Boston: Devastated friends and neighbors on Tuesday mourned the boy who was killed in the Boston Marathon bombings and remembered him as a vivacious 8-year-old who loved to run and climb.
Martin Richard was among the three people killed in the explosions Monday, according to US Rep. Stephen Lynch, a friend of the family for 25 years. The boy's mother, Denise, and 6-year-old sister, Jane, were badly injured. His brother and father were also watching the race but were not hurt.
They had gone to get ice cream, then returned to the area near the finish line. Neighbor Jack Cunningham said Martin's father was a runner but had been injured and didn't run the marathon.
"They were looking in the crowd as the runners were coming to see if they could identify some of their friends when the bomb hit," Lynch said.
On Tuesday morning, candle burned on the stoop of the family's single-family home, and "peace" was written in chalk on the front walkway. A child's bicycle helmet lay overturned on the front lawn.
"What a gift. To know him was to love him," said longtime friend Judy Tuttle, who talked of sitting at the dining room table having tea with Denise Richard while Martin did his homework. "He had that million-dollar smile and you never knew what was going to come out of him. Denise is the most spectacular mother that you've ever met and Bill is a pillar of the community. It doesn't get any better than these people."
Neighbor Betty Delorey, 80, said Martin loved to climb the neighborhood trees and hop the fence outside his home.
"I can just remember his mother calling him, 'Martin!' if he was doing something wrong," she said. "Just a vivacious little kid."
"I'm sick to my stomach," she said. "It's hard to say anything really."
The children's father, Bill, is the director of a local community group, and an avid runner and bicyclist.
Denise Richard works as a librarian at the Neighborhood House Charter School, which both Martin and Jane attended.
Counselors were being made available Tuesday to staff and students, said Bodi Luse, a school spokeswoman.
"We are devastated," she said. "The whole community is devastated."