Fargo Police Officer Tyler Hawes recounts events following fatal July 14th officer involved incident

Courtesy: Fargo Police Department
Courtesy: Fargo Police Department

(Fargo, ND) -- The City of Fargo is releasing a recorded interview with Tyler and Madison Hawes after the fatal officer involved shooting that occurred on July 14th earlier this year. 

"My life will never be the same and I will never be the same person as the day of the shooting. But you can either let that hinder you or you can take it for what it is."

Fargo Police Officer Tyler Hawes was one of four officers who were on the scene after Mohamad Barakat, the now-dead suspect, fired approximately 20 shots from a nearby parked vehicle. Hawes, Officer Andrew Dotas, and bystander Karlie Koswick were seriously wounded in the shooting, with a third Fargo Officer, Jake Wallin, later dying from his injuries. 

Authorities say Barakat likely was intending on traveling to the ongoing Fargo Street Fair and causing a mass casualty event. 

Hawes and Dotas were attended to at the scene of the shooting by first responders almost immediately, as Firefighters at the crash site and Officer Tyler Robinson worked to deliver first aid. Hawes and Dotas were taken to Sanford Medical Center. The two also spoke to the community in a pre-recorded conversation at Officer Wallin's celebration of life event while they were still hospitalized.

In total, Officer Hawes stayed in the hospital for 24 days with 14 surgeries. Tyler's wife, Madison Hawes, stayed in the hospital with him as often as she could, sleeping in a nearby hospital bed for 24 nights. Afterwards, a nurse visited Hawes at his home every day for a month to assist with his recovery. However, the memories of that day continue to play in Hawes' mind.

"It's not something that stops when you leave, it's something that I will live with for the rest of my life, every single day," said Hawes," It's something that you go through [that's not easy] but it's something that's worth fighting for because it's my life."

Officer Hawes says he is beyond grateful to the general public for their support, but specifically mentioned his colleagues in the Fargo Police Department and of staff members at the Sanford Medical Center as being incredibly helpful and kind.  

"I want people to know that I am thankful. I'm thankful to be alive," said Hawes, "I want people to be grateful for what they have in their life... When someone asks me how I'm doing, [I say] 'you know, still walking with two feet.' I'm grateful for that."

Officers Andrew Dotas and Zach Robinson also both spoke to the Fargo Communication Team and Fargo Police Department in closed door interviews. 

Original Air Date: 
Tuesday, December 19, 2023