MOSCOW, March 21 (RAPSI, Ingrid Burke) - The results of an investigation into the FBI shooting death of Ibragim Todashev, who was killed during an interrogation connected with the Boston Marathon bombing investigation, will be announced next Tuesday, the Boston Globe reported Thursday.
Todashev, 27, who had moved to the US from Russia's Chechen Republic several years earlier, was shot at his home in Orlando on May 22 while being questioned by the FBI about his links to Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev and a possible connection to a 2011 triple murder in Massachusetts.
On May 22, the FBI Boston Division released a statement announcing that a “shooting incident involving an FBI special agent” had occurred early that same morning in Orlando.
Without mentioning the names of any of those involved in the incident, the statement explained that during the course of an interview connected with the pending Boston Marathon bombing investigation, the interviewee had initiated a violent confrontation, adding that: “During the confrontation, the individual was killed and the agent sustained non-life threatening injuries.
On May 29, the FBI’s National Press Office identified Todashev by name and outlined an action plan for its pending review of the incident: “The FBI is conducting a review of the May 22, 2013 shooting of Ibragim Todashev, 27, which occurred at Todashev’s residence… The FBI’s shooting incident review team interviews witnesses and gathers information regarding the shooting incident for presentation to a Shooting Incident Review Group (SIRG), which consists of members from the FBI and the Department of Justice. The SIRG examines all of the information and determines the reasonableness of the application of deadly force in accordance with the Department of Justice’s deadly force policy and the law.”
Pressure has been high on US authorities to investigate the incident in earnest in light of the murky and often conflicting details that have surrounded it thus far.
The Associated Press (AP) cited three anonymous law enforcement officials in a report published the evening of the shooting as having initially claimed that Todashev had lunged at the special agent with a knife. Shortly thereafter, two of these officials reportedly backtracked – stating that the situation was no longer clear.
Citing anonymous law enforcement sources of its own, The Washington Post reported May 30 that Todashev had in fact been unarmed at the time of the shooting. One of the Post’s sources claimed that Todashev had lunged at an FBI agent and had overturned a table, but that he had not been armed with either a gun or a knife. A second source reportedly echoed the claim that Todashev had been unarmed. One of the Post’s sources claimed that one FBI agent was alone in the room with Todashev when things got out of hand, as the other law enforcement officials present had stepped out of the room.
Yet another anonymous source – this one described as a senior law enforcement official – told The New York Times (NYT) that Todashev had begun work on a written confession admitting his involvement in a 2011 triple homicide in the presence of the FBI agent and a Massachusetts detective . The agent then reportedly looked away when suddenly Todashev threw a table at him. As the story goes, the detective was wounded and knocked over, and then pulled his gun as he rose to his feet. At that point, Todashev was said to have begun running toward the agent with what may have been either a metal pole or a broomstick. By this account, even gunfire didn’t stop Todashev, who charged once again after being shot. At this point, according to the NYT source, the agent fired several shots, ultimately killing Todashev.
Then on May 30, Todashev’s father stated during a press conference in Moscow that his son had been killed by a gunshot that had been fired at his head at point-blank range. Showing reporters photographs of what he claimed to be his son’s corpse, riddled with bullets, the elder Todashev explained, “He was questioned for eight hours…Then they shot him, six times in the body and once in the head.”
At the press conference, Todashev speculated as to what could have inspired the authorities to shoot his son in the back of the head, but did not explicitly blame anyone involved for intentionally killing his son. He did not, on the other hand, stop short of accusing them of banditry: “They are bandits, not FBI agents.”