Bismarck, North Dakota — On July 14, 2023, Fargo Police Officers were responding to a routine traffic accident on 25th Street South in Fargo on the afternoon when, 37-year-old Mohamed Barakat opened fire on officers and first responders with a .223 caliber rifle. Police Officers Andrew Dotas and Tyler Hawes were shot and critically injured. Officer Wallin ran toward Barakat’s vehicle, was able to unholster his weapon and fire one shot before he was hit by Barakat. Officer Wallin was fatally shot once by Barakat. Wallin’s training officer, Zach Robinson, engaged in gunfire with Barakat. Officer Robinson radios for help, reporting officers down, and continues to try to neutralize the shooter who has been struck and is on the ground, but continues to reach for the .223 caliber rifle and 9 mm handgun on his person.
Bystander Karlee Koswick, who was involved in the initial crash on 25th Street South, was shot after the three officers were already down. She tried to run for cover when she was hit by Barakat. Officials say when Barakat’s attention turned toward her, Robinson had the opportunity to fatally shoot Barakat. Officer Robinson fired 31 rounds at Barakat and hit him 21 times. Officer Robinson told him to drop his gun 16 times, to which Barakat continued to wave a gun around. Officials believe Barakat was wearing some type of body armor during the exchange. Barakat was shot and killed around 2 minutes into the altercation. His vehicle was loaded with three long rifles, four handguns, more than 1,800 .223-caliber bullets, three canisters filled with gasoline, and two propane tanks filled with Tannerite, explosive materials used for target practice.
Investigators said Barakat searched online for articles about mass casualty incidents and the Downtown Street Fair, suggesting to authorities he intended to open fire on thousands of people attending the event. 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. The injured officers, Andrew Dotas and Tyler Hawes, and bystander, Karlee Koswick, have since been released from the hospital and are still recovering from their injuries. Officer Robinson has undergone a mandatory psychological evaluation and came back to work in the office for a period of time. Robinson decided he was ready to go back in the field and is currently back on the streets with another officer.
News by Breaking911