WASHINGTON – A Chechen man who was fatally shot by an FBI agent a week ago during an interview about one of the Boston bombing suspects was unarmed, law enforcement officials said Wednesday.
An air of mystery has surrounded the FBI shooting of Ibragim Todashev, 27, since he was killed in his apartment early on the morning of May 22. The FBI said in a news release that day that Todashev, a former Boston resident who knew bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed during an interview with several law enforcement officers.
But the bureau has provided few other details, saying that the matter is being investigated by an internal review team that may not finish its probe for several months.
“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 Wednesday. “The review process is thorough and objective and conducted as expeditiously as possible under the circumstances.”
At the time of the shooting, Todashev was being interviewed about his possible connections to a triple murder in Waltham, Massachusetts, on Sept. 11, 2011. Law enforcement officials said he had acknowledged involvement in the murders and had implicated Tsarnaev. Officials said Todashev was not suspected of involvement in the April 15 Boston bombing.
Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police four days after the bombing. His younger brother, Dzhokhar, was captured later that day.
One law enforcement official said Wednesday that Todashev lunged at an agent during the interview and overturned a table. But the official said he did not have a gun or a knife. The shooting followed hours of questioning by the law enforcement officials that began the night before.
Some controversy also surrounded the shooting by law enforcement officials of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was found hiding in a boat that police officers riddled with about 100 rounds.