Officials release body camera footage of deadly July 14 shooting

Attorney General Drew Wrigley and Fargo Police Chief David Zibolski will hold a news conference to discuss surveillance and police body camera video evidence pertaining to the July 14, 2023, police shooting incident in Fargo
Published: Aug. 17, 2023 at 9:36 AM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) has released body camera footage from the deadly ambush shooting on Fargo Police Officers on July 14.

The body camera footage has been redacted and blurred by the North Dakota BCI, however, the audio has not been edited. The video released on August 17 is from Officer Zach Robinson’s body-worn camera. Officials have not released footage from Officers Jake Wallin, Andrew Dotas or Tyler Hawes.

Attorney General Drew Wrigley says Officers Wallin, Dotas and Hawes were about 15 feet from Mohamed Barakat’s vehicle when he opened fire on them. Dotas and Hawes were shot immediately and Wrigley says there is no way they could have predicted the ambush-style shooting. Wrigley says Dotas struggled to his feet at one point, but fell back to the ground.

Officer Wallin ran toward Barakat’s vehicle, was able to unholster his weapon and fire one shot before he was hit by Barakat. Officials say Wallin was shot once by Barakat.

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 shoot Barakat.

Officer Robinson’s service weapon holds 17 rounds and at one point he had to reload. Wrigley says Robinson fired 31 rounds at Barakat and hit him 21 times. Even after Barakat is shot and on the ground, he continues to move around and fumble with his firearms. Officials say Barakat ignores repeated commands from Robinson to put the gun down and put his hands up.

“Complete awe in his composure and training,” Wrigley says of Officer Robinson’s actions. “The way he conducts himself is remarkable.” Wrigley goes on to say that it was a mature, professional response to the circumstances.

Deputy Joe Anderson says 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.

Police Chief Dave Zibolski said of Robinson, “His mental state is good, he knew he did what he had to do.” Zibolski calls the officer’s actions courageous and heroic.