BOSTON ? The mood outside the gray wood-frame house on Carruth Street where the Richard family lives was quiet and somber Tuesday. An occasional neighbor, even strangers, approached with flowers and balloons and set them on the front steps. One group ? two adults and two children ? left balloons and held onto one another as they walked away.
The Richard family has become the tragic face of the Boston Marathon explosions.
Eight-year-old Martin Richard was pronounced dead at the scene, one of three people killed Monday and the first identified fatality. His mother, Denise Richard, and 6-year-old sister, Jane, were seriously injured.
According to WBZ-TV in Boston, Martin's father Bill Richard released a statement Tuesday afternoon saying:
"My dear son Martin has died from injuries sustained in the attack on Boston. My wife and daughter are both recovering from serious injuries. We thank our family and friends, those we know and those we have never met, for their thoughts and prayers. I ask that you continue to pray for my family as we remember Martin. We also ask for your patience and for privacy as we work to simultaneously grieve and recover. Thank you."
U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., has been friends with the Richards for more than two decades, says Conor Yunits, the congressman's spokesman.
"Their wives used to work together in a nursing home," he says.
Yunits says that Bill Richard did not run in the marathon. "They were all there with his family as spectators," Yunits says. "He is a runner, but I don't know why he didn't run."
The Richards spend lots of time together and are friendly people, said neighbor Lily Huynh, who often saw the father, mother and an older son of about 10 out running together.
At Christmas, the family walks through the neighborhood with other members of their local church, the All Saints parish, and sings carols, Huynh said. Huynh said her daughter is friends with Martin Richard's sister, Jane.
"They are really nice," said Huynh, a pharmacist. "They're very friendly people."
Police cordoned off the Richards' block with yellow tape to prevent news media from getting too close and directed traffic to a side street. A Boston police sergeant took gifts to the home for the visitors.
The Neighborhood House Charter School, the school Martin and his siblings ttended and where Denise Richard was the librarian, provided counseling Tuesday. All Saints Church in Dorchester opened its doors to neighborhood mourners at 2 p.m.
The neighborhood is quiet and racially and ethnically diverse, containing hilly streets of stately homes. The area is friendly and pleasant, even if neighbors might be too busy with work or school to get to know each other well, said Lynn Le, a spa owner who lives in the neighborhood.
Le approached the Richard home to bring silk flowers once she heard that the stricken family lived nearby.
"This is really bad," said Le, 46.