Fargo police: Shooter was heavily armed, bent on causing more tragedy

The gunman who killed one Fargo police officer and left two other officers and a civilian injured in what authorities call an ambush attack had a large cache of ammo and weapons in his vehicle and was bent on more destruction before he was killed, investigators say.

Attorney General Drew Wrigley says the gunman engaged in a "savage" and "unprovoked" attack, opening fire on the three Fargo officers who had responded to a vehicle accident. The gunman, who has since been identified as 37-year-old Mohamad Barakat, was shot and killed by a Fargo police officer who returned fire.

Officer Jake Wallin was killed in the shooting while officers Andrew Dotas and Tyler Hawes suffered injuries. An innocent woman, identified as 25-year-old Karlee Koswick, who had been involved in the accident, was also hit by two rounds.

The gunman was using a .223 long rifle with double-stacked high-capacity magazines. Wrigley says the shooter had the ability to fire up to 60 rounds. In his vehicle, the gunman had a stockpile of ammo, four handguns, and other rifles. Barakat also had explosives including a homemade live hand grenade and a canister of gasoline. 

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Wrigley says Barakat was firing from his vehicle, about 15 to 20 feet from the officers who were investigating in the parking lot. He struck all three officers before turning the rifle and firing at Koswick who was running from the gunfire.

Officer Zachary Robinson, who was standing in the road, about 75 feet away from the gunman, was able to call in the shots fire to dispatch and then return fire with his handgun. Officer Robinson was able to fire shots that disabled the rifle and, as Officer Robinson moved closer to Barakat, Barakat was able to grab a pistol.

Wrigley says Officer Robinson gave 16 commands for Barakat to drop the pistol but Barakat refused and Robinson ultimately shot Barakat.

Photos of the ammo and guns the Fargo gunman had in his vehicle. (North Dakota Attorney General / Supplied)

"Had [Officer Robinson] not neutralized this shooter, we would have had many more casualties," said Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney. "When you look at the amount of ammunition this shooter had in his car, he was planning on more mayhem in our community."

Fargo Police Chief Dave Zibolski also lauded Officer Robinson's heroic actions.

"[Officer Robinson] was the last person standing between this individual, who was obviously deadset on some pretty horrific acts, targets unknown at this time," explained the chief. "Certainly this individual had the weaponry and intent and the commitment."

Officials plan to hold another briefing on the shooting this Friday as the attorney general concludes his investigation.

Funeral set for Officer Wallin

Funeral arrangements have been set for Officer Wallin. Services will be held at Pequot Lakes High School (30805 Olson Street in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota) at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.

A law enforcement escort will leave Fargo at 5:45 a.m. and arrive at the school around 9 a.m. The escort will be limited to Fargo police vehicles for security reasons. The escort will move through Fargo to I-94, Highway 336 in Minnesota, Highway 10, Highway 210, and finally along Highway 371 into Pequot Lakes.

Law enforcement officers and members of the public looking to honor Officer Wallin are asked to join police along the route.

After the funeral, Officer Wallin will be given final military honors and cemetery services at Greenwood Cemetery in Nisswa. Due to space limitations, only Fargo police officers and military personnel will be able to attend the graveside service.

A public celebration of life service will take place on Wednesday, July 26 at 1 p.m. at Scheel's Arena in Fargo.