LAST WEEK, a team of FBI agents and Massachusetts police officers questioned Ibragim Todashev, an associate of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings who was killed days after that calamity.
One of the agents left the interview with minor injuries. Mr. Todashev was carted out with, apparently, several bullet holes in his body. We say "apparently" because journalists have gotten a tangle of conflicting reports from law enforcement sources about what happened, many of which look bad for the FBI.
As best we can make out, Mr. Todashev had confessed to participating with Mr. Tsarnaev, a fellow Chechen, in a 2011 triple murder. He then apparently did something to provoke an FBI agent in the room, and the agent shot him. An early account — all have been provided anonymously — indicated that Mr. Todashev had a knife. On Wednesday, though, it emerged that he was unarmed. Many reports agree that he overturned a table. Some suggest that Mr. Todashev might have been lunging for the agent's gun, or — weirdly — a samurai sword in the room. The Post reported that the agent may have been alone with Mr. Todashev at the time of the scuffle.