2 officers shot in Fargo have Minnesota roots
Heartbreak struck Fargo, North Dakota, on Friday after a suspect reportedly opened fire, killing one police officer and critically injuring two other officers in a shooting.
Fargo Police Officer Jake Wallin, 23, a native of St. Michael, Minnesota, was fatally shot in the incident.
Wallin also served at the rank of sergeant in the Minnesota National Guard, currently with the 151 Field Artillery Battalion.
“My phone started going off, and seeing what happened, kind of in disbelief at first. Now it’s starting to set in,” said Sgt. Maj. Adam Vanderwal. “He was definitely a rising star in the Minnesota National Guard. The loss will be felt throughout our formations.”
Wallin was one of several first responders on the scene of a traffic crash in Fargo on Friday when police say “for no known reason at all” an alleged gunman, 37-year-old Mohamad Barakat, opened fire, hitting three officers.
A fourth Fargo officer shot and killed Barakat at the scene, according to investigators.
Fargo Police Officers Andrew Dotas and Tyler Hawes were both critically injured in the shooting, according to a weekend briefing by the department’s leadership.
“To find out that it was Ty that was involved was shocking, it was hard to process at first,” said Steve Butler.
Back in 2019, Hawes was the varsity catcher on the Eagan High School baseball team that Butler coached.
“He was our leader back there. It didn’t matter if he was hurt, tired, sore, he practiced and played the game with enthusiasm for his teammates,” Butler said.
The Eagan baseball community, the coach added, has been reaching out trying to see how they can help the officer and his family.
“I feel sick to my stomach for him and the fellow officers involved. Our thoughts and prayers to everyone involved,” Butler said.
Hawes and Wallin were classmates in the Fargo Police Department’s Academy and both became officers on April 19, 2023.
Dotas and Hawes sustained gunshot wounds and are currently in critical stable conditions with serious injuries at a local healthcare facility, according to a department news release.
“The events of the last 24 hours have been among the most difficult in our department’s nearly 150-year history,” Fargo Police Chief Dave Zibolski said over the weekend. “This was a heinous and unthinkable act of aggression against our officers and the entire metro community.
The FBI and North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation are actively working on the investigation.
If you’d like to support the Fargo Police Officers involved and their families, the department has shared a link to a fundraising page.