The gunman who last month killed a Fargo police officer and wounded two others and a civilian reportedly admitted owning nearly a dozen guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition in a 2022 police interview following a kitchen fire at his home.
Firefighters notified police after seeing guns, ammunition and propane tanks in Mohamad Barakat’s apartment, according to a report provided to The Associated Press Wednesday by the City of Fargo Fire Department.
Battalion Chief Jason Ness noted what appeared to be “a significant amount of gun ammunition,” “multiple ‘assault style’ rifles,” a 20-pound propane cylinder in a bedroom, a second smaller propane cylinder in the kitchen, and “a funnel, blender, and other items that looked to be for measuring purposes” in his report on the Sept. 6, 2022 fire.
“FPD determined everything was legal with the gun collection,” Ness wrote. “The individual admitted to owning approximately 10 guns and 6,000 rounds of ammunition. My decision to refer the issue to PD was based on the presence of the guns, several high capacity magazines, and the presence of propane tanks with no means of using the tanks for cooking or grilling.”
The Fargo Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding their 2022 interview with Barakat.
Fargo Police Chief David Zibolski previously said that he believed police had prior contact with Barakat “but not anything significant.”
The 2022 fire was at least the second time authorities interviewed Barakat about his guns. The FBI and Fargo Police Department said last week that the FBI received an anonymous tip about Barakat in July 2021 in which concerns were expressed about his mental state, that he had access to a “ significant number of firearms ” and that he had used threatening language.
Fargo police detectives visited Barakat, who “denied any ill-intentions,” according to the statement.
But still no conclusions about his motive.