A one-time pro MMA fighter was shot and killed Wednesday by an FBI special agent looking into his ties with accused Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.
Ibragim Todashev, 27, was being interviewed about the April 15 bombing in an Orlando, Fla., condo when a “violent confrontation” broke out, according to federal law enforcement sources. Todashev was shot and killed while the unnamed agent sustained “non-life-threatening injuries,” according to the report.
The FBI contacted Todashev as part of an investigation that spanned several states and a region of Russia near Chechnya, where he and Tsarnaev were born.
Both the Times and Orlando Sentinel said the pair knew each other because they were both MMA fighters, though reps for the Wai Kru gym in Boston where Tsarnaev trained repeatedly have said the suspected bomber was a boxer who only occasionally sparred at the facility.
Tsarnaev was shot by police three days after the bombing during a citywide manhunt. His younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was taken into custody one day later and charged in the attack, which killed three people and wounded 260.
Following a run as an amateur fighter, Todashev fought in one professional MMA bout, which took place in July 2012 at “Real Fighting Championships 27: Showtime.” He submitted his opponent in the first round with a guillotine choke.
According to the Sentinel, Todashev was “primarily” being questioned on Wednesday about his possible involvement with Tsarnaev in a triple-homicide in Waltham, Mass., on Sept. 11, 2011. In the killing, three men’s throats were cut and their bodies sprinkled with marijuana.
A friend of Todashev said the two were MMA fighters and trained in Boston. He also said Todashev had spoken to Tsarnaev shortly before the bombing.
The shooting is currently under review by the FBI.
Following the bombing, UFC vet and Wai Kru product John Howard released a video in which he recalled sparring with Tsarnaev and breaking his nose, but sought to clear the gym’s name of any links to terrorism.