Fox News in Orlando follows up on a story from earlier this week, in which an FBI agent shot Chechen immigrant Ibragim Todashev, 27, a known associate of Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev. It appears early suspicions that Todashev and Tsarnaev were involved in the 2011 murders of three young men in Waltham, Massachusetts were correct. However, the details of the shooting have grown more uncertain:
Initially, FBI officials said Todashev, 27, became violent and lunged at an agent with a knife while he was being questioned about Tsarnaev and an unsolved 2011 triple murder in the Boston suburb of Waltham. The agent, acting on an “imminent threat,” then shot Todashev, they said.
However, later in the day, some of those officials had backed off that preliminary account, and it’s no longer clear what happened in the moments before the fatal shooting, The Associated Press reported.
Sources told Fox 25 News in Boston that Todashev, a Russian national living legally in Florida, was about to sign a confession linking him to the Waltham slayings just before the shooting took place.
“I heard a couple of loud bangs and saw a couple of cop cars riding by,” said Jared Morse, who lives in the area. “They wouldn’t let anyone out to see anything or anything like that, so they made us go back inside.”
Todashev is said to have remained involved in mixed martial arts after moving to Central Florida in 2011, but only for about seven months, after which he stopped coming to workouts. But he evidently didn’t stop fighting:
Earlier this month, Todashev was arrested 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 the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
Todashev was charged with reckless operation of a motor vehicle, disorderly conduct and civil infractions after a car crash in 2010, according to the Suffolk County (Mass.) District Attorney’s Office. A spokesman said Todashev was seen arguing and shouting threats at occupants of one of the involved vehicles. The charges were later dismissed.
The Orlando Sentinel says the Todashev shooting is now under review:
An FBI review team from Washington was in Orlando on Thursday investigating the death of Ibragim Todashev, the Central Florida man shot by an agent while being questioned about a triple murder in Massachusetts and his connection to the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
The review team will question witnesses who were at the Orlando condo when the shooting occurred early Wednesday morning, including two Massachusetts State Police troopers and other law-enforcement officials. The FBI agent who fired the lethal shot, who has not been publicly identified, is from the agency’s Boston division.
The Sentinel report says Todashev came at the FBI agent with a knife. CBS News says he “snapped” when investigators pushed him towards confessing to the Waltham murders, and adds that the FBI agent “suffered cuts in the altercation.”
The slain man’s relatives responded to in much the same way as the Tsarnaev family:
A relative stepped forward to claim Todashev’s body from the Orange-Osceola County Medical Examiner, but the person’s name was not made public. Friends said nearly all of Todashev’s relatives are in Russia.
Todashev’s estranged wife, Reniya Manukyan, denounced Todashev’s slaying and posted photos of the couple together on a European social-media network for Russian-speaking users.
She used expletives to describe the FBI and wrote: “Killing my husband Ibragim was another prove that everything is a setup about Tsarnaev brothers as well.”
In an undated photograph she posted Thursday, Manukyan commented that she “will fight to your justice,” referring to Todashev.
Todashev’s father, Abdulbaki, told Russia Today that his son was “a very calm” man who wouldn’t become aggressive for no reason.
“Never in his life would he attack anyone unprovoked,” Abdulbaki Todashev told the publication.
Yes, but there’s always the issue of what a violent person regards as “provocation.”