A man shot dead by an FBI agent in Florida was an acquaintance of the Boston marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a friend said.
Ibragim Todashev, 27, had been questioned earlier on Tuesday by federal agents about his connection to Tsarnaev and was initially co-operative, sources in Orlando said. He was killed when he "flipped out" and allegedly attacked an officer in his flat.
The friend, Khasn Taramov, said Todashev had last spoken to Tsarnaev about a month ago, and had recently cancelled plans for a trip back to Chechnya, his homeland. Taramov denied that Todashev had any involvement with the April 15 bombings that left three dead and more than 260 injured.
"Me and him and my friends, we knew this was going to happen. That's why he wanted to leave the country," Taramov told Orlando news channel Wesh TV.
"But he cancelled the tickets. The FBI's been pushing him, 'Don't leave, don't leave'. So he decided to stay," he said.
Dave Couvertier, an FBI spokesman, confirmed only that "the agent encountered the suspect while conducting official duties" and said he expected to be able to release more details of the incident later.
Taramov claimed that Todashev was shot dead after the FBI detained him for questioning about his link to Tsarnaev, 26, the older of two brothers suspected of carrying out the marathon bombings.
"They took me and my friend, the suspect that got killed," Taramov said. "They were talking to us, both of us, right? And they said they need him for a little more, for a couple more hours, and I left, and they told me they're going to bring him back. They never brought him back."
He added that Todashev "felt inside he was going to get shot" by the FBI.
Records from the Orange County sheriff's department show that Todashev was arrested on May 4 and charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, but no details of the incident were listed.