Why was Ibragim Todashev, 27, killed as he was being questioned by the FBI in his Orlando apartment? Yesterday I pulled together numerous news reports documenting the contradictory explanations offered by law enforcement officials, many of them quoted on the condition of anonymity. Everyone seems to agree that Todashev had been questioned for at least several hours when an altercation took place. But early reports had him attacking an FBI agent with a knife or blade; at least one suggested he might have been reaching for a gun; others described him as unarmed; and still others suggested that he either wielded or lunged for a nearby samurai sword!
That brings us to a Thursday New York Times article that quotes "a senior law enforcement official briefed on the matter" who offers yet another version of what happened. Here are the details:
- "The shooting occurred after an F.B.I. agent from Boston and two detectives from the Massachusetts State Police had been interviewing Mr. Todashev for several hours about his possible involvement in a triple homicide in Waltham, Mass., in 2011, according to the law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was continuing."
- "Mr. Todashev, according to the F.B.I., confessed to his involvement in the deaths and implicated Mr. Tsarnaev. He then started to write a statement admitting his involvement while sitting at a table across from the agent and one of the detectives when the agent briefly looked away."
- "At that moment, Mr. Todashev picked up the table and threw it at the agent, knocking him to the ground."
- "While trying to stand up, the agent, who suffered a wound to his face from the table that required stitches, drew his gun and saw Mr. Todashev running at him with a metal pole, according to the official, adding that it might have been a broomstick."
- "The agent fired several shots at Mr. Todashev, striking him and knocking him backward. But Mr. Todashev again charged at the agent. The agent fired several more shots at Mr. Todashev, killing him."
- "The detective in the room did not fire his weapon, the official said."