3 killed in California shooting spree, suspect arrested
- Author: Jim Guy, The Fresno Bee
- Updated: 3 hours ago
- Published 3 hours ago
A Fresno police detective stands over the body of one of the three shooting victims as office workers are evacuated, on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. (John Walker/Fresno Bee/TNS)
FRESNO, Calif. Three people were shot and killed after a man went on a shooting spree in downtown Fresno and at Catholic Charities on Tuesday, Police Chief Jerry Dyer said. The 39-year-old suspect, identified as Kori Ali Muhammad, is in custody, Dyer said. He is also suspected in the fatal shooting of a security guard outside a Motel 6 in central Fresno on Thursday. He is facing four counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder, Dyer said. He said Muhammad had expressed dislike of whites; all of the victims were white. Dyer called it a “random act of violence.”
Kori Ali Muhammad is seen in an undated photo released by Fresno police. Handout via REUTERS
Two of the people shot outside Catholic Charities may have been clients of the social service agency, not employees, Dyer said. The third victim was a Pacific Gas & Electric employee. Another person was shot at but not injured.
Dyer said the gunman walked up to a PG&E truck on North Van Ness Avenue about 10:45 a.m. and shot the passenger repeatedly. The driver of the pickup then sped to Fresno police headquarters. The second shooting was only a few seconds later and was at Van Ness and Mildreda Street, where the gunman shot at but missed a resident. The gunman then turned onto Fulton Street and fired several rounds at another man, striking and killing him, Dyer said. After reloading at a bus stop, the gunman then shot and killed a man in the parking lot of Catholic Charities in on North Fulton Street, he said.
Officers responding to the initial shots found Muhammad running south on Fulton. Muhammad dived to the ground and yelled “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” before he was taken into custody, Dyer said.
A road is blocked by police tape after a multiple-victim shooting incident in downtown Fresno, California, April 18, 2017. Fresno County Sheriff/Handout via REUTERS
Although police found rounds of .357 caliber bullets and speed loaders for a revolver when Muhammad was taken into custody, no weapon was found, Dyer said.
Dyer said that it’s too soon to determine if the shootings involved terrorism. The FBI and ATF have both been notified, he said. But Dyer noted that in Thursday’s shooting at Motel 6, which was caught on surveillance video, Muhammad did not make any similar statements.
“What we know is that this was a random act of violence,” Dyer said. “There is every reason to believe he acted alone.”
Muhammad was identified early in the Motel 6 murder, based on the surveillance cameras, and officers had sought him in subsequent days. His Facebook page at one point indicated he was in Atlanta, which was untrue, Dyer said. His Facebook posts indicated that “he does not like white people, and he has anti-government sentiments,” the chief said.
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