CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The 19-year-old suspect of an intense manhunt is described as a popular, talented and successful kid who was beloved by his high school classmates.
Journalist Robin Young spoke live with NBC's Savannah Guthrie on the today show, describing Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, a Chechnyan who is linked to Monday's deadly bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathonl. Tsarnaev's 26-year-old brother was killed in a shootout with police Friday morning.
Young and a high school classmate of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev describe a popular young man who was kind, athletic, and successful. "No one can believe it was this young man," said Young, who hosted Tsarnaev at a prom party. "He was a light, airy, beautiful curly haired kid. "
Two of the suspect's high school friends are appealing to him not to hurt anyone else and to turn himself in.
Ashraful Rahman and Essah Chisholm attended Cambridge Rindge & Latin School with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Rahman tells The Associated Press in a Facebook message that they want Tsarnaev to stop and appeals to him to "not kill himself or do any further harm to anyone."
He describes Tsarnaev as a hardworking wrestler who was calm and chill, someone who never did anything wrong. He says he wants to know why he did all this and wants him to reach out to his friends.
Chisholm tells the AP in a Facebook message that he wants to tell his friend not to kill himself or hurt anyone.
Meanwhile, the suspect's father calls his son a smart and accomplished young man.
Anzor Tsarnaev spoke with The Associated Press by telephone from the Russian city of Makhachkala on Friday after police said one of his sons, 26-year-old Tamerlan, had been killed in a shootout and the other, Dzhokhar, was being intensely pursued.
"My son is a true angel," the elder Tsarnaev said. "Dzhokhar is a second-year medical student in the U.S. He is such an intelligent boy. We expected him to come on holidays here."
Tsarnaev was an athlete of the year at his high school, a multi-lingual institution in Cambridge.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev lived with his 26-year-old brother Tamerlan on Norfolk Street in Cambridge. An uncle, Ruslan Tsarni of Montgomery Village, Md., told The Associated Press that the men lived together near Boston and have been in the United States for about a decade. They came from the Russian region near Chechnya, which has been plagued by an Islamic insurgency stemming from separatist wars.
Tamerlan studied at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston to become an engineer. He was a competitive boxer for a club named Team Lowell and took a semester off from school to train for the National Golden Gloves competition in Salt Lake City, according to a photo essay titled "Will Box for Passport."
In 2010, Tamerlan beat Southern New England's Brian Daniels in the heavyweight title bout. Tsarnaev also received the prestigious Rocky Marciano Trophy given to the New England heavyweight champ, the Lowell Sun reported.
In the photo essay, Tamerlan says: "I don't have a single American friend, I don't understand them."
According to the website spotcrime.com, Tamerlan was arrested for domestic violence in July 2009, after assaulting his girlfriend.
(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )