"He was a funny comical guy. He had me laughing a lot," said Peter Tenzin, who co-captained the wrestling team with Dzhokhar. "After wrestling practice, he would rather go down and spend time with kids with learning disabilities than relax and go home."
The city awarded Dzhokhar a $2,500 scholarship, and he assimilated well with students at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, where he was studying engineering.
Like so many in the family's neighborhood, Tenzin faults the older brother -- saying he likely brainwashed the friend they knew. "All I can say is I think his brother put him up to it," Tenzin said. "There's no way in heck that he would do it. Mentally, he's just not that kind of guy."
"He loved his brother and looked up to him, and that's why I think (Tamerlan) put him up to this."
Though similar stories are shared around the neighborhood, another picture of Dzhokhar has emerged in the last two days: of a young man who partied on campus after the bombings and allegedly joined his brother in gunning down a cop, carjacking a man in Cambridge, then engaging in a gun battle with Watertown police complete with pipebombs and an explosive device like the ones that wreaked mayhem at the marathon.
Tamerlan died in that shootout. The one person who can provide answers to the bombings is Dzhokhar, who was captured late Friday and remains hospitalized with wounds to the throat.
The latest news -- that police believe the brothers were planning another attack -- can only compound the confusion felt by so many.
"To see two brothers, both carrying leadership traits, flip the switch and jump into something so evil is astonishing," said Luis Vasquez. "It's not what we remember of them."