WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been overwhelming for the survivors of the bombing as well as the victims’ families, John Tlumacki, who was present at the marathon’s finish line during the April 15, 2013 fatal blasts told Sputnik.
“To read and to hear the accounts of what happened, despite me being there, was just devastating in terms of details,” Tlumacki said on Tuesday.
“For me it was almost like we were living every moment that happened. It’s been a very difficult period for the families, because they are living the whole event like it happened to them,” he added.
Last week, a Boston jury found Tsarnaev guilty on all 30 counts for his role in the marathon bombings and in the murder of Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier, 17 of which carry the death penalty. Three people died and 236 were wounded as a result of the blasts.
Tlumacki, who is a staff photographer with The Boston Globe, said he wishes the case never went to a trial.
“In terms of being found guilty, I think everybody expected that. It was one of those things where there was no doubt that he was guilty. It’s just too bad that the survivors and family members had to go through the trial,” he said.
“The wounds didn’t heal yet, the mental wounds that people have gone through. They are still struggling to deal with it. It’s a lot to do mentally as well as physically,” he explained.
This year, Boston will hold the marathon on April 21. But for many, the marathon has become a special and emotional event rather than a purely sporting one.
“It’s now a memorial to victims and to the survivors,” Tlumacki said. “I was there when it happened. I was there last year, and I am going to be there this year covering the finish line…. I don’t want to be afraid because of what happened.”
Tlumacki noted that going back and covering the marathon helps him cope with the mental wounds the event has caused.
“I wasn’t hurt, but my injuries were mental, and my way of dealing with it is to be there and cover the event as I always have, and to talk about it. I don’t want people ever to forget what happened and how it affected so many lives,” he explained.
With the act of terrorism act, Tlumacki noted, “people have to remember that we take our lives for granted sometimes,” and a person can get hit when least expecting it.
Boston Police Department spokesperson Sergeant Michael McCarthy told Sputnik on Tuesday that the city’s law enforcement ramped up security to prepare for the event.
The police are encouraging spectators not to bring bags near the finish line, and anybody who has a bag will be inspected.
The Boston jury is expected to start deliberations on April 21on whether Tsarnaev should receive the death penalty or life sentence.
A US federal judge said during a brief hearing on Tuesday that the jurors have been ordered not to attend this year's marathon.