FBI agent shoots, kills Orlando man questioned in Boston bombing probe
Posted: May 22, 2013 6:02 AM EDT
Updated: May 22, 2013 11:02 AM EDT
By Melissa Mahadeo, Reporter – My Fox Orlando
An FBI agent in Orlando shot dead a man questioned in the Boston bombing investigation whom the agency says turned violent during an interview early Wednesday.
The suspect was identified by the FBI as Ibragim Todashev, 27, of Orlando.
FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said the agent involved in the shooting on Peregrine Avenue near Kirkman and Vineland roads, near Universal Orlando, acted on an imminent threat and shot Todashev during an interview. The FBI agent was “conducting official duties” when Todashev initiated a “violent confrontation” and was shot, agent Dave Couvertier said in a statement.
The agent was with two Massachusetts State Police troopers and other law enforcement personnel at the time, Couvertier said.
A source told FOX 25 News in Boston that Todashev was being questioned by an FBI agent from Boston about an unsolved triple murder in Waltham, Mass. The source said Todashev became violent during the interview and was shot by the agent.
Khusen Taramov, a man at the scene of the Peregrine Avenue shooting who identified himself as a friend of Todashev’s, said Wednesday that Todashev knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older brother suspected in the April 15 bombings that killed three and injured more than 260.
Taramov said he and Todashev had no connection with the Boston bombings, but the FBI had been questioning them since then. Taramov said Todashev had lived in Boston at one point, and Todashev and Tsarnaev were not friends, just acquaintances through mixed-martial-arts fighting.
“He used to talk on the phone with him [Tsarnaev],” Taramov said of Todashev. “They
talked last time a month ago. After the bombing, I couldn’t believe it,” he said.
Taramov said ever since the bombings, he and Todashev had been questioned and
followed by the FBI.
“The FBI kept asking, ‘What’s the connection?’ But there is no connection… no connection.”
Even before his encounter with the FBI, Todashev had a recent run-in with law enforcement.
He was arrested earlier this month on a charge of aggravated battery after getting into a fight over a parking spot with a 54-year-old man and his 35-year-old son at Orlando’s Premium Outlets mall. The 35-year-old man was hospitalized with a split upper lip and several teeth knocked out, according to a report from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
“Also by his own admission Todashev was recently a former mixed martial arts fighter,” the arresting deputy said in his report. “This skill puts his fighting ability way above that of a normal person.”
Taramov said Todashev had planned to return to Chechnya but canceled his tickets.
“Me and him and my friends, we knew this was going to happen. That’s why he wanted to leave the country,” Taramov said. “But he canceled the tickets. The FBI’s been pushing him, ‘Don’t leave, don’t leave.’ So he decided to stay,” he said.
Taramov said the FBI had questioned him earlier Tuesday, but he was allowed to leave. When Taramov returned, he said he found out Todashev had been shot dead, he said.
The FBI agent involved was transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The FBI has sent a team from Washington, D.C., to review the incident. The team should arrive in Orlando within 24 hours, it said.
“The FBI knows what happened,” Tamarov said.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.