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No wrongdoing found in FBI shooting after Boston bombing

Story highlights

  • Ibragim Todashev knew the alleged Boston Marathon bombings mastermind
  • He was killed in Florida in May 2013 while being questioned about a triple homicide
  • An FBI agent shot him; U.S. law enforcement officials say he lunged at the agent
  • Todashev's family has disputed that he posed any threat to law enforcement

Justice Department civil rights prosecutors have concluded there was no wrongdoing in an FBI agent's shooting of Ibragim Todashev, an associate of the alleged mastermind of the Boston Marathon bombing who was killed in a scuffle with agents during questioning, U.S. law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation said.

The finding concurs with an FBI internal review of the shooting, which supported the agent's account. It also matches what the Florida state attorney for Orange and Osceola counties has found in his investigation.

Evidence reviewed includes photos of the agent showing his injuries, the officials said. The federal review is expected to be released next week, alongside the review by the state investigators.

The Justice Department's civil rights division routinely does "color of law" reviews of such shootings to look into whether there are any civil rights violations by federal agents.

The shooting occurred on May 22, 2013, as Massachusetts state troopers, accompanied by FBI agents, questioned Todashev, 27, in his apartment in an Orlando suburb, according to U.S. law enforcement officials.

Massachusetts investigators were pursuing information about a grisly 2011 triple murder that they thought could have been tied to Todashev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who allegedly carried out the deadly bombing last April with his younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

    Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed as he and his brother confronted police in the days after the bombing. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was later arrested and jailed. He's awaiting trial.

    Todashev's shooting has raised questions about the FBI's handling of the matter, because any evidence he could have provided is now lost.

    Todashev's family has disputed that he posed any threat to the law enforcement officers and agents in his apartment.

    "My son was definitely unarmed, because he never had a gun," his father, Abdulbaki Todashev, told CNN in Moscow in a June 2013 interview. "He couldn't attack them or fight them; he couldn't do anything because even two men could easily handle him."

    U.S. law enforcement officials said Todashev made statements implicating himself and Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the murders.

    The FBI had interviewed Todashev before about the Marathon bombing because he was a friend who, like Tamerlan Tsarnaev, trained in martial arts, and the two were friends. He was cooperative, and the FBI didn't consider him to be involved.

    The subsequent questioning came at the request of Massachusetts investigators who had begun taking a new look at the killings outside of Boston in Waltham, Massachusetts. After several hours of questioning, U.S. law enforcement officials said he lunged at the agent.