Debate, Protests Continue Over Final Arrangements of Marathon Bombing Suspect
WORCESTER, Mass. (WGGB) — A Worcester funeral director is drawing a lot of criticism for agreeing to handle services for Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
Now, he finds himself up against a wall as cemeteries in three New England states refuse to accept the body.
Police stood watch outside the Graham Putnam and Mahoney Funeral Parlors while across the street, a crowd, visibly upset that suspected marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s body is inside their city.
“USA, USA!” were some of the chants coming from the group.
“All the 260 people injured from this and we want to give him a resting place. No, no, it’s not fair, it’s not fair,” says Kimmie Ouellette of Worcester.
“This man is a murderer, and he deserves to be put in the water with the sharks,” adds Amy Skipper.
“We want him out of the area, we don’t want him over here. [Why?] Because he doesn’t deserve to be here. Look at the neighborhood. It’s already bad, and you’re bringing bad things over here too. We don’t want him over here,” notes George Brown.
Tsarnaev’s uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, prepared the body for burial according to Muslim tradition Sunday night.
All the while, crowds gathered and this impromtu display, sprang up.
Many protesters were out here through the weekend, and say they will continue to gather until Tsarnaev’s body is gone.
“As soon as he’s gone, then I can go home and rest. [And until then?] Until then, I’ll be here, 10-2 everyday until he’s gone,” says Jennifer Marchand.
One local man has taken it even further, setting up a fund to collect money to ship the body overseas for burial, using $500 of his own cash to get it started.
“Ship the body. As it says, this is a body transportation fund. [Bottom line, you want him out?] We want him out of here,” says William Breault of the Main South Public Safety Council.
Meanwhile, funeral director Peter Stefan indicated that he intended to reach out to the Governor for assistance in trying to find a place to bury Tsarnaev.
The Governor indicates that this isn’t a state or federal issue, this is a family issue.
“I assume that they will make a decision soon. I hope they do. I think everybody is feeling upset about what happened but we showed the world, I think, in the immediate aftermath of the attacks what a civilization looks like and i’m proud of what we showed and i think we’ll continue to do that by stepping back and let the family make their decisions,” adds Governor Patrick.
The Worcester Telegram and Gazette reports that according to Stefan, Tsarnaev’s mother contacted him Monday to indicate that his body would be welcomed back in Russia.