BOSTON (CBS/AP) – The man shot and killed by an FBI agent while being questioned about his ties to a Boston Marathon bombings suspect had been arrested in a road rage incident in Boston in 2010.
Ibragim Todashev, 27, was a mixed martial arts fighter who had trained with Tamerlan Tsarnaev in Boston. Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a shootout with police days after the April 15 terrorist attack.
Todashev was killed Wednesday after an altercation with an FBI agent during a meeting with the agent and two Massachusetts state troopers at his home in central Florida.
The FBI gave no details on why it was interested in Todashev except to say that he was being questioned as part of the Boston investigation.
However, two officials briefed on the investigation said he had implicated himself as having been involved in a 2011 triple-slaying in Waltham. Investigators now suspect that Tsarnaev may have been involved in that unsolved crime.
The Suffolk County District Attorney’s office released a Boston Police report Wednesday detailing another unrelated incident involving Todashev in February 2010, when he was living in Cambridge at the time.
According to investigators, Todashev was driving a van and arguing with another driver in traffic. Todashev allegedly pulled in front of two cars, then came to a sudden stop, causing one car to slam into the back of his van.
Police say Todashev jumped out and started yelling at the other drivers. He was arrested and charged with reckless operation of a motor vehicle and disorderly conduct.
In November 2010, he admitted to facts sufficient for a finding of guilty.
“His case was continued without a finding for a probationary period of nine months, during which time he did not re-offend and after which the charges were dismissed,” the Suffolk D.A.’s office said in a statement.
The charges were dismissed in August 2011. The three men were murdered in Waltham the next month. No one has ever been charged in that case.
“While we can not discuss details pertaining to the investigation, including evidence, suspects or witnesses, this office and its law enforcement partners have conducted a thorough, far-reaching investigation beginning in 2011 when this horrific crime occurred. This investigation has not concluded and is by no means closed,” Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said in a statement Thursday afternoon.
In an interview with the Associated Press Thursday in Russia, Todashev’s father said his son and Tsarnaev had bonded because of their shared interests and heritage as Chechens from southern Russia.
Abdul-Baki Todashev told the AP that his son — the second of 12 children — was at university when he got an opportunity to go to the United States to study English about five or six years ago. He said he later agreed to his son’s request to remain in the U.S. “because it seemed like the safest country.”
Chechnya has been ravaged by two wars between separatist fighters and Russian federal troops since 1994, and remains troubled by periodic outbreaks of violence. The family’s red-brick house on the outskirts of Grozny, the Chechen capital, still bears the marks of shrapnel.
The elder Todashev said his son gave up martial arts because of an injury and later held a number of jobs, including as a driver at a retirement home, before moving to Florida within the last year. His father said his son had planned to come to Chechnya this week to visit his extended family, but was asked by the FBI to delay his trip.
Abdul-Baki Todashev said he was worried that with his son dead, the FBI could pin any crime on him.
“Out of fear of the lawlessness in Chechnya, I sent him to the U.S., because it seemed like the safest country at the time,” the distraught father said. “Now I’m thinking about how to bring home his body. As it turns out I sent him to his death.”
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