FBI Agent Distracted by Text When Tsarnaev Pal Lunged

Officials reveal new details in Ibragim Todashev shooting
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2013 7:45 AM CDT
Updated May 31, 2013 7:58 AM CDT
Tsarnaev Friend Attacked FBI Agent as He Read Text
This May 4, 2013 police mug provided by the Orange County Corrections Department in Orlando, Fla., shows Ibragim Todashev after his arrest for aggravated battery in Orlando.   (AP Photo/Orange County Corrections Department)

The details surrounding the shooting of Ibragim Todashev, friend of Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, continue to be tweaked: Though officials said yesterday that Todashev was unarmed when he was shot, today a slightly different version of the story is emerging:

  • The New York Times reports that Todashev first knocked an FBI agent to the ground by tossing a table at him, then ran at him with a metal pole (possibly a broomstick) before being shot and killed. The Times cites a senior law enforcement official, and calls his account of the incident "the most detailed to date."
  • Citing a government official, USA Today reports that Todashev overturned the table, pushed the agent into a wall, and came at him with a pole. In this telling, the metal pole was "about the size of a broom handle." CBS Boston has basically the same story, citing multiple law enforcement officials.
  • CBS Boston adds the interesting detail that Todashev reportedly flipped the table as the agent looked down to read a text. It was apparently a message from the state trooper who was also in the room; he thought Todashev was growing agitated, and wanted to mention that to the agent without Todashev's knowledge.

All three accounts agree that Todashev ran at the agent again after the first few shots were fired, prompting the agent to shoot again, and that the agent required stitches for his injuries. Meanwhile, Todashev's father Abdulbaki publicized pictures (which have not been authenticated) of his son's dead body, said to have been taken by a friend, and accused the FBI of an "execution-style" killing, the AP reports. He claims Todashev had six gunshot wounds to his torso and one to the back of his head. He maintains his son was "100% unarmed," and says he was "tortured." His theory: "Maybe my son knew something, some information the police did not want to be made public. Maybe they wanted to silence my son." (More Ibragim Todashev stories.)

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