A man who was shot and killed by an FBI special agent in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday may have had connections to the Boston Marathon bombings and may have been planning to return to his howntown in Chechnya that night.
A friend of Ibragim Todashev, 27, who was killed on Tuesday, said Todashev knew bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev because both were MMA fighters, WCVB reports. The friend, who wasn't named in the news report, claims both were interviewed by the FBI for nearly three hours on Tuesday in an Orlando apartment.
The shooting happened overnight in an Orlando apartment complex. Khusen Taramov, who lives in the Windhover apartment complex, said the FBI began following some of its residents of Chechnyan descent after the bombings, he told CF News 13.
“One day they started questioning us, next day after the bombing... after they found out the bombers were Chechnyans, and they started following us, watching us. They pretty much told the guy from his apartment and they start following us, watching us like every day,” Taramov said.
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Taramov said Todashev met with FBI agents on Tuesday night, which was meant to be their last interview. Todashev planned on flying back to Chechnya that night, Taramov said.
“He cancelled the tickets because the FBI had been like, I don’t know, they’ve been pushing him, you know what I’m saying. They’ve been pushing him. They say, 'don’t leave, don’t leave,' so he decided to stay. But we had a feeling, worst-case scenario something like that was going to happen. You know what I mean,” Taramov said.
The FBI has confirmed the shooting but isn't releasing any details about the investigation.
"We are currently responding to a shooting incident involving an FBI special agent," FBI spokesman Dave Couvertier said. "The agent encountered the suspect while conducting official duties. The suspect is deceased."
Florida records show that Ibragim Todashev was arrested on May 4 in Orlando for aggravated battery. He was released on a $3,500 bond.
Todashev’s MMA profile says he participated in two fights, one amateur and one professional, in 2012. Sources say Todashev spoke with Tsarnaev one week before the bombings.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, set off two bombs on April 15 that killed three people and injured more than 260. Days later, the 26-year-old was killed in a police shootout in Watertown, Mass., Associated Press reports. His brother was later found hiding in a boat parked in a Watertown backyard.