NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

April 24, 2013

Suspects got fireworks in Seabrook

Powder may have been used in explosions

SEABROOK — The president of a nationally known fireworks company yesterday confirmed that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of two men suspected in the Boston Marathon bombings, visited his company’s Seabrook store on Feb. 6 and purchased two intricate and expensive pyrotechnic devices.

Bruce Zoldan, founder of Phantom Fireworks, said Tsarnaev spent almost $400 to purchase two “Lock and Load” mortar kits at the Seabrook store on Route 1. The kits come with 24 shells, each containing black powder, that are inserted into the mortar and fired. The shells are powerful enough to reach heights of 200 feet before exploding into an array of light.

Immediately following the release of the two suspects’ names, Zoldan said company officials began searching all recent sales. The company has two other stores in New Hampshire in Londonderry and Hinsdale.

“We found the name and we found the purchase,” Zoldan said.

Zoldan said officials immediately called the FBI, which is leading the investigation into the bombings.

It is believed that 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, along with his 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar, placed two homemade bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon and watched them explode from a safe distance away. Three people were killed and more than 260 injured as a result. The two managed to elude authorities for days until authorities released their photos to the public. Hours later, the brothers allegedly executed a MIT police officer and carjacked a Mercedes SUV possibly to escape the Boston area and conduct additional bombings.

But the brothers only made it to neighboring Watertown before engaging police in a prolonged gun battle. Tamerlan was killed early Friday morning, but Dzhokhar Tsarnaev managed to elude authorities for about 12 hours before he was apprehended inside a boat parked in a Watertown resident’s backyard. Suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, one perhaps self-inflicted, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arraigned Monday from his hospital bed and charged with using a weapon of mass destruction.

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