Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Partied While Boston Hunted Him

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev acted like just any other college sophomore last week. 

"He was just relaxed," described a student to the Boston Globe about seeing the surviving Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, at a party attended by Dzhokhar's intramural soccer friends at UMass Dartmouth on Wednesday night, two days after the bombing. University officials also verified Dzhokhar's presence on campus, telling CNN that Dzhokhar attended all classes and was seen at dorm parties at the school until late Thursday afternoon.

Dzhokhar left campus on Thursday once the FBI released grainy photos of him and his brother Tamerlan. Until, then he did not raise any red flags around his peers. His official Twitter account showed him as being active till Thursday as well, even tweeting the following the day of the bombings:



At Dzhokhar's dorm, his friends joked late Thursday that the photos could look like Dzhokhar: "We made a joke like, that could be Dzhokhar," said Pamala Rolon. "But then we thought it just couldn't be him. Dzhokhar? Never." Nobody was joking on Friday as the entire city had been shut down, Dzhokhar's older brother Tamerlan had been killed in a standoff with police, and Dzokhar, bleeding profusely, was the center of an intense manhunt. 

UMass Dartmouth posted a message on its website early Friday: "UMass Dartmouth has learned that a person being sought in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing has been identified as a student registered at UMass Dartmouth. The campus is closed. Individuals on campus should shelter in place unless instructed otherwise." 

During the chaos on Friday, NBC briefly reported police cars headed to UMass Dartmouth presumably to search Dzhokhar's dorm room. News channels on Friday were interviewing some of his college friends who continued to reiterate Dzhokhar as a nice, caring boy, with one friend pleading him to surrender his guns and return to those who love him. 

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Shwetika Baijal

Shwetika is PolicyMic's first columnist and writes for the Millenials and the Media column. She focuses on how the media frames policy and cultural issues, how the media's framing effects public opinion, and in turn how public opinion affects the policies and issues under discussion.

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