(ORLANDO, Fla.) — A Florida state prosecutor announced Tuesday that he will not bring charges against an FBI agent involved in the controversial shooting of an associate of one of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers.
Ibragim Todashev was killed during an interview with law enforcement officials in Orlando last May. Shortly after Todashev was killed, two officials with direct knowledge of the incident told ABC News that Todashev was “about to sign a statement” admitting to a role, along with Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, in an unsolved triple murder in Massachusetts in 2011 when he “just went crazy” and attacked the law enforcement agents.
Law enforcement sources initially said Todashev, a trained mixed martial arts fighter, stabbed an agent with a knife before the FBI agent shot him, but then said there was confusion over what object he was using as a weapon. Later federal agents said Todashev was unarmed.
In the account provided today by state attorney Jeffrey Ashton, the prosecutor said that during the interview, while the FBI agent wasn’t looking at Todashev, a coffee table “suddenly is propelled into the air, striking the Special Agent of the FBI in the back of his head.” Ashton’s report says Todashev then turned on the agent with “a long pole of some sort,” apparently ready to impale the agent, when the agent fired several shots at him, eventually killing him.
“My conclusion, based upon the facts presented to me in this investigation, is that the actions of the Special Agent of the FBI were justified in self-defense and in defense of another,” Ashton wrote.
Todashev, a 27-year-old Chechen, was an associate of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the two men prosecutors say detonated two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon last April, killing three people and wounding more than 260 others.
Days after Todashev’s death, his father claimed his boy had been shot “execution-style” by FBI agents, who he called “bandits.” The father, Abdul-Baki, said his son had been shot seven times, including once in the head, and produced gruesome photos from a Florida morgue as evidence. The photographs could not be verified.
Abdul-Baki Todashev said he believed the FBI killed his son because “they wanted to get rid of him, to shut him up.”
At the time of Todashev’s death, the FBI said the Bureau “takes very seriously any shooting incidents involving our agents and as such, we have an effective, time-tested process for addressing them internally.”
Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police days after the April 15, 2013 blasts. His younger brother and alleged co-conspirator, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was arrested and has pleaded not guilty to 30 counts related to the bombing.
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