An 8-year-old boy was killed in the Boston Marathon bombings yesterday, while waiting at the finish line with his family.
Martin Richard, a typical boy who enjoyed riding his bike, climbing trees and playing basketball, was one of three killed in the explosions, according to reports. The boy was waiting at the finish line with his mom and 6-year-old sister, who were both injured in the blast.
Richard’s mother sustained a serious head injury and underwent surgery last night. His sister has lost a leg, according to reports.
“We thank our family and friends, those we know and those we have never met, for their thoughts and prayers,” said the boy’s father in a statement released today. “I ask that you continue to pray for my family as we remember Martin.”
Original reports stated that the boy was waiting for his father, who is a runner, to cross the finish line, but it has since been reported that the father did not take part in the race. The family was at the Boston Marathon to support friends.
So far, hundreds of people have written messages of hope to the Richard family on the guestbook set up on Legacy.com.
A candle was placed in front of the boy’s home in Dorchester, Mass., according to a neighbor. The word "Peace" was written in chalk on the sidewalk outside the home. A particularly heartbreaking photo of Martin has been circulating widely on Facebook. It shows him in the wake of the Newtown school shooting last December, holding a sign with the plea "No more hurting people."
"There are no words to describe how they are feeling ... we are feeling," neighbor Jane Sherman told WCVB.
More than 145 people, including ten children, were injured in the bombings.
If you're having trouble answering your kids' questions about these frightening events, check our piece on 5 Tips on Talking to Kids About Scary News.