Law enforcement officials say a Chechen associate of one Boston Marathon bombing suspect was unarmed when an FBI agent shot and killed him a week ago, according to the Washington Post. Initial reports indicated he had attacked the agent, possibly with a knife.
Ibragim Todashev, 27, was killed in the midst of a lengthy interview in his Orlando, Florida, apartment about his possible involvement with Tamerlan Tsarnaev in a grisly 2011 triple homicide, according to the Washington Post.
TheBlaze reported that an FBI “incident review” team was investigating what led to the May 22 shooting; answers may not come for several months, officials say.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations wants the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil rights division to open a probe into how Todashev died. CAIR spokesman Hassan Shibly says he wants to know if excessive force was used or whether Todashev’s rights were violated.
“Our call for an independent investigation of this disturbing incident is not just about the victim and his family, but is also about constitutional rights and the rule of law,” said Shibly, according to Business Insider.
Here’s more from the Washington Post [emphasis added]:
In the statement about Todashev’s shooting issued on the day of the incident, the FBI said that an agent, along with 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.”
An agent sustained non-life-threatening injuries, later described by one law enforcement official as “some cuts and abrasions.”
Initial reports citing anonymous law-enforcement individuals provided conflicting accounts of what happened. Some law enforcement officials said Todashev wielded a knife and others suggested that he attempted to grab the FBI agent’s gun.
One law enforcement official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, said Wednesday that Todashev lunged at the agent and overturned a table. But the official said Todashev did not have a gun or a knife. A second official also said Todashev was unarmed.
An official said that according to one account of the shooting, the other law enforcement officials had just stepped out of the room, leaving the FBI agent alone with Todashev, when the confrontation occurred.
The shooting followed hours of questioning by the law enforcement officials that had begun the night before.
Law enforcement officials said Todashev had acknowledged involvement in the 2011 murders and had implicated Tsarnaev, the Post reported, although Todashev was not suspected of involvement in the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing.
Todashev’s father said he didn’t believe the FBI’s statements concerning his son’s killing.
“My son could never commit a crime, I know my son too well,” Abdul-Baki Todashev, who lives in Chechnya, told the Daily Beast. “He worked helping disabled people in America and did sports, coached other sportsmen. The FBI made up their accusations.”
The medical examiner has ruled the death a homicide.
“The FBI takes very seriously any shooting incidents involving our agents and as such we have an effective, time-tested process for addressing them internally,” FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said in a statement Wednesday. “The review process is thorough and objective and conducted as expeditiously as possible under the circumstances.”
Todashev, a martial arts fighter, reportedly met Tamerlan Tsarnaev (also an MMA fighter) in Boston before Todashev moved to Orlando.
Check out the report on the new information from WESH-TV:
Below is footage of CAIR’s request for a civil-rights probe:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
(H/T: Business Insider)