Footage Shows Shooting Ambush in Fargo That Killed an Officer Last Month
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Dramatic video footage of a shooting ambush last month in Fargo that left one police officer dead and two others and a bystander wounded was shown Thursday, highlighting the surprise nature of the attack on police responding to a routine traffic crash.
North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley and Fargo Police Chief David Zibolski presented the video footage taken from officer Zach Robinson’s body camera, scenes that showed the gunman shooting rapid fire from a .223-caliber rifle that took three officers down before he was stopped.
The gunman, 37-year-old Mohamad Barakat, shot and killed Fargo Police Officer Jake Wallin and wounded officers Andrew Dotas and Tyler Hawes as they responded to a routine traffic crash on July 14, authorities said. Barakat also wounded a bystander, Karlee Koswick, as she tried to flee. Robinson, shot and killed Barakat, preventing what authorities said could have been a much bigger attack with summer festivities occurring in the area at the time.
After the shooting, investigators found numerous guns, 1,800 rounds of ammunition, a homemade grenade and explosives in Barakat's vehicle.
Authorities also said Barakat’s internet queries over the past five years included “kill fast,” “explosive ammo,” “incendiary rounds,” “mass shooting events,” and one for “area events where there are crowds,” which brought up a news article with the headline, ”Thousands enjoy first day of Downtown Fargo Street Fair,” a day before the shooting.
Police visited Barakat’s home and interviewed him at least twice in recent years due to concerns related to his guns, though authorities say he appeared to have acquired the weapons legally.
Barakat was a Syrian national who came to the U.S. on an asylum request in 2012 and became a U.S. citizen in 2019, Wrigley has said.
Dotas and Hawes recovered enough to leave the hospital earlier this month. Koswick left the hospital about a month ago.