"Tonight, our family applauds the entire law enforcement community," says the family of the slain 8-year-old boy

By Kristen Mascia and Liz McNeil
Updated April 20, 2013 12:00 PM
Courtesy Lucia Brawley

As cheers rang throughout the streets of Boston after the capture of alleged bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the family of slain eight-year-old Martin Richard quietly expressed their heartfelt thanks to the city’s “thousands” of heroes.

“Tonight, our family applauds the entire law enforcement community for a job well done, and trust that our justice system will now do its job,” the family said in a statement released to media late Friday night.

“Our family wishes to salute the thousands of officers who worked and collaborated around,” the statement said, adding, “we also thank the citizens and businesses that shared images and footage with investigators in hopes of advancing the investigation.”

“It worked, and tonight, our community is once again safe from these two men.”

For a city on lockdown all day Friday, it was a triumphant moment. Yet, for Martin Richard’s family – including his mother, Denise, and sister Jane, 7, who were grievously injured in the blasts – the manhunt’s conclusion brought a flood of mixed emotions.

“None of this will bring our beloved Martin back, or reverse the injuries these men inflicted on our family and nearly two hundred others,” said the statement. “We continue to pray for healing and for comfort on the long road that lies ahead for every victim and their loved ones.”

Martin was one of three people who died in the blasts that wounded 176 others. His 6-year old sister, Jane, lost a leg in the blast. His mother, Denise, required emergency brain surgery after the explosion. The Richard Family Fund has been established for those who wish to donate.

The family’s loss has been felt far and wide, say those who know them. Says Christina Keefe, a friend from Dorchester, “The whole neighborhood and the community is reeling.”