North Dakota’s attorney general plans to hold a news conference Wednesday afternoon to discuss a Fargo police officer’s use of deadly force against a gunman who opened fire on other officers, killing one and wounding two.
Authorities say Officer Zach Robinson shot and killed 37-year-old Muhammad Barkat after the man opened fire on officers responding to a traffic accident Friday. Officer Jake Wallen was killed, and Officers Andrew Dotas and Tyler Hawes were hospitalized with serious injuries. A woman was also shot, but authorities did not say who shot her.
Fargo’s police chief has said the purpose of the blessing was unclear. The state Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the FBI are investigating.
A statement from Attorney General Drew Wrigley’s office said Wednesday’s news conference “will focus solely on the issue of the officer’s use of force.” Another news conference is scheduled for Friday to address the investigation.
Funeral services have been set for a slain North Dakota police officer who was killed in a shooting
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Wallen, 23, served in the Minnesota Army National Guard. He was deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq from November 2020 to July 2021. Wallen and Hawes were sworn in less than three months ago and were still in training when they responded to the scene Friday.
Robinson was placed on paid administrative leave while state authorities complete a use-of-force investigation, per Fargo police procedures. Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney said he expects a report evaluating Robinson’s actions in the coming days.
The mayor said Barkat was “not well known in the community.”
The governors of Minnesota and North Dakota have ordered U.S. and state flags to be flown at half-staff until sundown Saturday in Wallin’s honor, and have encouraged residents and businesses to do the same.