FBI Changes Todashev Story: Suspect Was Kind of, Sort of Armed When Fatally Shot

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
article imagearticle image

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has a new version of events they say led to the fatal shooting of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s unarmed friend, Ibragim Todashev, during an FBI interview in Orlanda, Fla.

Initial reports claimed Todashev attacked an FBI agent with a knife when he was shot and killed on May 22. This week it was revealed that the 27-year-old was unarmed. According to an FBI source, Todashev was killed when a “violent confrontation was initiated by the individual.” Now, an anonymous source told The New York Times that Todashev might have attacked the agent with a table and metal pole.

Speaking anonymously, law enforcement officials say Todashev, also of Chechnya, was a suspect in a triple murder that took place in Waltham, Mass., on Sept. 11, 2011. Three men were found dead in an apartment, their throats slit and marijuana thrown on their bodies. Authorities believe Tamerlan Tsarnaev was also a suspect in that crime.

After being interrogated for several hours, Todashev was allegedly prepared to confess to the crime, when suddenly everything changed. A senior law enforcement official claims Todashev threw a table and ran at the agent with a metal pole, before he was shot. The metal pole, he noted, may have actually been a broomstick.

On Thursday of this week, Todashev’s Chechen father, speaking at a Moscow press conference, demanded to know why his unarmed son was killed. He was apparently shot several times as the first officer failed to bring him down.

The more “answers” surface, the more confusing the shooting becomes.

A probe has been launched into the incident, which could take months to complete.

“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.” 

The Council of American-Islamic Relations in Tampa has called for an independent investigation. Hassan Shibly, executive director of CAIR-Tampa, wants to know if excessive force was used.

"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," Shibly said.

Sources: Slate, Yahoo!