Gym Owner Remembers Boston Bombing Suspect as Normal

Apr 23, 2013

The older of the two Boston bombing suspects worked out at a boxing gym in Providence a couple of years ago, but no one noticed anything strange about him.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev worked out at the Big Six Boxing Academy in Providence several times in the latter half of 2011.  Gym owner Roland Estrada said there was nothing unusual about the young man, who two years later would allegedly bomb the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring scores more.

"No inclination of what he was going to do," Estrada said. "You know, it’s not the same person."

Estrada remembers Tsarnaev as a well-dressed young man who wore distinctive silver sneakers.  Estrada says he never mentioned religion.

"What I remember was he was a pretty confident kid," Estrada continued. "Kind of down-to-earth and funny. He liked to kid around a lot. He actually came down by himself to spar with Jason, my son. Tough kid. He got in there, he did the sparring. He hung around for about a half hour after the workout because he had a long drive back to Boston."

Estrada said he was stunned to learn Tsarnaev was a suspect in the Boston bombings. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed early Friday morning in a shootout with police.