(USA TODAY) -- A Florida man, believed to be an ethnic Chechen, was fatally shot
Wednesday by an FBI agent who was questioning him about his ties to the
Boston bombing suspects and about an unsolved 2011 triple murder in
Waltham, Mass., a law enforcement official said.
27, of Kissimmee, Florida, was killed in a condo in Orlando, near
Universal Studios, while allegedly brandishing a knife, said the
official who is not authorized to comment publicly on the matter.
is not believed to have been involved in the April 15 Boston Marathon
bombings that killed three people. But the official said he was being
questioned about his interactions with bombing suspects Tamerlan and
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and about the 2011 killings.
FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said in a statement that the agent had acted on an "imminent threat" in killing Todashev, WKMG-TV reported.
FBI agent was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
WESH-TV reports that two Massachusetts state troopers were also involved
in the interview.
NBC News, quoting unidentified investigators,
reported that Todashev, who once lived in Boston, had confessed to the
agent that he had played in a role in a brutal Waltham slayings and was
about to sign a written statement when he allegedly attacked the agent.
The victims of that unsolved triple murders. Brendan Mess, 25,
Raphael Teken, 37, and Erik Weissman, 31, were found with their throats
slit and their bodies covered with marijuana. Police also recovered
about $5,000 in cash at the scene in a Waltham.
suspect has been arrested in the case, law enforcement officials have
looked into the possibility of a link to Tsarnaev because he was
acquainted with at least one of the victims.
Todashev, an ethnic
Chechen, had once lived in Boston and was a casual friend of Tamerlan
Tsarnaev, according to the victim's friend, Khusn Taramiv, who spoke to WESH-TV.
Tsarnaev, 26, died in a shootout with police three days after the
Boston bombings. His 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar, has been charged in
connection with the attack and is being held at a prison medical center
Taramiv said his friend knew Tamerlan because they were both interested in martial arts.
when (Todashev) used to live in Boston, they used to hang out -- not
hang out -- he knew him. They met a few times because (Todashev) was a
MMA fighter and (Tsarnaev) was a boxer. They just knew each other.
That's it," Taramiv told WKMG-TV.
added that Todashev last spoke with Tsarnaev via phone or Skype a week
or perhaps a month before the April 15 bombings, but that the call only
lasted about five minutes and had nothing to do with the marathon
Tamariv told WESH-TV that he and the victim were questioned for about
three hours by the FBI on Tuesday and that agents then wanted to
interview Todashev alone.
"They told me they're going to bring him
back," Taramiv said. "They never brought him back. He felt inside he
was going to get shot."
He also said FBI agents had been following him and Todashev for several days.
Todashev was arrested by Orlando police on May 4 on charges of aggravated battery in connection with a fight in a parking lot.