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Gunman kills 3 in Fresno; suspect wanted in other case

20 April, 2017, 13:33 | Author: Mae Harvey
  • Police chief Jerry Dyer briefs reporters in Fresno Calif. after shootings on Tuesday. Kori Ali Muhammad is accused of killing three people on the streets of downtown Fresno

At a press conference on Tuesday, the police chief said the victims were shot minutes apart in close proximity in areas around downtown Fresno. The suspect, a 39-year-old African-American named Kori Ali Muhammad, shouted "Allahu Akbar" - "God is great" in Arabic - as he was being taken into custody.

After Kori Ali Muhammad learned that he was wanted in the death of a security guard last week, he chose to take out as many other white men as possible before he was caught, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said.

Jerry Dyer told reporters the crime appeared to be "solely based on race".

'This is exclusively based on race'.

The FBI is assisting in the investigation.

The shooting began around 10:45 local time near the headquarters for Catholic Charities.

Muhammad fired 16 rounds within 60 to 90 seconds, Dyer said.

The Fresno County coroner's office says Tuesday's dead are Zackary David Randalls, 34, Mark James Gassett, 37, and David Martin Jackson, 58. Police said he may have been a client of Catholic Charities.

Dyer said Muhammad yelled, "Allahu Akbar", both during the first shooting and after his arrest, but that authorities do not believe the attacks had anything to do with terrorism. Police said Muhammad kept walking, shot at another man but missed, then found another victim on Fulton Street and killed him. The guard, 25-year-old Carl Williams, was white. Dyer said Muhammad confessed to having shot Williams "because he felt that Williams had disrespected him".

Muhammad faces four counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder, and he is expected to make his first court appearance within 48 hours.

After the original shooting, Muhammad ran behind the motel and climbed onto the roof of a nearby 7-Eleven, where he hid through Thursday night.

According to police, Muhammad was arrested without incident and stated "I did it. I would hope that whatever Kori tells [police, ] they take him seriously and they start following up". "I shot them", then identified himself, saying "You guys are looking for me".

As noted in the above report, Muhammad is also wanted in connection with another killing days earlier, in which a security guard was shot at a Fresno motel while responding to a disturbance. The victim's co-worker drove him to police headquarters, but Randalls died. The suspect lead detectives through the murder scenes and explained to investigators what he did and why, laughing while he made the descriptions, Dyer said.

His then-public defender raised questions on whether Muhammad was mentally fit to stand trial, noting that on several occasions, he had "appeared eccentric with some weird beliefs" and appeared to have hallucinations. Residents held hands and prayed during a vigil Tuesday. He told her loved her too. "Been at it since '95, hear me people?"

At one point he shot at a auto, but when he saw there were two Hispanic females inside, he stopped his attack. Additionally, the Catholic diocese organizing to assist the victims and those who saw the shootings. "We lost a member of our family. its hit us all very hard".

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