TODAY   |  May 23, 2013

Tsarnaev friend claimed responsibility for murders

Officials say that the man who was killed in Florida after attacking FBI agents questioning him about his ties to Tamerlan Tsarnaev said he and Tsarnaev committed three murders in 2011. NBC’s Pete Williams reports.

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>> we are learning more this morning about the man shot and killed by the fbi on wednesday who had ties to deceased boston bombing suspect tamerlan tsarnaev. pete williams has more for us from washington. pete, good morning.

>> good morning, tamron. investigators say the man they were questioning told him that both he and tamerlan tsarnaev killed three people near boston two years ago. that statement came, they say, from todashev, a mixed martial arts fighter. while being interrogated tuesday night by the fbi , massachusetts state police officials say he attacked an fbi agent and was shot and killed. but authorities say just before that, todashev confessed to playing a role in a brutal triple murder in massachusetts in 2011 . one of the victims was a friend of tsarnaev's. law enforcement officials say todashev claimed that tsarnaev was involved in the killing too and started as an attempt to steal drugs from the three victims but ended in their deaths to keep them from talking. officials stress they do not believe that todashev, the man shot and killed in orlando had anything to do with the boston marathon bombings.

>> pete, thank you very much.