Officials: Orlando man shot by FBI was about to sign Boston murder confession


A 27-year-old Orlando man who was shot and killed by an FBI agent was being questioned in a triple-murder that may have involved one of the Boston bombing suspects, Orland TV station WFTV has learned.

Ibragim Todashev, who was shot and killed at a condominium complex, was "about to sign a statement" admitting to a role, along with Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, in an unsolved triple-murder in Massachusetts in 2011, two people with direct knowledge of the case told ABC News.

Todashev "just went crazy," and pulled a knife during his interview with the FBI, said state and federal law enforcement officials.

In a statement, FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said the FBI agent acted on an imminent threat and shot the interview subject.

The FBI agent was transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Officials said the three victims in the triple-slaying, Erik Weissman, 31, Raphael Teken, 37, and Brendan Mess, were found with their throats slit and their bodies covered with marijuana.

In the wake of the Marathon bombings, authorities in Boston began to probe a link between the Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Mess.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Mess were once roommates and did boxing and martial arts training together, authorities said.

In the meantime, an FBI team was dispatched from Washington to Orlando to review Todashev’s killing, a standard step that is taken in such incidents.

Todashev's friend, Khusen Taramov, told WFTV that Todashev wanted to fly home to Chechnya, but authorities asked him to stay for one last interview in regards to the Boston bombing.

"He had a ticket from New York, [and] from there, he was going to go back home. They were pushing him, saying, 'Stay, don't leave.' They said, 'We want to interview you one last time and talk to you a last time.' And he decided to stay, and today's interview was supposed to be the last time, and they said they were going to leave him alone," said Taramov.

"Do you think he would have prompted some kind of a shooting incident?" asked Channel 9’s Steve Barrett.

"No, there is no way. I know that for sure. All he wanted was to talk to them so they could leave him alone," said Taramov.

Taramov said Todashev knew the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston.

Authorities said Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, were behind the deadly Boston marathon terror attacks in April.

Tamerlan, whom authorities have described as the driving force behind the plot, was killed in a shootout with police. Dzhokhar was hospitalized with injuries sustained during a getaway attempt.

"FBI started following him, asking questions, 'Why you guys, what kind of connection do you have with them?'  Trying to make the connection between them, you know what I mean. But there's no connection. There's no connection. I know that for sure," said Taramov.

Taramov said that as soon as the Tsarnaev brothers were identified as suspects in the Boston bombings, Todashev was on the FBI's radar.

"And they contacted him. Pretty much stole him from his house, they came to his house with the guns armed and they took him," Taramov said.

Taramov said both men were questioned because of their connections to each other and their mutual homeland of Chechnya.

Even before his encounter with the FBI, Todashev, a mixed martial arts fighter, had a recent run-in with law enforcement.

He was arrested earlier this month 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 over a parking spot at an Orlando shopping mall.

The 35-year-old man was hospitalized with a split upper lip and several teeth knocked out, according to a report from the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

"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 bond after his May 4 arrest. His attorney, Alain Rivas, didn't immediately respond to a phone inquiry Wednesday.

Follow Steve Barrett on Twitter at @SBarrettWFTV for live updates from the scene.



Next Up in Nation World

Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington dead of suicide, report says
Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington dead of suicide, report says

Chester Bennington, the lead singer of the rock group Linkin Park, has died, according to TMZ.  Citing law enforcement sources, the website reported that the 41-year-old singer died of a suicide by hanging. Linkin Park is well known for hits like 2000’s “In the End” and 2003’s “Numb,” the latter of which...
Clark County deputies stop man on I-70 accused of trafficking meth
Clark County deputies stop man on I-70 accused of trafficking meth

A Missouri man has been accused of attempting to traffic meth through Clark County using Interstate 70. Ryan Burke, 36, has been charged with possession of drugs, trafficking in drugs, drug paraphernalia and tampering with evidence. He is accused of having in his possession 11 grams of meth, four glass pipes and digital scales. READ MORE: Secret indictment...
Florida mayoral candidate tells group to ‘go back to Africa’ during debate
Florida mayoral candidate tells group to ‘go back to Africa’ during debate

A mayoral candidate for St. Petersburg, Florida, spurred criticism after making a comment to audience members to “go back to Africa” at a debate on Tuesday.  >> Read more trending news Paul Congemi allegedly pointed to activist members of the Uhuru movement and their candidate, Jesse Nevel, and said: "My advice to you, if...
John McCain gave one of his biggest political speeches in Dayton area
John McCain gave one of his biggest political speeches in Dayton area

U.S. Sen. John McCain, who announced Wednesday that he has brain cancer, made the Dayton area central to his presidential run in 2008. McCain chose Wright State University in Fairborn as the place he was going to introduce Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to the world. On Aug. 29, 2008, McCain made the announcement that Palin would be his running mate in the...
Perseids light up the night sky in annual celestial show for stargazers 
Perseids light up the night sky in annual celestial show for stargazers 

The annual Perseid meteor shower is underway and, while stargazers look forward to the summer light show, this year’s meteor shower won’t be quite as spectacular as last year. Last year is what scientists refer to as an “outburst year” when as many as 200 meteors an hour were visible during peak viewing times. This year...
More Stories