Community mourns 8-year-old killed in Boston Marathon blast

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Associated Press

Posted on April 16, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 23 at 9:12 PM

Martin Richard, an 8-year-old boy from a tight-knit community in Dorchester, Mass., was among those killed when a pair of bombs went off at the finish line at the Boston Marathon Monday.

"My dear son Martin has died from injuries sustained in the attack on Boston," his father, Bill Richard, said in a statement. "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."

Martin Richard's mother, Denise, reportedly underwent emergency brain surgery Monday to save her life, while his younger sister Jane Richard suffered a severe injury to her leg. A third child was unharmed.

"They're dear, dear friends to the community, to ourselves, to our neighbors, and this is a very very difficult time," Judy Tuttle, who serves on the Ashmont Adams Neighborhood Association with Denise Richard, told CBSNews.com.

Locals gathered Monday night at Tavolo Restaurant in Dorchester to mourn the family's loss and discuss what they knew about their condition. An employee who answered the phone at the restaurant described owner Chris Douglass as "heartbroken" and said a process had begun to coordinate a fund to help the Richards.

"We're really saddened by the loss for the family," he said. "They were really close."

CBS Boston reported that the word "peace" was written in chalk on the sidewalk outside the family's home.

Martin Richard had been a student at Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy. In a statement, the school described him as a "kind, caring, and loving young boy who had great excitement for learning." Neighbor Betty Delorey told the Associated Press that he loved to climb trees in the neighborhood; he was also described as loving to ride his bike and playing baseball

The Richard family was deeply embedded in the community, with Bill Richard serving on the board of a local community development group and the family active at their church, St. Ann's Parish, which declined comment out of respect for the family. 

The names of the other two people who have died as a result of the attack have not been made public.

Among those who saw their lives changed as a result of the attacks were two of Wakefield resident Liz Norden's five children. Norden told the Boston Globe that two of her sons each lost a leg in the bombings.

"I'd never imagined in my wildest dreams this would ever happen," she said while sitting on a bench outside the Beth Israel Deaconess emergency room on Monday.

On his Facebook page, meanwhile, the father of a man who was shown being wheeled away from the scene said doctors had amputated both of his son's legs. 27-year-old Jeff Bauman Jr., who was at the race to watch his girlfriend run, had to have both legs removed because of vascular and bone damage.

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