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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Todashev, questioned in Waltham murders, shot by FBI

Published: May 25, 2013
Section: Front Page, News

Ibragim Todashev, 27, was shot by an FBI official at his home in Orlando, Florida on Tuesday during an interrogation, after allegedly attacking the agent.

There is some conflict over the moments before Todashev was shot. One official told the Washington Post that Todashev was shot after trying to take the agent’s gun, while two others reported that the man reached for a knife and was shot as he tried to attack the agent.

Two Massachusetts State officers were with the FBI as Todashev was questioned about a triple homicide that occurred in Waltham two years ago, just two and a half miles from Brandeis.

The Hoot reported on the homicide multiple times, for development in the case was slow. It was a Monday afternoon—one day after the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States—when the bodies of Brendan Mess, Erik Weissman, and Raphael Teken were discovered stabbed to death with severe neck wounds, and marijuana sprinkled over their bodies. This brutal slaying shocked the community, and took the police by surprise. The Hoot ran another article almost two months later, reporting no progress in the investigations. Waltham Police Sgt. Tim King then told The Hoot that there was an “ongoing investigation” but had no updates to the case almost two months after it occurred.

Two years later, there finally seems to be a hint at who these violent murderers could have been. According to the Boston Globe, while being interrogated, Todashev acknowledged his own role in the triple-homicide. The Brockton Enterprise reported that Todashev was about to sign a statement when things began to get violent. The man was known to be good friends with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of the two Tsarnaev brothers, who died in a shoot-out with police in Watertown. They shared the same passion for fighting, said the Globe. It is suspected that Tsarnaev may have also been involved in the Waltham homicide.

Both Tsarnaev and Todashev left the greater Boston area shortly after the homicide; Tsarnaev for a six-month trip to Russia, while Todashev moved to Florida, according to the Globe. These departures have only begun to appear suspicious after recent examination. Tsarnaev’s behavior after the homicide is being seen as particularly suspicious. While apparently good friends with Mess, Tsarnaev did not attend his funeral. Mess’s girlfriend, Hibatalla Eltilib, also left the area after the murders, returning to Sudan. Before Mess’s death, she had become close to Tsarnaev, as they shared the same “distaste for American culture,” according to sources in The Globe. There is currently no evidence that links Eltilib to any of the crimes, however.

The Boston division of the FBI referred calls to the State Police, who did not answer The Hoot’s call. Interestingly, the Brockton Enterprise found that the State Police were referring calls to the FBI.

Ibragim Todashev was not a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing last month.