Kori Ali Muhammad, 39, shot and killed three people on the streets of downtown Fresno on Tuesday was trying to murder as many white people as he could, authorities said
A man who shot and killed three people on the streets of downtown Fresno on Tuesday was trying to murder as many white people as he could, authorities said.
Kori Ali Muhammad, 39, shouted ‘Allahu Akhbar,’ meaning ‘God is great,’ in Arabic while being apprehended shortly after the shootings.
He later told police that he hates white people. His victims were all Caucasian males apparently chosen at random.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer called the acts ‘unprovoked’ and ‘solely based on race’. They are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
Dyer added that the killings had ‘nothing to do with terrorism in spite of the statement he made.’
He is also wanted in connection with another killing days earlier, in which a white security guard was gunned down at a Fresno motel after responding to a disturbance.
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Muhammad posted a number of photos on Facebook donning turbans and head jewelry and wearing pro-black clothing, and previously posted about his dislike of white people
Muhammad is a self-proclaimed rapper that goes by the nickname ‘Black Jesus’ according to Police Chief Jerry Dyer
Dyer continued: ‘These individuals who were chosen today did not do anything to deserve what they got.
‘These were unprovoked attacks by an individual that was intent on carrying out homicides today. He did that.’
Further proof came in the form of a Latino woman and two children, who’s vehicle Muhammad approached while on his shooting spree, but chose to spare their lives, ABC News reported.
The victims were shot seconds apart around 10:45am in a four-block radius in downtown Fresno, during which time Muhammad reportedly shot 16 rounds in under two minutes.
When police arrested him, Muhammad reportedly said: ‘I did it. I shot them.’
Muhammad was eventually taken down by police and shouted ‘Allahu Akhbar’ as he was apprehended
The spree shooter has a length criminal record, including a dismissed felony charge of unlawful firearm possession in 2004
After being taken into custody, Dyer said Muhammad also made other statements to police, but he did not disclose them to the public.
Muhammad is active on Facebook and Twitter and previously expressed his dislike of white people and anti-government sentiments in social media posts.
A day after the killing of the motel security guard, Carl Williams, Mohammad posted a status to Facebook stating: ‘MY KILL RATE INCRESASES TREMENDOUSLY ON THE OTHER SIDE ASÈ ALLAH U AKBAR’.
Muhammad, who was born Cory Taylor, is a self-proclaimed rapper who goes by the nickname of ‘Black Jesus’. He also goes by the name of B-God Mac Sun, and sells his 12-track album ‘True Story Kori’ on Amazon.
His father, Vincent Taylor, told the LA Times on Tuesday that his son believed there was a race was going on in America that he was in the midst of, and ‘a battle was about to take place’.
‘I’m happy he was arrested,’ Taylor said. ‘I would hope that whatever Kori tells [police,] they take him seriously and they start following up.’
Police say Muhammad first approached a PG&E truck on the 300 block of North Van Ness street and shot the passenger inside repeatedly.
The driver of the truck took the injured rider directly to the police station at M Street and Mariposa mall – but the passenger, aged 34, was later pronounced dead.
Evacuated office workers stand by with a deceased shooting victim down on the sidewalk in the horror rampage in Fresno
He then took aim at a bystander nearby at the corner of Van Ness and Mildreda Street but missed.
He continued down Fulton Street, shooting and killing a 37-year-old pedestrian there, then witnesses say he calmly reloaded at a nearby bus stop.
Muhammad killed the last victim of his rampage in the parking lot of the Catholic Charities building on the 100 block of North Fulton Street. The unnamed bystander was 58 years old.
Following the shooting, Fresno city spokesman Mark Standriff said county offices were placed on lockdown, and people were urged to shelter in place.
The rampage took place across a four-block radius in downtown Fresno, where three people were killed
Police say Muhammad first approached a PG&E truck on the 300 block of North Van Ness street and shot the passenger inside repeatedly
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer, center, said the victims were shot seconds apart around 10:45am in close proximity in areas around downtown
Though the shooting happened outside a Catholic Charities building, spokeswoman Teresa Dominguez said the charity doesn’t believe the suspect was tied to the nonprofit organization or specifically targeting those of a Christian faith.
Muhammad was identified as a suspect in the murder of security guard Carl Williams at the Motel 6 in Fresno on Sunday after surveillance footage captured the killing on tape.
Williams, 25, was unarmed and was killed after allegedly getting into an altercation with Muhammad.
Muhammad’s grandmother, Glenestene Taylor, said that he’d been acting strangely when he visited her on Sunday, and that he was crying.
Muhammad is suspected of killed security guard Carl Williams, pictured, in a shooting at the Motel 6 in Fresno on Easter Sunday
However, she said she didn’t get the impression that her grandson held hatred towards any race.
‘He would say something derogatory about anybody, didn’t matter about the color,’ she said. ‘If he didn’t like what they did, he didn’t like what they did no matter the color.’
The spree shooter has a length criminal record, including a dismissed felony charge of unlawful firearm possession in 2004.
He was deemed mentally unfit to stand trial in 2005 after a grand jury indicted him on cocaine and firearm possession.
Court documents in that case stated that Muhammad ‘suffered auditory hallucinations and had at least two prior mental health hospitalizations.’
A federal judge later declared him mentally fit in 2006 and he subsequently served 92 months in prison.
Witnesses on Tuesday say he shot off sixteen rounds while screaming and cursing, and was carrying a large-caliber revolver, according to the Fresno Bee.
The ‘rapper’ uploaded one music video titled ‘U Gone Need Me: Tru Story Kori’ in which he discusses racism and ‘liberation of his people’.
He says: ‘…on a mission for the liberation of my people.’
‘Hollow points make a white devil body spin … Kill a racist devil dead, cut off they head, put a bullet in they head, and get that bread.’
Officers on the scene found rounds of 357 caliber bullets, and a speed loader for a revolver, but did not recover a murder weapon when they apprehended Muhammad.
Brian Levin, director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, referred to Muhammad as a ‘violent black supremacist’.
Sayed Ali Ghazvini, imam of the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno, said Muhammad was not a member of his congregation and he did not recognize him.
The imam said he is consulting with other faith leaders. The Cultural Center’s Facebook page released a statement condemning the killings, and those who use the phrase ‘Allahu Akbar’ in the name of violence.
The Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno released a statement condemning the killings
A street is blocked off where three people were shot dead by the gunman screaming ‘god is great’ in Arabic
Following the shootin, county offices were placed on lockdown, and people were urged to shelter in place
‘We’re kind of shocked and surprised for what happened,’ Ghazvini said.
‘We are very sorry for this to happen. We offer condolences for the victims, we pray for the victims and their families.’
Officials say it’s too early to determine if the shooting were an act of terrorism, but they do not believe Muhammad had any accomplices.
‘What we know is that this was a random act of violence,’ Dyer said.
‘There is every reason to believe he acted alone.’