A shooting spree with multiple victims occurred in Fresno, California, with a gunman randomly “spraying rounds” at people downtown while shouting “Allahu Akbar.”
The Fresno police chief said three people who were shot have died in the random attack, which occurred as the gunman moved from location-to-location, targeting a person at a bus stop and a PG&E utility worker. Four were shot in all.
The gunman was caught and was named by police as Kori Ali Muhammad, who was already being sought in the earlier slaying of a security guard, reports said. That had talk turning to whether the mass shooting was a terror attack as concerns about ISIS-fueled attacks throughout the world remain high. However, police now say they think the shootings were motivated by race – the victims were white males and the suspect had referred to whites as “devils” on Facebook – not terrorism. Authorities are labeling the attack a hate crime.
You can read more about Muhammad here. His Facebook page is filled with ramblings about the “lost found Asiatic black nation,” about “white devils” (including Donald Trump in his opinion), and Black Lives Matter.
According to the Fresno Bee, all four people shot were white men.
Last July, Muhammad posted about the Baton Rouge police shootings, writing, “They shot Our Brother from a 100 yards through a structure. Guess you didn’t have a robot. #ENJOYPARADISEGOD.”
He also shared a post that labeled the killer of five Dallas police officers a “hero,” writing, “HE LOVED US ENOUGH TO KILL AND DIE FOR US. WE HONOR HIM #LETBLACKPEOPLEGO.” The Dallas police shooter, Micah Xavier Johnson was motivated by Black Lives Matter and police shootings.
The shooting was unfolding on April 18, just as people breathed a sigh of relief after the news that another shooter, Cleveland Facebook Killer Steve Stephens had committed suicide in Erie, Pennylvania.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. One of the Shootings Occurred Outside a Catholic Charities Building & the Gunman Moved From Victim to Victim Randomly
According to the Fresno Bee, the Fresno gunman opened fire in the parking lot of “Catholic Charities at Divisadero and Fulton in downtown Fresno.” But that wasn’t all.
The newspaper reported that the gunman – initially described as a black male about age 25, although Muhammad is older – appeared to be randomly targeting people, shooting a man in a front yard, and then another person at a bus stop, and then a man in the Catholic Charities parking lot.
The shootings occurred over “multiple locations,” according to YourCentralValley.com.
According to the Associated Press, it doesn’t appear the shooter was associated with Catholic Charities.
The gunman has a criminal history. According to federal court records, Kori Muhammad, previously known as Kori Taylor, was arrested in 2005 on federal drug charges and pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine base with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm with a prior felony conviction. He received 110 months in prison, along with 92 months of supervised release, which ended early in September 2016.
One of the court documents included a motion for a psychiatric hearing because his attorney said he was suffering from hallucinations, paranoia and psychosis.
2. The Shooter Was Reloading & Cursing as he Fired & Was Wanted for Shooting a Man at a Motel 6
Witnesses described a cold and calculating killer.
The shooter paused to reload and was cursing as he opened fire on people in the parking lot, reported the Bee.
The gunman used a large handgun,reported ABC7.
NBC Bay Area reported that the weapon was a “revolver-style gun.”
According to the Sacramento Bee, police had named Muhammad, 39, the day before “as the suspect in the Thursday slaying of security guard Carl Williams at the Motel 6 on Blackstone Avenue near Ashlan Avenue.”
The 25-year-old unarmed Williams “was shot multiple times after an altercation with a man who pulled a gun, police reported,” adding that Muhammad was “armed and dangerous.”
That brings the number of deceased victims to four, with a fifth wounded.
The Bee reported that, according to police, “Muhammad is homeless and frequents areas from West Shaw and North Marks avenues to North Bullard Avenue and West Figarden Drive, along with the area near Fresno City College.”
3. Three People, Including a Utility Worker, Were Killed in the Downtown Rampage & Muhammad Posted Incendiary Comments on Facebook
Muhammad’s prolific posts on Facebook include racial rantings that refer to white people as the devil (including President Donald Trump and Mike Pence). He also posted about being happy if white “devils” died and made posts about Black Lives Matter, police shootings, and the Nation of Islam.
Many of his posts are too disjointed to follow.
But in others the message seems clear.
Here’s what he posted about Trump and Pence:
Police ultimately said four people were shot, and three died.
ABC 30 reported that one victim was an utility worker with PG&E. “Another victim was found dead at Nevada and Fulton — where the shooting happened. A third victim went to Catholic Charities, just down the street from where the shooting happened, and was taken by ambulance to the hospital.”
4. One of the Victims Was Driven to a Nearby Police Station
There was a dramatic effort to save one of the three victims’ lives, as he was driven in his utility truck to the police station. But it was too late.
According to a KSEE24 reporter, “Pg&e workers victim of shooting, driver drove to police station. Police chief on scene car windows busted.”
ABC7 reported that the victim was driven to the police station, where he died. “One of the victims was driven in a PG&E truck to the Fresno Police Department’s headquarters in downtown Fresno where he died,” the television station reported.
5. The Fresno Jail & Courthouse Were on Lockdown
One local reporter reported that criminal justice buildings were locked down.
“Source: Fresno Sheriff’s Department, Fresno County Courthouse and all 3 jails on lockdown in Downtown Fresno,” he wrote on Twitter.
Streets in downtown Fresno were closed as a manhunt unfolded and police dealt with multiple crime scenes. Police said Muhammad was encountered on the street, at which time he shouted “allahu akbar.”