Watch CBS News

Officials discuss body camera video evidence in Fargo shooting ambush

Fargo police release body camera video of ambush shooting
Fargo police release body camera video of ambush shooting 02:42

Warning: Video above is graphic and may be considered disturbing.

FARGO, N.D. -- Law enforcement officials on Thursday released video footage related to the shooting ambush last month in Fargo that left one police officer dead and two others and a bystander wounded. It's an attack authorities say could have been much bigger.

North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley and Fargo Police Chief David Zibolski held a news conference late in the morning. They showed body camera footage from Officer Zach Robinson, who ultimately shot and killed the suspect.

Authorities say 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. Barakat also wounded a bystander, Karlee Koswick, as she tried to flee. A fourth officer, 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.

The footage shows Robinson working an accident scene on a busy road when, suddenly, a barrage of gunshots is heard. Robinson exchanges fire with the suspect, who is seen taking cover at a car parked by a nearby business. 

The press conference showed police body camera footage in the ambush shooting.  WCCO

"We've got three officers down – send everybody," Robinson is heard shouting. 

Video shows Robinson advancing toward the suspect while shouting at him to put the gun down and put his hands up. Officials say Robinson shot Barakat again when Barakat reached for the gun with his left hand. 

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.

RELATED: Fargo shooter had legal "binary trigger" on long rifle, North Dakota AG says

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.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.