TODAY   |  April 19, 2013

Acquaintance: Boston bombing suspect was ‘normal’

Sierra Schwartz, who went to high school with the Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, says she is “extremely shocked” that he is a suspect, describing him as a “nice guy” and “shy.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> in sierra schwartz who went to high school with dzhokar tsarnaev. could you give us your impressions of this man?

>> in high school he was very normal. i went to a very close tight night high school . never seemed out of the ordinary. lots of friends. did relatively well in high school from what i'm aware of. i had acting class with him. he did wrestling. this was never anything that seemed to be brooding for a while. this is a shock to anyone that knew him.

>> did you know him all of high school ?

>> since i was 14. i'm 20 now.

>> when you saw those fbi surveillance photos yesterday released at 5:00 yesterday, did you immediately recognize him?

>> the scary thing is yes. this is actually the same reaction that a lot of people i went to high school had. we recognized him. i thought he went by a different name in high school . i said that looks just like him. everyone was identifying him at that time saying that he was the missing guy from brown. so we all just assumed that it was just a coincidence. i went back to bed. i woke up and the scary thing is that was true. it was him. we all immediately recognized him.

>> you say he wasn't a brooder and was sociable and involved in high school . what else do you remember about him?

>> he was a nice guy . he was shy. i mean, it's almost physically painful to call him nice after the absolute tragedy that happened. at the time we knew him he was funny. i had friends that were good friends with him. he never seemed like anyone that was suspicious. cambridge is known for having amazing successful people and not anyone that could ever do a horrendous crime like this. he was on the wrestling team. he did relatively well from what i'm aware of. that's all i knew about him.

>> did you ever encounter his brother, tamerlan?

>> no, ma'am. i never did. i didn't know he had a brother until today.

>> i thank you for your perspective this morning as we try to learn more about the background of both of these men. sierra schwartz, a high school classmate of dzhokar tsarnaev. thank you. it's good to get your information this morning.