Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the alleged Boston Marathon bomber killed in a shootout with police early Friday, was once a promising boxer with aspirations to make the US Olympic team.
After coming to the United States from Chechnya in 2003, Tsarnaev made a name for himself in local boxing circles, winning a Golden Gloves novice fight just a few months later.
At the time, Tamerlan Tsarnaev seemed optimistic about his life in the United States.
“I like the USA … America has a lot of jobs,” he told the Sun. “That’s something Russia doesn’t have. You have a chance to make money here if you are willing to work.”
Reports showed that Tsarnaev continued his boxing career, going on to win the Rocky Marciano Trophy as heavyweight champion of New England. He even took a leave of his studies from Bunker Hill Community College to train for the Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions in Salt Lake City in 2009. He would go on to lose in the tournament, however.
Police identified 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, as the prime suspects in Monday’s bombing. The two reportedly led police on a shootout in Boston overnight on Friday, one that left two police officers shot, one fatally.
Police said they apprehended Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was taken to a hospital and died close to 1:30 am on Friday.
The violence started Thursday, when a 7-Eleven convenience store was robbed. Not long after, Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier was shot ad killed as he sat in his car. Police said the Tsarnaev brothers were responsible for the shooting.
The two then hijacked a car at gunpoint, releasing the driver a half hour later. Police caught up with the suspects, who fired at officers and lobbed explosives out of the window.
While Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed, his brother Dzhokhar is still on the run.
Details about the Tsarnaev brothers poured in on Friday, with their father imploring Dzhokhar to turn himself in.
Reports also showed that Tamerlan Tsarnaev wasn’t the only athlete in the family. His younger brother Dzhokhar was a wrestler at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in Cambridge, Mass., and in 2011 was named to as a Greater Boston League Winter All Star.