A 27-year-old Orlando, Fla., man was shot and killed by an FBI agent overnight while being questioned about the Boston Marathon bombing case, the bureau reports today.
The FBI in Florida confirmed to the Herald this morning that the suspect, now identified as Ibragim Todashev, was shot in Orlando by an agent “conducting official duties.”
A friend of the slain man said the suspect was approached by federal agents in relation to the April 15 Boston Marathon twin bombings because he was a mixed martial arts fighter who may have known bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Orlando TV station WESH is reporting. CBS is also reporting the suspect was from Chechnya and may have been heading back to the lawless Russian region today.
Tsarnaev, killed in a wild shootout with police in Watertown just after midnight April 19, was also an MMA fighter and fellow Chechen who turned to terror. The FBI also questioned a friend of Tsarnaev’s in New Hampshire last week. That former Chechen rebel told the Herald he did not know of Tsarnaev’s bombing plot that killed three and wounded more than 260 people on Boylston Street the day of the race.
The FBI in Tampa told the Herald this morning they are investigating the fatal shooting in Orlando now, according to FBI Special Agent Dave Couvertier.
“We are currently responding to a shooting incident involving an FBI special agent. The incident occurred in Orlando Florida,” Couvertier said via email. “The agent encountered the suspect while conducting official duties. The suspect is deceased. We do not have any further details at this time. We expect to have more information later this morning.”
In a statement to the Associated Press, FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said the FBI agent acted on an imminent threat and shot the interview subject. The agent was sent to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Orlando police also told the Herald the FBI is in charge of the fatal shooting at the Windhover Apartments.
It is not clear if the slain Orlando suspect was also friends with the bomber’s brother, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is now locked up in a Devens federal hospital prison accused of helping unleash a week of terror during the marathon.
According to public records, Todashev was arrested May 4 on a charge of aggravated battery by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and was free on a $3,500 bond. His attorney, who has an open request with the court demanding discovery in the felony case, was not immediately available for comment.
Todashev’s fight records show he was a lightweight who hadn’t stepped into the ring since July 27.