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FBI: Boston Bombing Suspect’s Friend Fatally Shot After Initiating Violent Confrontation

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WASHINGTON (CBS Tampa/AP) — A man being questioned by authorities in the Boston bombing probe was fatally shot when he initiated a violent confrontation, FBI officials said Wednesday.

The shooting early Wednesday took place in Orlando, Fla., where an FBI agent along with other law enforcement personnel were interviewing the man, identified as 27-year-old Ibragim Todashev.

CBS News reports that Todashev was friends with suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a shootout with police last month. His brother, Dhokhar Tsarnaev, was taken into custody after an extensive manhunt.

“He had been interviewed along with a number of other people in the apartment complex, but the interest in him was higher because of a couple of factors: He was in contact with Tamerlan Tsarnaev,” CBS News senior correspondent John Miller reports. “He had been to Boston to visit him, and he was planning a trip to Chechnya.”

In a statement, FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said the FBI agent acted on an imminent threat and shot Todashev.

The FBI agent was transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

An FBI team was dispatched from Washington to review the shooting, a standard step that is taken in such incidents.

Even before his encounter with the FBI, Todashev, a mixed martial arts fighter, had a recent run-in with law enforcement.

He was arrested earlier this month on a charge of aggravated battery after getting into a fight over a parking spot with a 54-year-old man and his 35-year-old son over a parking spot at an Orlando shopping mall. The 35-year-old man was hospitalized with a split upper lip and several teeth knocked out, according to a report from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

“Also by his own admission Todashev was recently a former mixed martial arts fighter,” the arresting deputy said in his report. “This skill puts his fighting ability way above that of a normal person.”

Todashev was released on $3,500 bond after his May 4 arrest. His attorney, Alain Rivas, didn’t immediately respond to a phone inquiry Wednesday.

Police tape blocked off the complex of townhomes near Universal Studios where Todashev was shot.

Jared Morse, who lives in the next building from Todashev’s unit, said he had been watching an NBA game when he heard loud bangs that sounded like gunfire.

“It’s crazy, especially in this neighborhood,” Morse said as he walked his dog. “Nothing like this ever happens here.”

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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