Dzhokhar Tsarnaev biography: 13 things about Boston Marathon bomber


Dzhokhar Anzorovich Tsarnaev is a Kyrgyztani-American man of Chechen and Avar descent. He and his late brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev planted pressure cooker bombs at the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, United States on April 15, 2013.

After being shot multiple times and apprehended by police, Tamerlan died on April 19, 2013 of gunshot wounds, blunt trauma, cardiac arrest and respiratory arrest. Before his death, he and Dzhokhar fatally shot MIT police officer Sean A. Collier.

The bombing killed Krystle Marie Campbell, Lü Lingzi and Martin William Richard and injured 264 more civilians. Tamerlan and Dzhokhar perpetrated the crime as retribution for U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Unlike Tamerlan, Dzhokhar was not killed. Here are 13 more things about the surviving Boston Marathon bomber:

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
  1. He was born in Tokmok, Chuy Oblusu, Kyrgyzstan to his Chechen father Anzor Tsarnaev and his Avar mother Zubeidat Tsarnaev.
  2. He was 6 years younger than his only brother Tamerlan, who was born in Kalmyk Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. They have two sisters namely Bella Tsarnaev and Aliana Tsarnaev.
  3. He grew up in Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan. In 2001, he and his family moved to Makhachkala, Dagestan, Russia.
  4. In April 2002, he and his parents travelled to the U.S. on a 90-day tourist visa. Eventually, the parents received asylum while their four children received derivative asylum status. The family lived on Norfolk Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  5. In March 2007, he and his family were granted legal permanent residence in the U.S. He attended Cambridgeport Elementary School, Cambridge Community Charter School and Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, all in Cambridge, Massachusetts, before entering the  University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. He was a wrestler and a Greater Boston League winter all-star at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.
  6. In 2011, he graduated from Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and received $2,500 scholarship from the city of Cambridge. In September 2011, he enrolled at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth where he started with a marine biology major with the intent on becoming a dentist but later changed to nursing. At the time of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, he was a sophomore living in the university’s Pine Dale Hall dorm.
  7. In 2012, he worked intermittently as a lifeguard at Harvard University in Cambridge. In the same year, Arlington County Police Department officers ran a warrant check on him and checked his green Honda when they were called to a report of an underage drinking party in Arlington Heights, Illinois, USA. On September 11, 2012, he became a naturalized U.S. citizen.
  8. Unarmed and severely wounded after the Boston Marathon bombing, he hid in a boat in a backyard in Watertown, Massachusetts where he was arrested on April 19, 2013. On April 22, 2013, he was charged with using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death and with malicious destruction of properties resulting in death both in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing. He was treated for severe injuries in the intensive-care unit of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. U.S. Marshals transported him to the Federal Medical Center, Devens in Fort Devens, Massachusetts on April 26, 2013.
  9. On April 8, 2015, he was found guilty on all 30 counts of the indictment. The charges of usage of a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, in addition to aiding and abetting, made him eligible for the death penalty. On June 24, 2015, Judge George O’Toole formally sentenced him to death.
  10. On January 15, 2016, O’Toole denied his appeal and ordered him to pay $101,125,027 to the victims and the Massachusetts Victim Compensation Fund.
  11. In December 2018, his lawyers filed an appeal on several grounds, including the trial not being moved outside of Boston and two of the jurors making false claims about their pre-trial communication about the incident.
  12. On July 31, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld the appeal his lawyers filed in December 2018. Three of his convictions were reversed, the death sentence was vacated and a new sentencing trial was ordered for the overturned charges. The remaining convictions still carried multiple life sentences that kept him in prison regardless of the fate of the new trial.
  13. He was 28 years old when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld his death sentence on March 4, 2022. He is being held at ADMAX Florence in Colorado, USA.

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