Exclusive: Father of man killed by FBI discusses case in-depth before meeting with state attorney
Sarina Fazan , Micah Grimes
7:07 PM, Aug 19, 2013
8:25 AM, Aug 20, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. - Abdulbaki Todashev pointed to graphic autopsy photographs of his son's wounds as he talked about what he will say Tuesday to a state attorney reviewing the federal government's investigation into his son's death.
At the offices of the Council on American Islamic Relations Florida in north Tampa on Monday, Todashev talked through the time before his son's death, what he knows of the day his son died and the graphic details of his son's shooting death.
"Look: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 and 11." The wounds appear to be entry-exit bullet wounds.
A graphic photo of multiple bloodied areas of a hallway floor and carpet showed where Todashev died.
His father said a report from the scene showed the FBI collected seven bullet casings, but the cause of all 11 wounds can't be confirmed until his son's autopsy report is released. "We know that he got killed; that's obvious," Todashev said through interpreter Viktoryia Johnson.
Todashev 's son was killed by an FBI agent during the May interrogation over his relationship to Boston Bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsaernav and his supposed involvement in an unsolved triple murder that authorities believe may have involved Tsaernav.
Todashev reiterated that the two met at a gym in Massachusetts, before he moved to Orlando.
"His son stated to him they were mere acquaintances, that he could not say they were friends -- they were going to the same gym together and they did not associate with each other outside the gym," Todashev said through Johnson. "They did not keep close touch or anything like that."
Todashev was stunned when he began seeing reports that his son was going to sign a confession to the triple homicide just before the shooting.
He maintains his son had nothing to hide, postponing a trip home to his native Chechnya in Russia, and even deciding not to hire an attorney. In a conversation days before, Todashev says his son told him that he wanted to answer all the FBI questions himself.
"He did not want to make an impression that he was guilty of something. He wanted to work with them, so he could take a longer trip home to spend with his family."
The elder Todashev says he and his son understood the FBI's interest, due to his connection to Tsaernav.
"He imagines with the regular course of the investigation, law enforcement agents were trying to investigate every possible person associated with the brothers, and that is how they got in touch with Ibragim. He completely understands agents were trying to investigate anyone who could be possible connected. His son wanted to cooperate fully."
With the FBI placing a hold on Todashev's autopsy and remaining tightlipped about the incident, Todashev doesn't understand how the interview turned so violent.
The FBI and Department of Justice investigation was recently turned over for independent review by State Attorney Jeff Ashton in Orlando. Todashev has said he believes in the American justice system and expects Ashton to carry out a thorough review. CAIR Attorney Hassan Shibly will accompany Todashev to the meeting.
"When a Florida resident is shot and killed we expect answers," said Shibly. "Tuesday is a very good first step in Abdulbaki's search of answers on why his son was killed by federal agents."
Shibly will offer Ashton all the details and evidence CAIR has found in their own independent investigation.
"We are going to that meeting to share with the state attorney our findings and offer our full cooperation with the criminal investigation," Shibly said, "and at the same time, the state attorney can assure Abdulbaki of the states high standard in upholding justice and not tolerating abuse of authority and law enforcement officers, by federal agents, or anyone for that matter. That is what makes America so great."
Todashev hopes to have two main questions answered: Did his son know he could end the interview, which lasted more than four hours? And he wonders what threat his son really posed -- since he had recently had knee surgery before the shooting.
"Maybe one bullet can be explained, but how do you explain seven bullets?" The FBI won't confirm the number of shots fired.
ABC Action News again contacted the FBI and Department of Justice on Monday for comment on the case. The have not responded to efforts to reach them.
The Orange-Osceola County Medical Examiner's Office again confirmed the hold on Todashev's autopsy report remained on an FBI hold.
Todashev works for a municipal government in eastern Europe and said he will remain in the United States for as long as necessary to have the case resolved.