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Fresno hate crime suspect describes anger toward white men

By Artemis Moshtaghian and Darran Simon CNN

(CNN) — A black man accused of fatally shooting three white men in what police are calling a hate crime said that he “snapped” after thinking “about all the injustice and the atrocities that my people go through.”

Kori Ali Muhammad, 39, allegedly shot at the men at random in downtown Fresno, California on April 18. At the time, Muhammad was already wanted by police in the fatal shooting of Carl Williams, a 25-year-old unarmed security guard, on April 13, police said. Muhammad admitted to the shootings in a recent jailhouse interview with CNN affiliate KGPE that appears to give more insight into his state of mind and motives.

“Someone has to fight for all the people who died at the hands of racist white men,” he told the news station on Saturday.

“I was actually going to go turn myself in, and then I started thinking about the missing black women and children,” he said. “I started thinking about Flint, Michigan. I started thinking about the crack cocaine epidemic. I started thinking about all the injustice and the atrocities that my people go through. And that’s why I snapped.”

“I wasn’t thinking like … I’m going to kill, kill, kill. All I knew was white supremacy has to die and the people who benefit from white supremacy … are white men,” Muhammad said. Muhammad will now face four counts of murder — one in Williams’ death and three in the shooting rampage – and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, officials said. Muhammad’s attorney did not immediately return a request for comment.

His arraignment in Williams’ death, which was scheduled for Monday, was suspended pending a mental competency evaluation. His next court date is May 12, 2017, according to Steve Wright, assistant district attorney for Fresno County. The FBI is assisting Fresno police in the investigation.

Suspect: Someone has to fight for deaths by ‘racist white men’

Last week, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said Muhammad had previously posted on social media about his dislike for white people and government officials. He also yelled “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) when he was arrested shortly after the shooting, officials said.

“We do not believe … that this is a terrorist-related crime,” Dyer told reporters then. “This is solely based on race.”

Police said Muhammad shot the three white men, firing 16 rounds in 60 to 90 seconds within a block and a half in the downtown area. Zackary Randalls, a 34-year-old worker for the Pacific Gas & Electric utility, was killed, along with Mark Gassett, 37, and David Martin Jackson, 58.

Gassett and Jackson were standing near Catholic Charities, a social services agency where they are clients, police said. Muhammad is also accused of firing at a 59-year-old white man coming out of a house, but he missed, the police chief said. Authorities said Muhammad also pointed the gun at three Hispanic females — a woman, her adult daughter and her 4-year-old granddaughter — who heard the gunshots and got into their car, which they had trouble starting.

Dyer said Muhammad approached the passenger side and pointed the gun at them but didn’t fire.

“That’s the only regret I have, because in the car was a woman and children. I am glad none of them got hit,” Muhammad said in the jailhouse interview. “I probably couldn’t live with myself if I hit the woman and child. I had no intentions of hurting women and children.”

Suspect: I shot security guard over disrespect

At the time of the shooting, police were looking for Muhammad in connection with Williams’ death outside a Fresno motel. In the interview with CBS47, Muhammad said the security guard was arguing with a friend of his and “being very disrespectful, so I shot him.”

“You shot the security guard?” Reporter Matt Mendes asked,

“Yes, sir,” Muhammad said. He also said he hid from police on the roof of a 7-11.

“I scaled the wall, got on top of the roof, stayed there until I felt it was safe enough to get down,” Muhammad said, according to the station.

Days later, Muhammad said he discovered he was wanted by police, who had circulated his photo and asked for the public’s help in apprehending him. His previous run-ins with the law include a 2005 indictment on charges of cocaine possession with intent to distribute, and possession of two rifles and a semi-automatic handgun, court records show. Muhammad’s public defender had raised questions about whether he was mentally fit to stand trial, noting that on several occasions he had “appeared eccentric with some bizarre beliefs” and appeared to have hallucinations. The lawyer also said his client had “at least two prior mental health hospitalizations.”

A psychiatric evaluation later found Muhammad suffered from psychosis and a substantial degree of paranoia. He was declared not competent to stand trial in July 2005.

He was later found competent for trial in 2006 after a previous order had committed him to a facility. Muhammad pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 110 months in prison, which was reduced to 92 months. TM & 2017 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

WATCH: Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh plays catch in Rome, gets in trouble

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was just trying to have a catch. But no matter who you are or where in the world you are, you can t throw a football in a shopping mall. Harbaugh found out the hard way on Monday when he was tossing around the pigskin in a shopping mall during Day 2 of the Wolverines trip to Rome.[1]

Jim Harbaugh gets scolded by security inside shopping mall for playing catch. pic.twitter.com/cywWm8yPgm[2]

Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) April 24, 2017[3]

In the video, the coach can be seen catching a pass from a kid in a Michigan shirt. A security guard then quickly approaches and Harbaugh looks at him and says, No more.

The security guard points to outside and Harbaugh quickly replies, outside.

Harbaugh did wrap two arms around the ball as if to protect it from possible confiscation, but there was no evidence that took place.

References

  1. ^ Day 2 of the Wolverines trip to Rome. (www.landof10.com)
  2. ^ pic.twitter.com/cywWm8yPgm (t.co)
  3. ^ April 24, 2017 (twitter.com)

Police: Man shot by Michigan City hospital security guard in critical condition

MICHIGAN CITY A man allegedly pointed a handgun Saturday at a Franciscan Health hospital security guard, prompting the officer to fire back several times, an Indiana State Police preliminary investigation has found. Thomas J. Walsh III, 46, of Michigan City, was listed in critical condition Saturday night after being flown to Memorial Hospital in South Bend for treatment, according to a state police news release. The shooting occurred at 3:54 p.m. in the hospital’s parking lot. A preliminary investigation revealed two Michigan city off-duty police officers working security at Franciscan Health were called to the parking lot by a family member of Walsh. Walsh was reportedly refusing to leave his vehicle and seek medical assistance, state police said.

When the officers, fully uniformed, made contact with Walsh, he was sitting on the passenger side of his pickup truck, police said. At one point during the interaction, Walsh withdrew a handgun from within his truck, pointed the weapon at one of the officers standing by the driver’s side door, state police said.

“The officer standing on the passenger side for fear of injury/death to the other officer, pulled his weapon, and shot Walsh several times,” state police said. Medical assistance was immediately given at the scene and Walsh was eventually airlifted to South Bend. Family has been notified, state police said.

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Per protocol with police-involved shootings, the Indiana State Police is handling the investigation, Michigan City Police Chief Mark Swistek said. Swistek said the officer’s name is also not being released at this time, he said. This investigation may take several weeks to complete, state police said, and no further information will be released at this time.

Once complete, the investigative findings will be turned over to the LaPorte County Prosecutor’s Office.

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