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Boston bombing victim, 8, was watching at the finish line

April 16, 2013|By Alana Semuels | This post has been corrected. See below for details.

BOSTON -- Martin Richard, an 8-year-old victim of Monday’s explosions at the Boston Marathon, loved to ride his bike and play with his older brother Henry and younger sister Jane, neighbors in Dorchester said Tuesday.

Martin, who was at the marathon with his family, including father Bill, mother Denise and two siblings, was at the finish line when the explosions occurred. Martin was killed and his mother and sister were injured. Late Monday night, Bill Richard stopped by the family’s blue Victorian-style house in the Ashmont neighborhood dressed in hospital scrubs, said Jane Sherman, 64, who lives next door.

VIDEO: Boston marathon explosion

“Losing one child is bad enough, having the other ones injured and your wife injured ... ,” Sherman said, trailing off. “They are a wonderful family and this is a horrific tragedy. I think this is something they won’t recover from.”

Residents congregated on the corners of the neighborhood, where narrow streets lead to brightly colored single-family and two-family houses. Neighbors said the family sometimes went on weekend ski trips and the children -- including Martin's sister Jane -- sometimes played outside with other kids.

“They’re your all-American family, with three kids, a mother, father,” Sherman said.

Another neighbor who lives up the street but declined to give her name said Bill Richard's wife grew up in Dorchester and that the family moved to the Ashmont neighborhood about 15 years ago.

“It’s tragic,” she said.

PHOTOS: Explosions at Boston Marathon

Dave Finnerty, who lives a few blocks away, walked past the house on the way to the nearby MBTA stop. He, like many in Boston, was at the marathon Monday and heard the explosions.

“It sounded like the grandstand collapsed,” he said, adding that he didn't know the Richard family well. “I was panic-stricken.” 

The explosions and aftermath shattered a sense of calm in this small community, which Finnerty called an “up-and-coming neighborhood.” Parts of Dorchester have high crime, but this neighborhood, where the houses are restored, is not one of them.

“It just goes to show how not secure we are,” Sherman said. “It’s a horrendous tragedy.”

[For the record, 4:15 p.m. April 16: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said Martin's father ran in the Boston Marathon. The Richard family, including Martin's father, Bill, was at the finish line to watch the race.] 


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Twitter: @alanasemuels

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