Shattered Family: Blast Killed Boy, Wounded Mom & Sister

Apr 16, 2013
Originally published on April 16, 2013 2:16 pm

There will be many heartbreaking stories in coming hours and days about the victims of Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon.

Among the first such tragic tales is that of the Richard family from Dorchester, Mass.

As the local Dorchester Reporter writes:

"A beloved Dorchester family watching the Boston Marathon near the finish line in Copley Square was caught in one of two bomb blasts that exploded on Monday afternoon. Martin Richard, 8, was killed in the explosion, while his sister Jane, 7, suffered a grievous injury to her leg. Their mom, Denise, was also badly hurt in the blast and underwent emergency surgery yesterday to save her life."

A neighbor of the family, Jane Sherman, tells Boston's WCVB-TV that "there are no words to describe how they are feeling ... we are feeling." There are reports that Jane Richard has lost a leg.

The Boston Globe writes that:

"Richard was fatally injured and his mother and sister seriously wounded as they waited for their father and husband, Bill Richard, at the finish line on Boylston Street, friends said. Bill Richard was active in the Ashmont community issues.

"Neighbor Dan Aguilar said the Richard family was close-knit, and that on most days — regardless of the weather - Martin Richard and his brother were in the family's backyard, playing soccer, hockey or baseball. 'They are just your average little boys,' Aguilar told reporters gathered near the family's home on Carruth Street. 'They are a good family. They are always together.' "

While there have been reports that Bill Richard, the father, had run the marathon and that Martin had moments before the blast greeted his dad near the finish line, Bill Richard's name is not among those that come up in a search of the marathon's website.

But Dorchester Reporter editor Bill Forry, who knows the family, tells WBUR that Bill Richard was a runner who had in the past participated in the marathon. And, Forry said, the family enjoyed going into the city to watch the marathon each year.

The Richard family's tragedy, Forry added, has hit Dorchester hard. "It's deeply disturbing," he said.

Among the other stories of a family that's been devastated by Monday's attack is this, from the Globe:

"Brothers Watching Boston Marathon Each Lose A Leg."

Update at 2:14 p.m. ET. Statement From Father:

"My dear son Martin has died from injuries sustained in the attack on Boston," Bill Richard, the 8-year-old boy's father, 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."

Note at 1 p.m. ET: While NPR has not independently confirmed the details of what happened to the Richard family, their story is being told by numerous credible outlets. As we've said in our breaking news post about the Boston bombings, we are focusing on news being reported by NPR, other news outlets with expertise and statements from authorities in position to know what's going on. And if some of that information turns out to be wrong, we'll update.

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