Fresno gunman targeting whites chose 3 men at random

The suspect had indicated on social media that he hated white people and expressed anti-government views, police said.

Muhammad fired 16 shots at random in three different locations on Tuesday in Fresno, California at about 10:45 a.m, leading to the death of the death of the white men. Police say Kori Ali Muhammad on Tuesday singled out white victims and killed them at random because he believed there was a war going on between blacks and whites in America.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer says 39-year-old Kori Ali Muhammad, who is black, told investigators he made a decision to kill white people after police on Tuesday publicly identified him as a suspect in last week's slaying of a security guard.

Muhammad's brother, who didn't want to be identified by name, says his family had been concerned about Muhammad's homelessness.

Hours before the shootings, police had issued a news release saying Muhammad, who was suspected in the shooting death of a white security guard last week, was armed and unsafe.

Mr Muhammad, 39, was also wanted for the murder of a security guard outside a motel in the city last week.

He also faces at least two additional charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

As he was taken into custody, he yelled out "Allahu Akbar", Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said.

Dyer says "this is exclusively based on race".

Authorities did not publicize his identity as they were chasing possible sightings of Muhammad and other leads in the case, Dyer said.

The police chief says they were shot minutes apart in close proximity in areas around downtown.

Muhammad on Tuesday first walked up to a utility truck and shot a Pacific Gas & Electric Co. employee sitting in the passenger seat.

"Within seconds, Dyer said, the gunman had moved west on Mildreda Street, firing at but missing a resident, and then to Fulton Street, where he fired several rounds at another man, striking and killing him".

The Bee reported that the gunman opened fire with a large-caliber handgun while cursing shortly before 11 a.m. near a Catholic Charities building.

He shouted "God is greatest" in Arabic when arrested but this was a hate crime not terrorism, Mr Dyer believed.

Muhammad, he added, had a long criminal history including weapons charges and drug infractions.

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Muhammad was charged in 2005 with possessing cocaine with intent to distribute, court records show.

He wrote that his "kill rate increases tremendously on the other side" and also posted about "white devils".

His public defender raised questions on whether Muhammad was mentally fit to stand trial, noting that on several occasions, he had "appeared eccentric with some freaky beliefs" and appeared to have hallucinations. According to the police chief, Muhammad has had some associations with gangs but is not believed to be a gang member.

They show his attorney said that Muhammad had "paranoia" and thought the justice system and his defense attorney were conspiring against him.

Police say two of the victims may have been using Catholic Charities, which provides services for refugees, the homeless and those with disabilities.

  • Carolyn Briggs