Boston: A man in Orlando, Floridal, who was being interviewed early Wednesday by law enforcement officers about his ties to the deceased Boston Marathon bombing suspect was fatally shot after he tried to attack the officers, according to a federal law enforcement official.
The man admitted that he and the Boston suspect had been involved in a triple homicide, the authorities said.
The officers - who included an FBI agent from the Boston field office and two Massachusetts state troopers - were questioning the man, Ibragim Todashev, about whether he had played a role in the killings of three men on September 11, 2011, in Waltham, Mass., where the victims were found with their throats slit and sprinkled with marijuana.
The officers had been interviewing Todashev in his apartment for some time when he tried to attack them, the official said. Investigators said they initially believed Todashev had used a knife in the attack, but in the afternoon, they said that it was unclear what he was holding when he violently attacked an agent.
The shooting occurred in a condominium complex in Orlando less than a mile from an entrance to Universal Studios, where many of the residents work.
‘‘The investigators were working on the theory that he and Tamerlan’’ had played a role in the killings, the official said, referring to Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the marathon bombing suspect who died after a confrontation with police in the aftermath of the attack.
One of the victims was a friend of Tsarnaev’s.
According to a senior law enforcement official, Todashev implicated himself and Tsarnaev in the Waltham homicides.
It was not clear whether Todashev had said why they had killed the men. Investigators, who are seeking to determine how Tsarnaev made money, have been looking into whether Todashev and Tsarnaev were drug dealers, the official said.
The official added: ‘‘They had been interviewing him for a couple of hours at the time that he attacked them. It was not a sudden occurrence that had happened upon them entering the apartment.’’
The FBI agent sustained minor injuries requiring stitches, the official said.
The official said that the authorities had spoken to Todashev at least twice since the April 15 bombings, which killed three people and injured about 200.
The authorities investigating the Waltham homicides are seeking to determine whether the police missed an opportunity to thwart the marathon attacks. They have not ruled out that Tsarnaev’s younger brother, Dzhokhar, played a role in the killings.
New York Times