Grief-stricken neighbors today described Martin Richard, the 8-year-old Dorchester boy killed in the Boston Marathon bomb blasts on Monday as a child full of life who was part of a very close-knit family.
“They were always together,’’ neighbor Jane Sherman said of the Richard family, who live next door to her on Carruth Street in Dorchester. “This is the worst tragedy I have ever been through in my life. It’s a horrific situation.’’
The boy was killed and his mother and his younger sister gravely wounded as they waited at the Boylston Street finish line for their father, Bill, to complete the Marathon. Martin Richard is one of three people to die in the blast that also wounded 176 others, 17 of them critically, according to family and officials.
Today, a woman stood on her Carruth Street lawn looking toward the Richard home, her arms crossed across her chest and with tears in her eyes. In a brief conversation, she said she knew the family because they all shared a love for running.
“He was a great little kid, full of life,’’ said the woman, who declined to identify herself. “Always smiling.’’
As word spread among the many friends and acquaintances of the Richard family, children came with their parents, with neighbors and strangers, stopped by the family’s home, some leaving flowers, some balloons, and some leaving stuff animals on the front porch, all adding to the makeshift memorial.
Among those was a regular playmate of Martin, Kaitlyn Lynch, who is in the third grade at the Neighborhood House Charter School with Martin. Kaitlyn Lynch, who was interviewed by the Globe with her mother’s permission, said she played with Martin almost every Friday.
“We always played on Fridays,’’ the 8-year-old said. “We draw together. We draw sports pictures.”
Kaitlyn Lynch also said she usually saw Martin’s younger sister when she was at the family’s house, mainly because the sister tried to do everything her big brother did. “She likes playing like Martin,’’ Kaitlyn Lynch said. “She’s just like Martin.’’
According to Kaitlyn’s mother, Tammy, and others, Martin’s mother, Denise, is a librarian at the Queen Street charter school.
“I hope they really get better,’’ said Kaitlyn Lynch of mother and daughter.
Emira Myers came with her mother, Jacqueline, to the family’s home and left a small stuffed animal on the family’s porch.
Emira, who is 10 years old, said she attends the same charter school as Richard, but was not in the same class as him. Holding close to her mother, she described him as happy little boy.
Asked by reporters how she was feeling, the 10-year-old responded: “Scared.’’ She added, “I never know where they are.’’
Her mother said Emira was referring to the people who attacked the marathon.
Neighbor Dan Aguilar said the Richard family was close, and that on most days — regardless of the weather — Martin Richard and his brother were in the family’s backyard, playing soccer, hockey, or baseball.
“They are just your average little boys,’’ Aguilar told reporters gathered near the family’s home on Carruth Street. “They are a good family. They are always together.’’
Aguilar said he last spoke with the family on Easter Sunday when they were gathered outside, enjoying the day. He also recalled seeing the children drawing butterflies and flowers with chalk on their driveway. Today, the chalk remained where the children had left it.
“I guess they planned on doing more,’’ he said. “That’s how I will remember them.’’
He added, “that little boy will never come home again. It’s still unreal. I have no words. I have no words.’’
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