A Tamerlan Tsarnaev morgue photo claiming to show the slain Boston bombing suspect is making its rounds on the internet just hours after the suspect was killed in a gun battle with police.
The photo shows a young man, his face bruised and mouth open, laying on a medical slab. The origin of the photo is unknown, but after being published on Friday it quickly made its way around law enforcement circles in Boston.
Written above the Tamerlan Tsarnaev morgue photo are the words “Suspect 1,” a nod to his reported role in Monday’s bombing.
The 26-year-old Tamerlan and his 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar are accused of planting bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday. The explosives were fashioned using pressure cookers and packed with metal shrapnel. When they exploded nearly simultaneously, the bombs ripped through the crowd, tearing off limbs and shattering glass.
Three people were killed in the explosion and close to 180 injured.
Police zeroed in on the suspects on Thursday night after they reportedly robbed a convenience store and hijacked a car. A rolling gun battle took place, with the suspects reportedly setting off explosives. Two police officers were shot during the night, one fatally.
At close to 1 am police apprehended Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was taken to a hospital but died of the wounds suffered in the fight with police.
With emotions still raw, viewing the Tamerlan Tsarnaev death photo was cathartic for many officers, a law enforcement official told Boston.com. The photo was also seen as also motivation for police as they continued the search for Dzhokhar, who was still on the loose.
“Mission accomplished,” the officer said. “We’re halfway there. Justice is served.”
At the same time, a photo claiming to be of Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the morgue fitting the description of the one described by Boston.com made its way to several websites. On image-sharing site Reddit, several users shared the alleged Tamerlan Tsarnaev death photo, but the posts were quickly removed.