Bodycam video reveals interview between Fargo police shooter, deputy months before ambush

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For the first time, the voice of the man responsible for the July 14 shooting in Fargo can be heard through body camera footage from the Cass County Sheriff's Office.

The Fargo man shot and killed a Fargo police officer, injuring two other officers and a civilian on 25th Street South last summer.

After investigating, North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley said the shooting was likely a diversion so 37-year-old Mohamed Barakat could then go on a "murderous barrage" at the downtown Fargo street fair.

Now Barakat can be heard in body camera footage from May 4, 2023, when a Cass County deputy was called to the Casselton firing range after a neighbor thought someone may have been firing a cannon.

It's believed to be the last interaction police had with Barakat before July 14.

In May, the deputy found three men at the public range.

Barakat immediately spoke up.

"That was the exploding targets," Barakat explained to the deputy.

He informed the deputy he was shooting Tannerite targets, a common brand of explosive targets found in stores and used for target practice.

However, many gun ranges prohibit Tannerite, including the one in Casselton.

"Literally two left, so you want me to shut it down?" Barakat said to the deputy, referring to the fact he had two targets left.

"It's not something we respond to every day, but in the law enforcement realm, it isn't uncommon for our officers to respond to something of that nature where someone is using Tannerite in a target type situation," explained Cass County Sheriff Jesse Jahner.

As the deputy was leaving about six minutes after arriving, Barakat approached him about what to do with the Tannerite, pointing out federal law prohibits him from taking the Tannerite with him once it's mixed.

"You told me I cannot shoot them anymore, which I totally understand, the issue once you mix them I mixed them right over here, but I can't transport them," Barakat said.

As the deputy was about to leave, Barakat approached the deputy and asked where he may be allowed to shoot Tannerite.

"Sorry about that," said the deputy.

"Oh no sir, please, I'm actually the one who should be sorry," Barakat said. "I will be honest with you, I bought back in the days quite a bit of them and I don't know what to do with it."

Jahner said it's "eerie to watch," when asked what it was like to watch the body cam footage.

In May, this call was nothing more than a policy and procedure call.

"Looking back in hindsight most certainly we can look at it now and go is there something we missed there, the interaction that day from Barakat was nothing out of the ordinary, he was cooperative with our deputy, (who) asked him to stop, he stopped at that time," Jahner said.

It's a call that still weighs heavily on the mind of the deputy, the sheriff added.

"I think all the time if there was something we would have caught from it, we certainly would have liked to have been able to do that, but there's just nothing in that interaction that would have led us to believe he was going to do what he did two months later," Jahner said.

The firing range in Casselton is open to the public but does have members.

A board member said Barakat was not a member, and that there was one more sighting of him at the range after May 4, but there were no issues that day.

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