Former next-door neighbor of Boston bombing suspects talks to FO - FOX 10 News |

Former next-door neighbor of Boston bombing suspects talks to FOX 5

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Now that we know who authorities believe were responsible for the horrific bombings and violent shootouts, the focus turns to: Why? It's a question many who knew the Tsarnaev brothers are having a difficult time with.

A former neighbor and family friend tells FOX 5 that as a former resident of the Boston area, she was devastated to learn about the marathon bombing. She says she never expected the two young men she had thought so highly of could be involved.

The Northern Virginia woman (who does not want her name released) and her family lived next to the Tsarnaevs along Norfolk Street in Cambridge, Mass., for about a year and a half starting back in 2004.

She says she was shocked and heartbroken when the FBI released the names and photos of brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan. The family reportedly came to the U.S. as political refugees.

"They were very thankful to be in America,” she says. “They considered America a safe haven."

The former neighbor described both young men as polite, friendly and intelligent, saying, "I could see Dzhokhar wanting to please his brother, but that's not even Dzhokhar. I can't imagine him having that disposition."

The older brother, Tamerlan, who was killed in an overnight shootout with police, was questioned by the FBI at the request of a foreign government in 2011. Officials say nothing derogatory was found.

The former neighbor says he was passionate, but seemed to have potential to do good, not evil.

"He had a heart for justice, as ironic as that sounds,” she says. “He really had a burning within him to do something and make his family proud. This did not make his family proud, so it is shocking."

She continued to visit her property along Norfolk Street for two years after moving away, and last saw the Tsarnaevs about four years ago.

So what happened between then and now?

"I really don't want to speculate because it's just beyond my comprehension,” she says. “These are not the boys that we knew. Not at all."

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