Friend of Boston bombing suspect fatally shot by FBI in Orlando

May 22, 2013|By Richard A. Serrano

WASHINGTON — A friend of accused Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev was shot and killed by an FBI special agent early Wednesday when an interview about the April 15 explosion turned into a “violent confrontation” in Orlando, Fla., that also left the agent injured.

Federal law enforcement sources identified the slain man as Ibragim Todashev, 27, a former Mixed Martial Arts fighter like Tsarnaev who was being questioned by the FBI agent, two Massachusetts State Police troopers and other law enforcement officials.

They were interviewing the “individual in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing investigation when a violent confrontation was initiated by the individual,” the FBI in Boston said in a statement. “During the confrontation, the individual was killed and the agent sustained non-life-threatening injuries.” The agent’s identity was not immediately released.

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The FBI said the shooting is “under review,” and an FBI team was dispatched from Washington headquarters to Orlando to investigate the matter, said FBI spokesman Dave Couvertier in Orlando.

Tsarnaev was killed in a police shootout three days after the bombing, and his younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was arrested the following day and charged in the blast that killed three and injured 260 others.

In the last month, FBI and other law enforcement officials have spread out pursuing leads into the bombing, interviewing a wide range of people who were associated with the Tsarnaev brothers. The investigation has stretched from the Boston area to New Hampshire and Chechnya, and now to Florida.

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According to the Orlando Sentinel, Todashev was arrested May 4 and charged with aggravated battery with great bodily harm in Orange County, Fla., in a dispute over a parking spot at a local outlet mall. According to sheriff’s deputies, Todashev said he fought with the other man “to protect his knee because he had surgery in March.”

It was unclear how well Todashev may have known the Tsarnaevs, though he, too, was from Chechnya. Todashev had reportedly told acquaintances that he was a martial arts fighter like Tamerlan and had spoken to him on the phone shortly before the bombing.    


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