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Gunman who shot Fargo officers had 1,800 rounds, multiple guns, grenade in car, officials say

by Michael Nguyen
5 comments
Ambush

Authorities have revealed that the individual who attacked Fargo police officers, resulting in the death of one officer, possessed a significant arsenal consisting of 1,800 rounds of ammunition, multiple firearms, and a homemade hand grenade. The incident occurred last week and the details were shared by officials on Wednesday.

The assailant, identified as Mohamad Barakat, 37, opened fire on officers who were responding to a traffic accident. Officer Zach Robinson ultimately shot and killed Barakat, while Officer Jake Wallin lost his life in the attack. Officers Andrew Dotas and Tyler Hawes sustained critical injuries and were hospitalized.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney expressed his concerns about the large quantity of ammunition found in the shooter’s vehicle, suggesting that it indicated a potential for further violence within the community.

North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley described the attack as “completely unprovoked.” He explained that Barakat began firing multiple rounds at the officers, initially using a long rifle and later arming himself with a 9mm handgun.

Wrigley further described how the shooter had observed and planned his ambush, waiting for the officers to approach before opening fire. Officer Robinson repeatedly ordered Barakat to drop his weapon before resorting to deadly force. According to Wrigley, Robinson’s actions were deemed reasonable, justified, and lawful.

Following the incident, authorities discovered a cache of weapons and explosives in Barakat’s vehicle, including 1,800 live rounds, three long rifles, four handguns, canisters filled with gasoline, and a homemade hand grenade.

Fargo Police Chief David Zibolski praised the swift response of firefighters and nearby medical personnel, as their immediate application of first aid potentially saved the injured officers’ lives.

In addition to the officers, a bystander was also shot and injured by Barakat. Shortly after the shooting, law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, conducted an investigation in a nearby residential area, evacuating residents to collect related evidence.

Zibolski revealed that there had been prior contact between the police and Barakat, although nothing of significant nature. The authorities are currently investigating whether the attack was premeditated and aimed at ambushing the officers.

The Bureau of Criminal Investigation and FBI are actively involved in the investigation. Officer Robinson has been placed on paid administrative leave, following standard Fargo police procedure, pending the completion of the state authorities’ investigation into his use of force.

The funeral service for Officer Jake Wallin, 23, is scheduled for Saturday morning in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, with a private service to follow at a cemetery in Nisswa, Minnesota. Officer Dotas, a six-year veteran responsible for training officers, was also involved in the incident.

Both the Minnesota and North Dakota governors have directed the lowering of U.S. and state flags to half-staff until Saturday evening as a tribute to Officer Wallin. They have encouraged residents and businesses to follow suit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about shooting incident

Q: What were the contents found in the shooter’s vehicle?

A: In the shooter’s vehicle, authorities found 1,800 rounds of ammunition, multiple guns including three long rifles and four handguns, explosives, canisters filled with gasoline, and a homemade hand grenade.

Q: How did the shooting incident unfold?

A: The shooting incident occurred when Mohamad Barakat opened fire on Fargo police officers who were responding to a routine traffic accident. Barakat initially used a long rifle and later armed himself with a 9mm handgun. The officers were ambushed by the shooter who had been observing and planning the attack.

Q: How did the officers respond to the shooter?

A: Officer Zach Robinson, after ordering Barakat numerous times to put down his weapon, ultimately fired on him. The use of deadly force by Officer Robinson was deemed reasonable, justified, and lawful.

Q: Were there any casualties or injuries?

A: Unfortunately, Officer Jake Wallin lost his life in the attack, while Officers Andrew Dotas and Tyler Hawes sustained critical injuries and were hospitalized. Additionally, a bystander was shot and injured by the shooter.

Q: What actions were taken to aid the injured officers?

A: Firefighters on the scene and a nearby ambulance immediately provided first aid to the injured officers after the shooting stopped. Their swift response is believed to have had a significant impact on the officers’ survival.

Q: Is there an ongoing investigation into the incident?

A: Yes, the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the FBI are currently investigating the attack to gather further evidence and determine the motive behind the shooting. Officer Robinson has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the completion of the investigation into his use of force, following Fargo police procedure.

Q: Is there any information about the funeral arrangements for Officer Jake Wallin?

A: Yes, the funeral service for Officer Jake Wallin is scheduled for Saturday morning in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota. It will be followed by a private service at a cemetery in Nisswa, Minnesota. The governors of Minnesota and North Dakota have directed flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of Officer Wallin until Saturday evening.

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5 comments

RockinRoller July 19, 2023 - 11:54 pm

whaaaaaat?!?! this is crazy stuff. why would someone do this? sending prayers to the injured officers for a fast recovery. thank goodness for the brave firefighters and medics who jumped in to help. heroes, man!

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MusicLover22 July 20, 2023 - 4:14 am

It’s chilling to read about the amount of firepower this guy had. Can’t imagine the fear those officers must have felt. Props to Officer Robinson for his quick response. Let’s hope this incident leads to a deeper look at gun control and mental health support. Stay safe, everyone.

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JaneDoe17 July 20, 2023 - 7:26 am

omg this is sooo sad. can’t believe someone had that many guns and like a homemade grenade?!?! why??! my heart goes out to the officers and their families. hope they catch all the facts in the investigation.

Reply
Bookworm87 July 20, 2023 - 8:29 am

Such a tragic event. It’s horrifying to think about the danger our police officers face every day. Sending love and condolences to the family of Officer Jake Wallin. Let’s hope justice is served in this investigation.

Reply
SportsFan21 July 20, 2023 - 6:14 pm

Unbelievable! My thoughts are with the officers who were injured and the family of the fallen officer. This kind of violence is just senseless. Our law enforcement officers deserve our respect and support. Stay strong, Fargo!

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