April 22, 2013 / 6:54 PM / 4 years ago

Funerals begin for victims of Boston marathon bombing

Patty Campbell (top C) watches as the casket containing the body of her daughter Krystle Campbell is carried out of St. Joseph Church following a funeral Mass in Medford, Massachusetts April 22, 2013. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

MEDFORD, Massachusetts (Reuters) - Hundreds of mourners crowded outside a suburban Boston church on Monday for the first of a series of funerals for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

The morning funeral of Krystle Campbell, 29, was the first since the April 15 attack at the marathon’s finish line, which killed three people and injured more than 200.

The suspected bombers also are believed to have fatally shot a campus police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Thursday night before a gun battle with police and day-long manhunt that left most of the Boston area locked down.

Some in the crowd outside St. Joseph’s Church in Medford said they had driven as far as 100 miles to attend Campbell’s funeral and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and interim U.S. Senator William “Mo” Cowan also were there. Boston Cardinal Sean O‘Malley spoke, according to an event program. The funeral was closed to the media.

The hearse carrying Campbell’s red-tinted casket was escorted by about 20 police motorcycles. An honor guard of uniformed law enforcement officers stood in front of the church as pallbearers carried the casket in.

Chuck Walsh, a retired custodian from Medford High School, came from Ossipee, New Hampshire, for the funeral of Campbell, who he remembered calling him “Mr. Chuck” in her school days.

“It was travesty what happened,” Walsh said.

Also there was Renee Arsenault, a 28-year-old hairdresser, who went to middle school with Campbell.

“I am so happy this many people showed up in her honor,” Arsenault said.

Friends and family of Krystle Campbell file into St. Joseph Church for her funeral in Medford, Massachusetts April 22, 2013. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Renee’s mother, Leslie, recalled her daughter standing along the finish line near the bombing site in 2000, cheering her on when she ran the race.

“My daughter stood exactly where the first bomb went off,” Leslie Arsenault said.

The memory helped draw her to the funeral in the tight-knit town. “I had to come be a part of this,” she said.

Campbell’s funeral was the first of the memorial events planned for the day. Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino led a moment of silence at the State House at 2:50 p.m. (1850 GMT), to mark one week since the moment of the first bombing.

The governors of nearby states including Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine also observed the moment of silence.

In addition, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, will visit Boston on Wednesday to attend the memorial service for Sean Collier, a police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology the bombers also are alleged to have killed, a White House official said.

Boston University scheduled a 7 p.m. (2300 GMT) memorial service for graduate student Lu Lingzi, who also died in the blast.

No public funeral has yet been scheduled for the bombing’s youngest victim, Martin Richard, 8.

Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was in custody at a Boston hospital on Monday after being apprehended on Friday night. He was badly injured in a gun battle with police that led to the death of his older brother Tamerlan, 26.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged Monday by federal officials with crimes including the use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Reporting by Ross Kerber; Writing by Scott Malone; Editing by Andrew Hay and Bill Trott

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