Russell’s family gave a typewritten statement to reporters at their home Friday evening that read in part: “We cannot begin to comprehend how this horrible tragedy occurred. In the aftermath of the Patriot’s Day horror, we know that we never really knew Tamerlane [sic] Tsarnaev.” Her mother, Judith Russell, declined to comment further.
One next-door neighbor, Paula Gillettte, said Katherine had gone through a dramatic transition in her dress since going to college in Boston. When she returned for visits, she was wearing a head covering and the long-flowing gowns of traditional Muslim women; she also stayed inside more.
In 2011, Dzhokhar graduated high school, where he was the captain of the wrestling team, and went on to study at the University of Massachusetts. He hoped to become a dentist.
Dzhokhar was an avid skateboarder, and the night before the Monday bombings he cruised down Norfolk Street toward the house where his family has lived, said Caprice Ruff, 18, a grocery store cashier who lives about five houses away, across the street, on the same block in Cambridge.
She and family members were on their porch, and one called out a greeting and complimented him on his skateboard about 10:30 p.m., Ruff recalled. He answered something like, “Yeah, thanks,” she said.
Ruslan Tsarni, an uncle of the suspected bombers, said he is ashamed of them and earlier Friday urged Dzhokhar to turn himself in and beg forgiveness from the bombing victims. Asked what provoked his nephews, he replied: “Being losers — hatred to those who were able to settle themselves.”
“We are Muslim. We are ethnic Chechens,” he told reporters outside his house in Montgomery Village. “Somebody radicalized them, but it was not my brother. . . . Of course, we are ashamed. They are the children of my brother, who has little influence [over] them.”
Englund reported from Moscow. Julie Tate, Ellen Nakashima, Alice Crites, Mary Beth Sheridan and Peter Hermann contributed to this report.