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Apology issued for naming of Boston bomber as a victim of gun violence at Concord rally

New Hampshire Union Leader

June 20. 2013 12:02AM
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, right, was killed April 19 during a gunfight with police in Watertown, Mass., while trying to evade capture following the April 15 bombing. 

CONCORD- The organizers of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign on Wednesday apologized for including Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev among a list of shooting victims' names that were read during a demonstration in Concord on Tuesday.

The apology came after several groups, including the New Hampshire Republican Party, blasted the campaign for including his name.

The gun control group put out a statement Wednesday saying rally organizers relied on a list compiled by of people killed by guns since the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., "and his name was on the list."

Tsarnaev was killed April 19 during a gunfight with police in Watertown, Mass., while trying to evade capture following the April 15 bombings.

"Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a murderous terrorist and a cold-blooded killer," NHGOP Chairman Jennifer Horn said in a statement released about two hours before the apology. "It is outrageous that Mayor Bloomberg's gun control group is so radical and out of touch with New Hampshire values that it believes this monster should be labeled as some kind of victim."

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg founded the Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign, which includes Boston Mayor Thomas Menino as a co-chairman. In New Hampshire, only Dover Mayor Dean Trefethen is a member of the group.

The gun control group's statement said the rally, which began last Friday, features volunteers, survivors of gun violence and family members of those shot and killed reading the names of "victims since the Newtown tragedy to show the very real and personal cost of gun violence, and to help prevent more names from being added to a list that tragically grows longer each day."

Tsarnaev "was absolutely not a victim, his name should have been deleted before the list was provided to a family member for reading and his name should never have been read. It was a mistake, it should not have happened and we sincerely apologize," the statement said.

The campaign was not able to identify who read Tsarnaev's name.

During Tuesday's rally, Daniel Musso, 52, of Brentwood was tasered and arrested.

Musso is shown on several video feeds loudly confronting John Cantin of Manchester, who was telling the group about his support for tighter gun control measures following the shooting death of his daughter, Missy Charbonneau, in 2009.

Musso could not be reached Wednesday for comment.

After Musso walked away, he was confronted by Concord police officers Sgt. Sean Ford, Robert Fallon and Eric Haglund. He is accused of assaulting Fallon - video of the event shows Musso lightly placing his hands on an officer, presumed to be Fallon.

Following a short struggle in which police repeatedly told Musso to put his hands behind his back and telling him not to resist, with Musso saying all the while that he wasn't resisting while keeping his hands in front of him, Haglund tasered Musso and the three officers wrestled him to the ground.

Police Lt. Timothy O'Malley, who provided the names of the officers at the request of the New Hampshire Union Leader, said an investigation into the incident is continuing. He said police plan to review videos and talk to witnesses of the altercations.

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