Officials to discuss use of police force in Fargo shooting that killed gunman who fired on officers

Jul 19, 2023, 10:21 AM

Official portraits of Fargo, N.D., police officers involved in a shooting a day earlier are display...

Official portraits of Fargo, N.D., police officers involved in a shooting a day earlier are displayed during a news conference, Saturday, July 15, 2023, at Fargo City Hall. Officer Jake Wallin, far left, was fatally shot. Officers Andrew Dotas and Tyler Hawes were both critically injured. Officer Zachary Robinson, who killed the suspect and is on paid administrative leave, is also pictured. Authorities have said a civilian was also injured. (AP Photo/Ann Arbor Miller )

(AP Photo/Ann Arbor Miller )

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s attorney general plans to hold a news conference Wednesday afternoon to discuss a Fargo police officer’s use of deadly force against a gunman who opened fire on other officers, killing one and injuring two.

Authorities say Officer Zach Robinson fatally shot Mohamad Barakat, 37, after the man fired on officers responding to a traffic crash Friday. Officer Jake Wallin was killed, and Officers Andrew Dotas and Tyler Hawes were hospitalized with critical injuries. A woman was also shot, but authorities have not said who shot her.

Fargo’s police chief has said Barakat’s motive was unclear. The state Bureau of Criminal Investigation and FBI are investigating.

A statement from Attorney General Drew Wrigley’s office said Wednesday’s news conference “will address the officer use of force issue only.” Another news conference is scheduled for Friday to address the investigation.

Wallin, 23, served in the Minnesota Army National Guard. He was deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq from November 2020 to July 2021. Wallin and Hawes were sworn in less than three months ago and were still in training when they responded to the scene Friday.

Robinson was placed on paid administrative leave while state authorities complete an investigation into his use of force, per Fargo police procedure. Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney said he anticipates a report evaluating Robinson’s actions in the coming days.

Barakat “was not well known to the community,” the mayor said.

The governors of Minnesota and North Dakota have directed U.S. and state flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of Wallin through sunset Saturday, and encouraged residents and businesses to do the same.

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Officials to discuss use of police force in Fargo shooting that killed gunman who fired on officers