Wounded Fargo police officer with ties to Eagan talks about summer shootout

Wounded Fargo police officer with ties to Eagan talks about summer shootout

Wounded Fargo police officer with ties to Eagan talks about summer shootout

Fargo police officer Tyler Hawes was dispatched to a traffic accident this summer when he and several other officers came under fire from a gunman.

“It’s tough to think about because it was so random, we weren’t expecting a fight that day,” Hawes said in an hourlong video interview released Tuesday by the City of Fargo.

Officer Hawes grew up in Eagan, playing high school varsity baseball before joining the force in Fargo. Hawes spoke out for the first time since the shooting.

He said he remembers everything before, during and after the July 14 shooting.

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“I’m hit, I start to turn, I fall,” Hawes said. “I look down at my right arm, my right arm is broken, I don’t know how else I’m injured, but I know it’s bad because I can’t walk.”

During that time, while bleeding on the ground, Hawes said he heard another officer come across the radio asking for help.

“I hear … shots fired, three officers down, send everybody,” Hawes recalled.

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Hawes credits fellow officer Jake Wallin, who grew up in St. Michael, for trying to stop the gunman before Wallin was fatally wounded himself.

“What Jake did was heroic,” Hawes said. “He fired a shot, he tried to bring the fight to the guy, he distracted him long enough for Zach to get shots on him.”

Officer Zach Robinson, the department says, eventually ended the threat by shooting the gunman.

“You prepare for the worst, but you pray that it never happens,” said Madison Hawes, Officer Hawes’ wife, who raced to the hospital to find him injured.

“It was one of the worst moments to see him in that vulnerable state, but it was also amazing to know he was still there,” Madison said.

In the weeks at the hospital, Hawes underwent more than a dozen surgeries, therapy sessions for his injured arm and learned to walk again. “When someone asks how I’m doing, I’m still walking on two feet,” Hawes said. “I’m grateful for that.”

He said the support from the community and his wife keeps him moving toward his next goal: trying to return to the force.

“It’s a blessing to have somebody by your side, it’s a blessing to have support from the community,” Hawes said.

Fargo police plan to honor Hawes Wednesday morning at an awards ceremony.