Bomber died of gunshots, blunt trauma

2013-05-04 11:28
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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Boston - A suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings died from gunshot wounds and blunt trauma to his head and torso, a funeral director said on Friday.

Funeral home owner Peter Stefan has 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body and read details from his death certificate.

The certificate cites Tsarnaev's "gunshot wounds of torso and extremities" and lists the time of his death as 01:35 on 19 April, four days after the deadly bombing, Stefan said.

Tsarnaev died after a gunfight with authorities, who had launched a massive manhunt for him and his brother, ethnic Chechens from Russia who came to the US nearly a decade ago.

Police have said he ran out of ammunition before his younger brother dragged his body under a vehicle while fleeing.

Tsarnaev's family on Friday was making arrangements for his funeral as investigators searched the woods near a college attended by 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was captured less than a day after his brother's death.

Funeral arrangements

The funeral parlour is familiar with Muslim services and said it will handle arrangements for Tamerlan Tsarnaev, whose body was released by the state medical examiner on Thursday.

The body initially was taken to another funeral home, where it was greeted by about 20 protesters.

Stefan, owner of Graham Putnam and Mahoney Funeral Parlours, said everybody deserves a dignified burial service no matter the circumstances of his or her death and he is prepared for protests.

"My problem here is trying to find a gravesite. A lot of people don't want to do it. They don't want to be involved with this," said Stefan, who said dozens of protesters gathered outside his funeral home, upset with his decision to handle the funeral. "I keep bringing up the point of Lee Harvey Oswald, Timothy McVeigh or Ted Bundy. Somebody had to do those, too."

Planned bombing

Meanwhile, two US officials said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told interrogators that he and his brother initially considered setting off their bombs on 4 July, American Independence day.

As part of the bombing investigation, federal, state and local authorities were searching the woods near the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth campus, where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was a student. Christina DiIorio-Sterling, a spokesperson for US Attorney Carmen Ortiz, could not say what investigators were looking for but said residents should know there is no threat to public safety.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was found hiding in a tarp-covered boat in a suburban Boston backyard, faces a charge of using a weapon of mass destruction to kill.

Three of his college classmates were arrested on Wednesday and accused of helping after the bombing to remove a laptop and backpack from his dormitory room before the FBI searched it.

The 15 April bombing, using pressure cookers packed with explosives, nails, ball bearings and metal shards, killed three people and injured more than 260 others near the marathon's finish line.

The brothers decided to carry out the attack before Independence Day when they finished assembling the bombs, the surviving suspect told interrogators after he was arrested, according to two US officials briefed on the investigation.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation.

Assembling explosives

Investigators believe some of the explosives used in the attack were assembled in Tamerlan Tsarnaev's home, though there may have been some assembly elsewhere, one of the officials said. It does not appear that the brothers ever had big, definitive plans, the official said.

The brothers' mother insists the allegations against them are lies.

Meanwhile, the department of homeland security ordered border agents to immediately begin verifying that every international student, who arrives in the US has a valid student visa, according to an internal memorandum obtained on Friday by AP. The new procedure is the government's first security change directly related to the Boston bombings.

The order from a senior official at US Customs and Border Protection, David J Murphy, was circulated on Thursday and came one day after President Barack Obama's administration acknowledged that one of the students accused of hiding evidence, Azamat Tazhayakov, of Kazakhstan, was allowed to return to the US in January without a valid student visa.

Tazhayakov's lawyer has said he had nothing to do with the bombing and was shocked by it.

A benefit concert featuring Aerosmith, James Taylor and Jimmy Buffett is scheduled for 30 May at the TD Garden in Boston.

The proceeds will go to The One Fund, which has taken in more than $28m for those injured and the families of those who were killed.

The fund's administrator, Kenneth Feinberg, said on Friday he plans to hold meetings with victims next week and begin cutting cheques by the end of June.

Read more on:    tamerlan tsarnaev  |  dzhokhar tsarnaev  |  us  |  boston explosions

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