Fatal FBI shooting in Orlando linked to Boston bombing
Friends say victim knew Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev
A man from Chechnya with links to the Boston bombing suspects was killed early Wednesday in a FBI-involved shooting at an Orlando apartment complex.
The fatal shooting happened just after midnight at 6022 Peregrine Avenue in the Windhover Apartments in Orlando. Friends identified the man who was shot and killed as 27-year-old Ibragim Todashev (pictured above).
SPECIAL SECTON: Boston Marathon bombings
"The agent, two Massachusetts State Police troopers, and other law enforcement personnel were interviewing an individual in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing investigation when a violent confrontation was initiated by the individual," FBI Special Agent Greg Comcowich said in a statement. "During the confrontation, the individual was killed and the agent sustained non-life threatening injuries."
Details of the incident have not yet been released. Sources told ABC News Todashev attacked an agent with a knife after questioning turned to a 2011 unresolved triple-homicide case in Boston, which Tsarnaev was a suspect in.
Khusen Taramov, a friend of Todashev, said that Todashev knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a shootout with police near Boston days after the marathon bombing.
“Back when (Todashev) used to live in Boston, they used to hang out -- not hang out -- he knew him. They met a few times because (Todashev) was a MMA fighter and (Tsarnaev) was a boxer. They just knew each other. That’s it,” said Taramov, who added that Todashev last spoke with Tsarnaev via phone more than a month ago. "He came to me and was like 'I knew the guy. I knew the guy. I can't believe he did it.'"
Taramov said Todashev moved from Boston to Orlando about two years ago. Todashev was living with friends in an apartment complex in Kissimmee for the past week after his girlfriend was arrested on immigration charges. He told friends he was afraid to stay at his Orlando apartment alone because the FBI had been following him.
Taramov adamantly stated that Todashev, who was arrested in Orlando earlier this month on battery charges, was not connected to the bombing.
"I know that for sure," he said, adding that Todashev wasn't radical or extremist.
Taramov said the FBI had been watching and following Todashev since Tsarnaev was identified as a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing.
“We had a feeling that a worse-case scenario, that something like (a shooting) is going to happen,” said Taramov, who added that Todashev had recently booked a plane ticket.
“He had a ticket to New York. From there, he was going to go home,” he said.
Taramov said the FBI called Todashev on Tuesday, saying they wanted to interview him again. He said it was at least the fifth time that the FBI interviewed Todashev.
“(The FBI was) pushing him to stay, saying, ‘We want to interview one last time,'" he said. "He was tired of them. He was tired of saying the same things over and over and over again. He answered the questions a million times and it never ends. The same stuff but from a different angles."
Taramov said Todashev met with the FBI at his Orlando apartment. They interviewed him for five hours.
Taramov said he was surprised when he first learned about the Boston Marathon bombing.
“When I found out it was Chechens (who were named as suspects), I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it,” he said.