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May 23, 2013

Man shot to death while questioned in Boston probe

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A Chechen immigrant was shot to death by authorities early yesterday after he turned violent while being questioned about his ties to one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, officials said.

Ibragim Todashev, a 27-year-old mixed martial arts fighter, was gunned down at his Orlando townhouse during a meeting with an FBI agent and two Massachusetts state troopers, authorities said. The agent was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Three law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Todashev had lunged at the FBI agent with a knife. However, two of those officials said later in the day it was no longer clear what happened. The third official had not received any new information.

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.

But some of his former roommates who were questioned as well said that Todashev knew one of the bombing suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, from mixed martial arts fighting in Boston and that the FBI was asking about him.

Public records show Todashev lived in Watertown, Mass., just outside Boston, last year.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, an aspiring boxer, was killed in a shootout with police days after the April 15 bombings. His younger brother, Dzhokhar, survived and is charged with carrying out the attack that killed three people and wounded more than 260.

Investigators have been trying to establish the scope of the plot. In addition, authorities in Massachusetts said they would investigate whether Tamerlan Tsarnaev had any connection to an unsolved 2011 slaying in the Boston suburb of Waltham, where three men were found dead in an apartment, their throats slit and marijuana sprinkled over their bodies. One of the victims was a boxer and a friend of Tsarnaev’s.

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