A man under investigation by the Joint Terrorism Task Force was killed earlier today outside a CVS store in Boston after allegedly refusing to drop a knife. Both a Boston police officer and an FBI agent fired, but it’s not clear who hit the man at this point.
According to The Boston Herald:
An armed man in his 20s being watched by the FBI counterterrorism unit was shot and killed by an FBI agent and a Boston police officer in Roslindale this morning, according to Boston Police Commissioner William Evans.
“He was on foot, under surveillance,” Evans said. “The officers have been surveilling him and again they wanted to speak to him … and he turned and our officers gave several commands for him to drop the weapon and unfortunately he came at the officers and they did what they were trained to do and that’s never an easy decision for any officer to make.”
One FBI agent and one BPD officer fired, FBI Special Agent in Charge Vincent B. Lisi said.
Evans said the suspect was wielding a large military-style black knife that he could have “done a lot of damage” with.
“I think our officers tried their best with the FBI to try to convince him to put down the knife but he didn’t leave us a choice,” Evans said. “It’s an active investigation with the joint terrorism task force … It’s very fluid it’s ongoing, but we have one male shot and as you can see it is a very active scene.”
The man was taken to Brigham & Women’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
It’s not clear why the man was under investigation, but CNN, citing an anonymous “law enforcement official,” claims he was “part of a broader terror investigation involving suspected Islamist extremists.” Citing an anonymous “second law enforcement source,” CNN also claimed that the man “belonged to an ad hoc terror network.”
The man has not been identified yet by police or the FBI, but a Boston imam has claimed that the man was his brother, Usaama Rahim. In a Facebook post, Ibrahim Rahim provided an account of the shooting that differed from the one provided by police:
Your prayers are requested:
This morning while at the bus stop in Boston, my youngest brother Usaama Rahim was waiting for the bus to go to his job. He was confronted by three Boston Police officers and subsequently shot in the back three times. He was on his cell phone with my dear father during the confrontation needing a witness. His last words to my father who heard the shots were:
I can’t breathe!
While at the hospital, Usaama Rahim died!
From Allah we come, and to Allah we return.
It’s not clear how Rahim would know his brother was shot in the back as he did not actually witness the shooting, however, the incident was likely captured by surveillance cameras from a nearby Dunkin Donuts. Video from those cameras will hopefully clear things up when it is released.
UPDATE: The Boston Police Department has issued the following press release, which says that another person has been arrested:
Today, Tuesday, June 02, 2015, at about 6:59 AM, members of the Boston Police department and FBI Special Agents assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) were conducting an ongoing surveillance investigation in the area of 4600 Washington Street, Roslindale. As part of the investigation, detectives and agents approached an individual in the convenience store parking lot to conduct a threshold inquiry. The individual, who has since been identified as Usaamah Abdullah Rahim, 26 of Roslindale, pulled out a large knife (pictured above) and came towards the officers in a threatening manner. In response to the unprovoked assault, an officer and agents immediately created distance while instructing Rahim several times to drop the knife. Despite repeated commands to drop the knife, Rahim continued towards the officers in a threatening manner forcing the officers to discharge their firearms striking Rahim several times. Rahim was transported from the scene to the Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.
Additionally, as part of this ongoing investigation, Boston Police and State Police made an arrest this evening in Everett. This suspect is in the process of being booked, fingerprinted and interviewed.
Said Commissioner Evans, “One of the most difficult decisions a law enforcement official has to make is the decision to use deadly force. In this case it appears the decision to do so was justified and while we wish the outcome could have been different, the officers did what they were trained to do.”