Friends of Ibragim Todashev Dispute FBI Version of Fatal Confrontation
May 22, 2013 | WMFE- Ibragim Todashev was killed while being questioned at an Orlando apartment in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing last month. The FBI says 27-year-old Todashev was shot after he initiated a violent confrontation in which an agent was injured.
[The apartment complex where Ibragim Todashev was killed during a confrontation with FBI Wednesday morning. Photo by Brendan Byrne, WMFE]
Todashev was being questioned at an apartment complex early Wednesday morning near Universal Studios, by an FBI agent and two Massachusetts State Police Troopers.
Khusen Taramov, a friend of Todashev, says he was also questioned by the FBI for several hours Tuesday night before he was let go.
Taramov told WMFE Todashev knew one of the Boston bombing suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, through his involvement in Mixed Martial Arts when he was living in Boston.
He said the FBI had been following Todashev and other Chechens in their circle of friends ever since the bombing.
Taramov said the FBI had interviewed Todashev before, and they told him yesterday was going to be his last interview.
"He was nervous, he felt something [was] wrong and he didn't want to go. He had some bad feeling," Taramov said.
Taramov said "didn't believe for a minute," that Todashev would have initiated a confrontation with the agents who were interviewing him.
“He didn’t flip out," he said.
"I think something went wrong there. I guess they just shot him. He didn’t do nothing. I know him. He just wanted everything to be over quickly, so he wouldn’t do anything stupid, he wouldn’t do nothing like that.”
Taramov said Todashev knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev, but he wasn't in regular contact with him, and when heard about the bombing last month, he was shocked. He said Todashev had been planning to visit Chechnya later this month.
Another of Todashev's friends told WMFE he was "a regular guy who liked mixed martial arts."
"There was nothing bad we can say about him,”said Saeed Dunkaev.
Dunkaev said he had also been interviewed by the FBI.
"They were asking us everything- from small kind of question to big, like 'What do you think about [the] bombing, what do your parents do?' even some questions I thought were not important" said Dunkaev.
Todashev, a Russian born US citizen, was arrested earlier this month on an aggravated battery charge. The arrest affidavit says Todashev got into a fight over a parking space at an Orlando shopping mall. Todashev told police after the incident he was a "former mixed martial arts fighter."
An employee of The Jungle Mixed Martial Arts gym in Orlando told WMFE Ibragim Todashev was a member of the gym a year and a half ago.
One gym owner speculated that Todashev may have met Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older brother of the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing who was killed in a shoot-out by authorities, at a Wai-Kru, a gym outside of Boston.
An FBI post-shooting incident review team has been sent from Washington, DC, and is expected to arrive in Orlando within 24 hours.