A Chechen immigrant was shot to death by authorities at his Orlando, Fla., home early Wednesday while being questioned in the Boston Marathon bombing case, officials said.
Ibragim Todashev, a 27-year-old mixed martial arts fighter, was gunned down after turning violent 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.
The FBI gave no details on what investigators had hoped to learn from Todashev.
Khusn Taramiv, who described himself as a friend of Todashev, told Orlando TV station WESH that Todashev had known one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, from mixed martial arts fighting. Public records also show Todashev lived in Watertown, Mass., just outside Boston, last year.
The authorities "were talking to us, both of us, right?" Taramiv said. "And they said they need him for a little more, for a couple more hours, and I left, and they told me they're going to bring him back. They never brought him back."
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police days after the April 15 bombings. His brother, Dzhokhar, survived and is charged with carrying out the attacks that killed three and wounded more than 260.
Saeed Dunkaez, a roommate of Todashev's, told The Associated Press that Todashev had lived off and on with a group of other Chechens in a townhouse in the Orlando suburb of Kissimmee.
"He's a regular guy, nothing wrong," Dunkaez said. Dunkaez said the roommates had been interviewed in recent days about the Boston bombing.
Who fired shot?
An FBI team was dispatched from Washington to review the shooting, a standard step in such cases.
The FBI initially said the agent fired the fatal shot, but later in the day the bureau left open the question of who was responsible.
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 upper lip and several teeth knocked out, according to a report from the Orange County Sheriff's Office. Todashev claimed self-defence.
"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.
Police tape blocked off the complex of townhouses near Universal Studios where Todashev was shot.