Police interviewed Fargo shooter about guns, propane tanks after fire call
HomeHome > News > Police interviewed Fargo shooter about guns, propane tanks after fire call

Police interviewed Fargo shooter about guns, propane tanks after fire call

Aug 14, 2023

FARGO — Fargo police talked to Mohamad Barakat about his arsenal of weapons and propane tanks in his apartment less than a year before he opened fire on police on 25th Street South in Fargo.

As WDAY News reported a week ago, Fargo firefighters were called to the apartment of Mohamad Barakat for a kitchen fire on Sept. 6, 2022.

A report WDAY News received Wednesday, Aug. 2, through an open records request details what firefighters saw inside Barakat's apartment that led them to quickly call Fargo police.

The call started as a typical report of smoke in an apartment.

"Possible structure fire at 4255 Ninth Ave. Circle S. Caller said to send the fire department — something wrong in the kitchen," a dispatcher said to firefighters responding to the 911 call.

ADVERTISEMENT

The call quickly escalated. In the fire department report obtained by WDAY News, Fargo Fire Department Battalion Chief Jason Ness wrote:

"As I looked across the unit, I noticed what appeared to be a significant amount of gun ammunition. Crews pointed me in the direction of the bedroom where I found a 20 lb propane cylinder next to the bed."

"You guys want to set up ventilation? We're doing a primary search," a firefighter on scene said over the radio.

Inside, firefighters were concerned about what they saw.

"There were multiple 'assault style' rifles within view. There was also a propane tank in the kitchen, next to the stove. Also a funnel, blender and items for measuring purposes," Ness wrote in the report.

That prompted firefighters to call for backup.

"Do you have a PD (police) assigned to this call?" Ness asked dispatchers over the radio.

Dispatch indicated that police had been contacted and asked to respond to the scene.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Maybe call on your phone and expedite that call," Ness said.

Firefighters appeared suspicious about the two propane tanks, as the "individual (Barakat) did not own a grill," he wrote in the report.

Fargo police interviewed Barakat, who said he owned 10 guns and 6,000 rounds of ammo.

Police determined "everything was legal," according to the fire department report. Fargo firefighters said they reached out to police based on "the high capacity magazines, guns, and propane tanks with no means of using them, without a grill."

The fire report was previously not publicly available because the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation was using it as part of their investigation into the shooting along 25th Street.

Barakat opened fire on Fargo police officers Jake Wallin, Andrew Dotas and Tyler Hawes as they responded to a routine crash on July 14.

Wallin died from his injuries, and Officer Zach Robinson fatally shot Barakat during the exchange. Dotas and Hawes, as well as bystander Karlee Koswick, are recovering from their injuries.

ADVERTISEMENT