committed that crime.”

She plans to return to next year’s race since she qualified with a time of 3 hours, 4 minutes and 53 seconds.

“I kind of want to redeem my trip,” she said. “It’s just going to be that more meaningful, so we’re definitely going to have to return next year.”

UNT Director of Student Life for the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science program Russ Stukel qualified to compete in next year’s race with a time of 3 hours and 17 minutes, but said he isn’t sure whether he will return.

“I’m qualified to run next year, but I don’t know yet,” he said. “It has nothing to do with the bombing though. It’s just a matter of can I get off work and can I afford to get up there again.”

Although he might not return, Stukel said it was “a surreal experience” and encourages those who qualify to participate in the Boston Marathon.

“The fact that these two individuals decided to bomb it should not deter anyone form running in a race like that,” Stukel said. “It should encourage people to take pride in the liberties that our country has to offer, and the opportunities in life.”

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