Inmate’s father speaks out after his son was shot by firefighter


HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ)-Ali Sawaf of Lexington is devastated after losing his son. He said he heard about the shooting on social media, an hour after it happened Thursday night.

State police say Ali’s son 39- year old Mark Sawaf was shot after a confrontation between Lexington police, personnel from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the Lexington Arson Unit.

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Sawaf had been in federal custody as of June after he was accused of rigging explosives inside trail cameras.

Thursday night Lexington police were called out by ATF along with Sawaf to a wooded area near the Woodland Hills Community in Harlan County to help uncover more explosives in that area. It’s unclear how Sawaf ended up in a fight with authorities. But in the end Lexington Fire Captain Brad Dobrzynski ended up firing at Sawaf, killing him.

Sawaf’s father says he doesn’t know why his son fitted the trail cameras with explosives but says he was an avid hunter since age six.

“It’s my assumption he used it as part of his target shooting or trapping because he trapped bobcat, coytote, and deer hunting. It’s away from society in the woods and there’s a lot of people that do target shooting in the woods.”

The city of Lexington says seven fire investigators carry guns, and that has been the policy since 1996. Ali says his son was helping ATF to find the explosives as part of a plea deal to reduce his sentence. Ali says Mark was planning to marry and have kids with his fiance in the near future.