Tsarnaev Friend Unarmed When Killed by FBI in Florida

Thursday, 30 May 2013 10:44 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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The friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev who was fatally shot by FBI agents in Orlando last week was reportedly unarmed at the time he was killed, law enforcement officials said Wednesday.

Ibragim Todashev, 27, was shot to death May 22 at an apartment complex in Orlando, Fla., when police went to question him in connection to a triple murder in Waltham, Mass., in 2011. He reportedly implicated Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev and himself in the murders before he was killed.

Todashev and Tsarnaev, who was killed in a gunfight with police April 19, were reportedly friends who ran in the same martial arts and MMA fighting circles. Police said Todashev is not thought to have had any part in the April 15 bombings.

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Though early reports indicated Todashev was armed with some sort of knife or possibly a gun, law enforcement officials are now saying he was not armed at all.

One official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, said Wednesday that Todashev lunged at an agent and overturned a table, according to the Washington Post. But the official said Todashev did not have a gun or a knife. A second official also said Todashev was unarmed.

Todashev's father has spoken out in defense of his son.

"My son could never commit a crime, I know my son too well," Abdul-Baki Todashev, who lives in Chechnya, told the Daily Beast. "He worked helping disabled people in America and did sports, coached other sportsmen. The FBI made up their accusations."

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The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations on Wednesday called for an independent investigation by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Officials said the division and local prosecutors are already reviewing the case.

Related stories:

Boston Suspect's College Buddies Accused of Cover-Up in Bombing

Grassley Demands Answers Over Tsarnaev Friends' Visas

Tsarnaev Family Cashed in on $100,000 in State Benefits

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