An 8-year-old boy killed in the attack on the Boston Marathon was being mourned Monday night in Dorchester, a neighborhood in Boston.
Martin Richard, 8, was killed in one of the two explosions that hit the finish line area of the marathon Monday afternoon. The child's mother and sister were badly injured in the attack.
In a statement issued through a spokesman Tuesday, Martin's father Bill Richard said, "My dear son Martin has died from injuries sustained in the attack on Boston. My wife and daughter are both recovering from serious injuries.
"We thank our family and friends, those we know and those we have never met, for their thoughts and prayers. I ask that you continue to pray for my family as we remember Martin. We also ask for your patience and for privacy as we work to simultaneously grieve and recover. Thank you.”
Locals gathered at Dorchester's Tavolo restaurant last night to grieve the loss.
City Councillor at Large Ayanna Presely told boston.com that the community was supporting the family: "They are beloved by this community. They contribute in many ways. That’s why you see this outpouring. It’s surreal, it’s tragic, it’s incomprehensible. Everyone here tonight is trying to comfort one another and be prayerful.”
Martin's father Bill is reported to be a community leader in the Ashmont section of Dorchester. It is understood that a third child of the family was unhurt.
Early this morning the death toll from Monday's atrocity was three, with as many as 170 people injured, at least 17 of them critically.
Walking toward the Boston Marathon finish line this afternoon was a strange and unsettling sight: a mix of oblivious runners who had not yet heard that twin explosions had detonated along Boylston Street, and those who witnessed the chaos but remained in the area, wandering around the littered streets.
"It happened after I crossed the finish line. I got water there was a big boom and everyone went, ‘Oh my God,’ and I turned around and there was a big black plume. A big ball of smoke and then another one," said Jackie Fairbarren, a marathon runner from Wisconsin.
Fairbarren was visibly shaken as she clutched a heatsheet, which was wrapped loosely around her shoulders. She stood directly under a Family Meeting Area sign with tears and concern in her eyes.
"Everyone was ... no one could figure out what was going on. I’m really worried about my kids. I’m waiting for them to find me. I was running faster (than them). My husband and my 15-year-old were at the spot where it went off. I’m waiting at the family area."
Paul Horton, of Maryville, Tenn., said he crossed the finish line at 1:10 p.m., and had just stepped out of the shower at The Colonnade Boston Hotel when he heard the blasts.
"There were two booms, maybe 12 or 15 seconds apart, but pretty big blasts. I thought they were close to me but apparently it was a couple blocks down," Horton said. "I heard all the sirens out front I thought maybe someone got hit by a car; six, eight, 10 ambulances went by the hotel. People were standing around everywhere on their phones. I have a buddy running, and tried to get to the finish line to catch him, but got turned away down there."
A few blocks up, around 3:50 p.m., crowds of onlookers gathered near Copley Square to capture the chaos on their smartphones, despite orders from authorities to clear the area.
Within moments, a loud, deep boom bellowed through the area. Marathon officials yelled at pedestrians to run, and they did, in all different directions.
Boston Police later reported that a third blast was a controlled water canon.
At 4:30 p.m., Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis confirmed Monday's explosions were an attack on the city, although they would not say whether it was being considered an act of terrorism.
"We're not being definitive," he said. "You can reach your own conclusions."
Stay with Metro Boston as this story develops.