The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

National News

March 25, 2014

Reports: Bombing suspect's friend made threat

ORLANDO, Fla. — A friend of one of the Boston marathon bombing suspects threatened an FBI agent and a Massachusetts state trooper with a long pole and was fatally shot by the agent after confessing to his role a triple slaying, a Florida prosecutor said Tuesday.

State Attorney Jeff Ashton said in a report the agent was justified in shooting Ibragim Todashev, 27, last May. The officers were questioning Todashev about the 2011 slaying in Waltham, Mass., and he was about to write a statement when his mood changed from cooperative to agitated, according to the report.

Todashev, a mixed martial arts fighter, flipped a coffee table in the air, knocking down the FBI agent and causing a bloody gash on the agent's head. Todashev then ran past the two officers, into the kitchen and returned with a pole — a long metal handle of a broom or mop — that he pointed at the Massachusetts officer, the report said.

The FBI agent fired three or four shots at Todashev as he charged toward the trooper, and Todashev dropped to his knees. But he still managed to lung at the officer, and the FBI agent fired three or four more shots, the report said.

"The one common thread among all was the observation that he was, at his core, a fearless fighter," Ashton said in a letter to FBI Director James Comey. "Perhaps on this occasion, he simply reverted to that basic aspect of his personality and chose to go down fighting."

Separately, the U.S. Justice Department also concluded Tuesday that there was no basis for federal criminal charges against the FBI agent. The federal inquiry echoed the Florida report in saying that Todashev implicated himself in the triple-murder.

Federal authorities have said in court filings that Todashev also implicated Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the Waltham slayings, but the Justice Department report said the details of the confession were not being released publicly at the request of prosecutors in Massachusetts. The Justice Department report said both men shared an interest in mixed martial arts and were suspected in the Waltham murders.

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