Valdosta Daily Times

Top News

May 23, 2013

Man shot to death while questioned in Boston probe

ORLANDO, Fla. — A Chechen immigrant was shot to death by authorities in central Florida early Wednesday after he turned violent while being questioned about his ties to one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, officials said.

Ibragim Todashev, a 27-year-old mixed martial arts fighter, was fatally shot at his Orlando townhouse during a meeting with an FBI agent and two Massachusetts state troopers, authorities said. The agent was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Three law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Todashev had lunged at the FBI agent with a knife. However, two of those officials said later in the day it was no longer clear what had happened. The third official had not received any new information.

The FBI gave no details on why it was interested in Todashev except to say that he was being questioned as part of the Boston investigation. However, two officials briefed on the investigation said he had implicated himself as having been involved in a 2011 triple-slaying in the Boston suburb of Waltham that authorities believe may have been connected to one of the men behind the bombings.

Several of Todashev’s former roommates who were questioned said that he knew the older bombing suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, from mixed martial arts fighting in Boston and that the FBI was asking about him.

Public records show Todashev lived in Watertown, Mass., just outside Boston, last year.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, an aspiring boxer, was killed in a shootout with police days after the April 15 bombings. His younger brother, Dzhokhar, survived and is charged with carrying out the attack that killed three people and wounded more than 260. He’s also charged in the slaying of an MIT police officer days later.

Investigators have been trying to establish the scope of the Boston bombings plot. Authorities in Massachusetts said they would investigate whether Tamerlan Tsarnaev had any connection to the unsolved 2011 deaths in Waltham, where three men were found in an apartment, their throats slit and marijuana sprinkled over their bodies. One of the victims was a boxer and a friend of Tsarnaev’s.

Two officials who were briefed on the investigation said Todashev made statements implicating himself as being involved in the 2011 Waltham slayings while he was being interviewed by the FBI and Massachusetts state police. Neither of the officials, one of whom had earlier told The Associated Press there was no new information on Todashev lunging at the agent, knew whether Todashev had also implicated Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the killings. The two people, a federal law enforcement official and a Massachusetts state official, were not authorized to release details of the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Neither official was sure of the extent of Todashev’s supposed involvement.

According to friends, Todashev had lived on and off with other Chechens in the Orlando suburb of Kissimmee and had moved to Orlando more recently.

“He’s a regular guy, nothing wrong,” Saeed Dunkaev said.

Police records, however, suggest he had a hot temper, with arrests in a road rage incident and, more recently, in a fight over a parking space.

Muslin Chapkhanov, another former roommate, said Todashev knew the older Tsarnaev brother.

Todashev “was living in Boston and I think he trained with him,” Chapkhanov said.

Former roommate Khusen Taramov said the FBI was asking questions about a conversation that Todashev had with the elder bombing suspect a month before the Boston attack.

The Tsarnaev brothers have roots in the turbulent Russian regions of Dagestan and Chechnya, which have become recruiting grounds for Islamic extremists. Investigators have said the brothers carried out the bombings in retaliation for the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

An FBI team was dispatched from Washington to review the shooting, standard procedure in such cases.

Todashev was arrested earlier this month on a charge of aggravated battery after getting into a fight over a parking spot with two men — a father and son — at an Orlando shopping mall. The son was hospitalized with a split lip and several teeth knocked out, according to a sheriff’s report. Todashev claimed self-defense.

“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.”

Todashev was released on $3,500 bail after his May 4 arrest. His attorney, Alain Rivas, didn’t immediately respond to a call for comment Wednesday.

Todashev was also arrested by Boston police in 2010 after a road rage incident. Witnesses told police that he argued with two other drivers and cut them off with his vehicle. According to a police report, he yelled, “You say something about my mother, I will kill you.”

———

Associated Press writer Steve LeBlanc and AP Legal Affairs Writer Denise Lavoie in Boston, Pete Yost in Washington and Mike Schneider in Orlando contributed to this report.

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Valdosta Daily Times e-Edition, or our print edition

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Today in History

    In 1800, Congress approved a bill establishing the Library of Congress.

    April 24, 2014

  • Michigan affirmative ban is OK, Supreme Court says

    A state’s voters are free to outlaw the use of race as a factor in college admissions, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a blow to affirmative action that also laid bare tensions among the justices about a continuing need for programs that address racial inequality in America.

    April 23, 2014

  • ‘Piles and piles’ of bodies in South Sudan slaughter

    Gunmen who targeted both children and the elderly left “piles and piles” of bodies — many of those in a mosque — in a provincial capital in South Sudan, the U.N.’s top humanitarian official in the country said Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • Obama_Stew.jpg Obama views mudslide scene

    Swooping over a terrain of great sadness and death, President Barack Obama took an aerial tour Tuesday of the place where more than three dozen people perished in a mudslide last month, then mourned privately with those who lost loved ones in the destruction.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wall Street_Stew.jpg Earnings and corporate deals lift U.S. stocks

    Corporate deals and some solid earnings reports propelled the stock market to its sixth straight gain Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Economy College Gradu_Stew.jpg Job market for college grads better but still weak

    With college commencement ceremonies nearing, the government is offering a modest dose of good news for graduating seniors: The job market is brightening for new grads — a bit.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supreme Court TV On t_Stew.jpg Internet TV case: Justices skeptical, concerned

    Grappling with fast-changing technology, Supreme Court justices debated Tuesday whether they can protect the copyrights of TV broadcasters to the shows they send out without strangling innovations in the use of the internet.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Today in History

    In 1791, the 15th president of the United States, James Buchanan, was born in Franklin County, Pa.

    April 23, 2014

  • Stowaway teen forces review of airport security

    A 15-year-old boy found his way onto an airport’s tarmac and climbed into a jetliner’s wheel well, then flew for five freezing hours to Hawaii — a misadventure that forced authorities to take a hard look at the security system that protects the nation’s airline fleet.

    April 22, 2014

  • South Korea Ship Sink_Rich copy.jpg Death count in ferry sinking tops 100

    One by one, coast guard officers carried the newly arrived bodies covered in white sheets from a boat to a tent on the dock of this island, the first step in identifying a sharply rising number of corpses from a South Korean ferry that sank nearly a week ago.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
Other
     View Results