From “The Killing of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Would-Be Accomplice Wasn’t So Simple,” Alexander Abad-Santos, The Atlantic Wire:
“Ibragim Todashev may or may not have pulled a knife on investigators in his own apartment. He may or may not have been ready to sign a confession implicating himself and Tamerlan Tsarnaev in a 2011 triple homicide. All we know is that lethal force was used when Todashev was shot and killed early Wednesday morning, and the only people alive to tell us the truth are the Massachusetts State Police officers and FBI agents who were in the room and pulled the trigger.
“What spilled out in the immediate aftermath were reports that 1) Todashev was about to complete his written confession, perhaps strengthening the case against Tsarnaev; and 2) Todashev pulled a knife on investigators, prompting them to kill one of the only men in America who have known when Tsarnaev turned for the worse. Both of those claims seem a lot less solid today….
“‘I think something went wrong there. I think they just shot him. He didn’t do anything. I know him. He just wanted everything to be over,’ one of Todashev’s roommates told NBC West Palm Beach, and his estranged wife added, ‘He wasn’t involved. So he was not even nervous [to talk with the FBI].’ Todashev’s wife could be talking about the Boston bombings [not the 2011 Waltham triple murder], but she was right about Todashev being cooperative. Todashev, according to CBS, had been talking with the FBI since two days after the Tsarnaev brothers were identified.
“What’s perhaps more puzzling is that the story doesn’t seem to add up: What new piece of information makes a guy who has been cooperating with FBI agents for the last month or so turn on them? Could the seizure of [his] computer have led to more revelations? Could the threat of jail time have dawned on him? And even more macabre, one of Todashev’s friends told NBC Orlando that he had been questioned with Todashev by agents on Tuesday night — and that Todashev felt like he was going to die. ‘He felt inside he was going to get shot,’ Khusn Taramiv said. ‘I told him, ‘Everything is going to be fine, don’t worry about it.’ He said, ‘I have a really bad feeling.'”
I wonder if Todashev felt he had been promised a degree of leniency that wasn’t reflected in the confession he was about to sign, that he felt the FBI had reneged on a deal he thought he had, and he became violent.