BOSTON - Third-grader Martin Richard had just gotten ice cream and was near the Boston Marathon finish line, eagerly watching for friends to run by. Krystle Campbell was enjoying the race with her best friend, hoping to get a photo of the other woman's boyfriend after he conquered the last mile.
Then the unthinkable struck. The spirited 8-year-old, pictured on Facebook in his classroom holding a sign that read "No more hurting people," was dead, along with the outgoing 29-year-old woman and a graduate student from China - victims of twin bombs that turned a scene of celebration into chaos.
More than 170 others suffered injuries that included severed limbs, shrapnel wounds, broken bones and head trauma.
Jeff Bauman Jr., a man pictured in an Associated Press photo being rushed from the scene Monday in a wheelchair, lost both legs. Rescuers took the 27-year-old to Boston Medical Center, where doctors found extensive vascular and bone damage.
"Unfortunately my son was just in the wrong place at the wrong time," his father, Jeff Bauman, wrote in a Facebook post.
While mourning the dead Tuesday, friends and neighbors tried to focus on positive memories of cherished ones whose deaths still seemed unreal to them.
"I just can't get a handle on it," said Jack Cunningham, a longtime friend of little Martin and his family. "In an instant, life changes."
Cunningham recalled how, as a pint-sized preschooler, the boy had insisted on getting out of his stroller during a 5K race in South Boston. As soon as his mom let him out to run with the rest of the family, Martin took off along the rainy race course.
"He was just having a ball, splashing in every puddle," Cunningham said.
The boy's father, Bill Richard, released a statement thanking friends, family and strangers for their support.
Richard's wife, Denise, and the couple's 6-year-old daughter, Jane, suffered serious injuries in the blasts. Their older son, Henry, wasn't hurt. Two neighbors said Jane lost one of her legs in the attack.
"My dear son, Martin, has died from injuries sustained in the attack on Boston," Richard said. "My wife and daughter are both recovering from serious injuries. We thank our family and friends, those we know and those we have never met, for their thoughts and prayers. I ask that you continue to pray for my family as we remember Martin."
In nearby Medford, William Campbell described his daughter, Krystle, as the light of his life, "a very caring, very loving person."
"Daddy's little girl," the 56-year-old said.
Her mother, Patty Campbell, her voice breaking into tears, said the couple were "heartbroken at the death of our daughter."
"She was a wonderful person. Everybody that knew her loved her. ... She had a heart of gold. She was always smiling. You couldn't ask for a better daughter," the mother said. "This doesn't make sense."
A friend and co-worker at the restaurant where Krystle Campbell was a manager described her as hardworking yet fun-loving, someone who knew how to live life to its fullest.
"We'd go out drinking and she'd work a double the next day," Sheba Parent said. "But she was still career-oriented and focused on her goals."
Consulate: Chinese national killed in Boston
NEW YORK - The Chinese Consulate in New York said Tuesday that a Chinese national was among those killed in the marathon bombings in Boston, but did not identify the person. Boston University said the victim was one of its graduate students.
The consulate also said in a statement that another Chinese citizen was wounded and was in stable condition after surgery.
Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings, a Hong Kong-based broadcaster with ties to the Chinese government, said the deceased was a woman from the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang who was a graduate student in statistics at Boston University.
The official Chinese news agency, Xinhua, reported that relatives have requested that the deceased not be identified.