Father of Harlan Co. man shot by a fire investigator reacts to son’s death

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HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ)-Ali Sawaf says, “I’m the father and I heard about my beloved son get killed through the social media.”

Ali Sawaf is devastated and outraged after the shooting of his son, 39-year-old Mark Sawaf of Harlan County, Thursday night.

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Mark Sawaf had been under federal custody since June after he was accused of rigging trail cameras with explosives in Harlan County.

“We have hysteria in the country about terrorists about people making explosives. His explosives, made merrily to enjoy his sport of target shooting in the woods. He’s dead. I don’t know what he used it for.”

His father says as part of a plea deal his son was helping ATF find the explosives in a wooded area near the woodland hills community. ATF called-in state police, the Lexington Police Hazardous Devices Unit and a Lexington Fire Investigator to help in the search.

“He showed remorse and cried in front of them by saying I don’t want anybody to be hurt. I want to take plea bargain from the government to give me less time. And I want to join my family. I plan with my fiance to get married and have children.”

State Police say in the woods Mark Sawaf tried to escape which led to a fight with authorities. And they say that’s when Lexington Fire Captain Brad Dobrzynski shot Sawaf, killing him.

“He’s well respected in Harlan County. He’s respected by all levels of society. People tell me I should be proud of my son.”

His father says his son worked in Harlan County and Lexington as a drug and mental health counselor.

The city of Lexington says seven fire investigators carry guns and that’s been the policy since 1996.