Slain Fargo officer Jake Wallin remembered as a hero

Published 7:01 am Thursday, July 27, 2023

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By Dan Gunderson, Minnesota Public Radio News

Slain Fargo police officer Jake Wallin was remembered as a son, friend, colleague and hero at a public memorial service in Fargo Wednesday.

Fargo Police Chief David Zibolski said while the 23-year-old Wallin spent only a few months as a Fargo officer, his character and competence stood out.

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“While we grieve the loss of Jake, we also know that we need more Jakes in our department, in our community, and within our noble profession,” he said. “His memory will serve as an inspiration for a generation of police officers in Fargo and throughout our profession. We serve in his honor every day going forward and we will always remember his service and sacrifice.”

Officer Wallin was killed July 14 when a gunman opened fire on four Fargo officers responding to a traffic accident. Two other Fargo officers were critically injured and are still hospitalized, recovering from their injuries.

A 25-year-old woman involved in the traffic accident suffered serious gunshot wounds. A fourth officer on the scene shot and killed 37-year-old Mohamad Barakat.

He carried several guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and explosives in his car. Investigators said they believe he was intending a mass shooting somewhere in Fargo, but they have not provided a motive for the attack.

“The one thing that often saves all of us is he tripped on that thin blue line, that line between chaos and order,” said North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum. ”And that day, it was the only thing that stood between him and unthinkable carnage.”

Wallin’s parents Jeff and Amy attended the service and his father thanked the police department and the public for an outpouring of support.

He said his son was where he wanted to be, serving as a Fargo police officer.

“We do not believe Jake would harbor any regrets,” said Jeff Wallin. “He was not in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was exactly where his heart and determination for his fellow man dictated that he should be there at that moment.”

“He is a hero,” he said.