Tamerlan Tsarnaev's Gym Partner Profiles Dead Bomber
Earlier, we presented a captioned photo profile of one of the two alleged terrorists, the 26 year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev who died last night in a shoot-out with the Boston Police. As a follow up, Bloomberg has conducted an interview with one of his gym sparring partners, "Jon K" who trained with Tamerlan in the same Boston gym, and who told BBG TV that "he seemed like a really nice guy, to himself and a little bit arrogant and cocky, but he helped people at the gym all the time with their boxing and was friendly with everyone. It's a complete shock." Jon, who asked that his last name not be used, said: "All week, I have been wondering who the psycho was and it turns out that it was somebody I interacted with. It is shocking, especially as an athlete, he was an athlete, that he would do this to other athletes and just anyone in general."
On how he knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev:
"About four or five years ago, I was working full-time as a project manager and in my off time, I was training at a mixed martial arts gym in Boston. Tamerlan wasn't part of our gym, but he was training for the golden gloves boxing championship. I remember that he would come in to work with some of our boxers and worked with us. That is where I remember him from. When I woke up this morning and saw his name and his picture on the news, I immediately recognized him."
"He seemed like a really nice guy, to himself and a little bit arrogant and cocky, but he helped people at the gym all the time with their boxing and was friendly with everyone. It's a complete shock. To see that this morning, all week, I have been wondering who the psycho was and it turns out that it was somebody I interacted with. It is shocking, especially as an athlete, he was an athlete, that he would do this to other athletes and just anyone in general. It is completely shocking to me. I would never expect it."
On what he was like:
"To be honest, he was kind of an arrogant, cocky guy, a little quiet, I mean, but a nice guy. He helped everyone out. Talked with everyone. Kind of minded his own business. I remember him giving lessons to people in the gym and helping people out. I didn't really know him personally on a personal level, but he seemed like an alright guy. To think that he could do something like this is kind of crazy."
On whether he had a strong accent:
"He had a pretty thick accent, but his English was good. I had no problems communicating with him. He seemed like a normal guy. There are a lot of immigrants in Boston."
On whether he ever mentioned where he was from or talked about religion:
"I just remember that he didn't drink. Someone asked him for beers or something after training and I just remembered that he didn't drink and I knew that was for religious reasons. But I didn't really get too into it with him. He didn't seem overly religious."
"I just assumed Muslim because that is the only religion I know where people don't drink. But I'm not sure. We never got into a religious discussion. For me, it was never a big thing for him to talk about his religion or to talk about anything."
On whether he ever talked about where he was from:
"Chechnya, I think I remember that is where he started boxing."
On whether he had any friends or associates at the gym:
"I don't remember. I'd the only thing I do remember is that, for his job, he delivered food for a local cafe."
On where the gym was located:
"Allston. I know that he trained at a number of gyms throughout Boston."
On whether the café where he was employed was in Allston.
"I can't remember the name exactly, but it was Sports Cafe or something like that, Dugout Café.
On whether he ever met or referred to his brother:
"I did not…I don't remember."
On whether he's spoken to law enforcement yet:
"No, I haven't. I literally woke up an hour and a half ago and I started seeing everything on Facebook and people I know in Boston saying, holy crap, this kid is the bomber that we all interacted with."
On whether it appeared that he had military training:
"He was an extremely gifted athlete. I just remember seeing him do his warm-ups and his routine and he was really strong and really athletically gifted. That might the only thing that I could think that would lead to his military training. His boxing was really, really good. He was not an average boxer. I think he won the golden gloves tournament which is one of the best amateur tournaments that you can win…I think he won in Boston, if I remember correctly…He just came in to get some sparring practice every once in a while. He was not really a member of the gym. I think he just came in to work out and train a little bit once in a while."
On whether it seemed like he was educated in the U.S. for an extended amount of time:
"I wouldn't go that far, but I had no problems communicating with him. He had that think almost Russian accent."